Getting an au pair can be a transformative experience for your family by providing both cultural exchange and stellar live-in childcare. Unlike traditional daycares or nanny services, an au pair is an individual who lives with your family and becomes an integral part of your household. This means that they have a vested interest in the well-being and happiness of your children and family.
In terms of benefits, there are numerous advantages. Not only do you have access to flexible scheduling and customized care plans, but you also have the opportunity to expose your family to a new culture and language. Additionally, au pairs often become lifelong connections and provide a unique perspective that can enrich your family’s life. If you’re considering a new type of childcare solution, hiring an au pair might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.
What are the benefits of getting an au pair?
Many parents considering the right childcare for their family might be asking what is an au pair. Au pairs are young adults, typically between the ages of 18 to 26 years old, who come from another country to provide live-in childcare. They stay with their host family for 1-2 years, working on a J-1 cultural exchange visa. Au pairs handle a range of childcare activities, such as driving children to and from school, preparing meals, bathing and dressing kids, and more. Despite these responsibilities, many au pairs don’t think of this opportunity as just a job, but rather as a cultural exchange experience that often leaves them feeling like a part of the family.
Au pairs are very different from other childcare options like nannies and daycares. Unlike other services, au pairs provide live-in childcare, are paid by family instead of per child, and are more closely regulated. While nannies and daycares offer amazing childcare options, the benefits of hiring an au pair greatly outweigh the alternatives. Let's look at what an au pair offers more in-depth.
- Live In Care
Your kids are your top priority. We know that ensuring they are taken care of is the most important part of your life. But for many parents and caregivers, time demands are among the most stressful aspects of raising children.
From early-morning school drop-off, to late-night bedtimes, to weekend practices, each day's schedule is often jam-packed, not to mention unpredictable. Finding last-minute care for a child is often challenging, meaning that an unexpected day off school can easily turn into a missed day of work as a parent.
It's not easy to keep up with the demands of raising kids. It can feel like there simply aren't enough hours in the day for everything that needs to happen between breakfast and bedtime. Luckily, the live in childcare that an au pair provides can can be the solution to your family's busy schedule.
When an au pair becomes a part of your household, they don't just ensure your kids are being cared for by a trusted adult, they also can give you time back in your family's busy schedule. When you childcare is already in your home, you won’t have to worry about getting your kids to daycare on time or sweat over when your nanny will show up.
- Personalized Care
With an au pair lives with you, you’ll get to know each other well very quickly. Au pairs are able to form close relationships with their host kids and family that can inform the way they interact with your children. This is great because it not only allows for both you and your children to feel comfortable around your au pair, but it also offers the chance for more personal and hands-on care. After all, it is no secret that children thrive when they trust their caretaker. You can provide your au pair with directions on how you want your children to be cared for. Whether it’s establishing new routines, or enforcing existing household rules, with an au pair you can be sure that your childcare is stable and consistent.
Most kinds of childcare are provided at out-of-home locations like daycares or after-school care centers. Having an au pair provides a comprehensive live-in childcare solution that can change your life.
- Culture Exchange
Au pairs offer an extraordinary and unique experience that other childcare providers simply can’t compete with—cultural exchange. Sharing cultures means experiencing a blending of traditions, allowing both the au pair and host family to learn new customs and history from one another. A cultural exchange can offer an incredible opportunity to bring the world into your own home, as an au pair can cook their favorite meals, share their language, and even celebrate new holidays with the family. These rewards of cultural exchange give families a unique advantage to broaden their own worldly perspective.
Au pairs are very affordable childcare, primarily because of the different way the au pair program is structured in comparison to traditional childcare options. Most daycares and nannies charge based on the number of children, but an au pair agency will charge per family. This makes au pairs especially appealing and economical to bigger families.
Another element is that the room and board that au pairs receive from their host family are considered part of the au pair's compensation. Additionally, au pairs must also receive a minimum weekly agreed-upon stipend.
- Rules and Guidelines
Compared to other childcare options—daycares typically follow state guidelines, while nannies agencies are self-regulated—au pairs are more strictly regulated, namely by the U.S. Department of State. Some of the requirements are:
Being 18-26 years old
Graduation from secondary school or equivalent
Passing a comprehensive background check
200 Hours of Previous childcare experience
Outside of these federal regulations,AuPairCare has additional requirements and evaluations that must be met in order to become an AuPairCare au pair. Our additional requirements include:
Childcare history, experience, and skills
Medical history and current health status
Drivers license status
More than 200 hours of childcare experience
Personal lifestyle, interests, family, and education information
Motivation for becoming an au pair
Ensuring a quality au pair does not stop at here, though. Our team of dedicated and experienced Matching Experts work hard to connect host families with au pairs that fit their lifestyle and personality.
You can rest assured that your au pair is experienced, as one of our requirements is to have at least 200 hours of previous childcare experience. And AuPairCare’s training doesn’t stop there. To ensure the highest standard of care, au pair candidates receive additional training through our Academy program in areas such as child development, CPR & safety, diet & nutrition, positive discipline techniques, and engaging in developmently-appropriate activities.
Outside of providing a deeper understanding of children and childcare, we also take the safety of our host families, children, and au pairs very seriously. This is why every au pair is trained in CPR and first aid, personal safety such as situational awareness, fraud prevention, stranger safety, and child safety, which includes driving with children, water safety, and emergency response.
- Learn language
One of the primary benefits of cultural exchange is the introduction of a new language into your household. By being exposed to a new spoken language on a daily basis, learning becomes quicker and more natural for children. Research has shown that children who learn a second language have larger vocabularies, improved language skills, and even improved brain function. It is also a great skill to have in adulthood that can help support future opportunities.
Experience The Benefit of Au Pairs For Yourself With AuPairCare
Finding quality childcare is one of the most important searches you’ll go through. We wholeheartedly believe that an au pair can make an excellent childcare solution for your family. Unlike other childcare options, au pairs care about providing more than just childcare; they want to be a contributing, temporary member of your family, and to share their culture while learning about yours.
If you are considering getting an au pair, reach out to AuPairCare today. We are an experienced and award-winning au pair agency that takes selecting the right au pair for your family seriously. You’ll be confident in your au pair’s experience and be assured that your children are in good hands. Contact AuPairCare today to learn more about finding the right au pair for your family.