Why Your Family Should Consider Hosting an Au Pair

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It takes a lot of work to host an au pair. You are responsible for a weekly stipend, housing, educational requirements and work/education-related transportation. Many host families and au pairs maintain connections beyond their program year. It may include yearly reunions, vacations or even just a phone call! A great way to build trust is to be honest about expectations.

Money

Many families consider au pairs a cost-effective childcare option much less expensive than hiring a full-time nanny or daycare. Plus, hosting an au pair is more flexible than daycare during school breaks, holidays, and snow days – which can save thousands of dollars in unexpected child-related expenses. But what is the au pair program? The au pair program is a learning and cultural exchange initiative that allows international students to live with American host families, participate in daily living, and provide some childcare services.

Au pairs also help with household chores, such as grocery shopping, cleaning, and preparing meals. They may also offer unique cultural experiences that the family can enjoy together, such as a taste of their native cuisine or music. Many au pairs and host families keep in touch beyond the program year – even visiting each other overseas!

Be sure to discuss expectations with the au pair ahead of time. It’s important to set clear boundaries for the role and agree on a schedule for weekly off-duty time, such as weekends or after a certain hour during the week (on average, au pairs have an 11:00 PM curfew during the workweek). Remember, au pairs aren’t just babysitters but also family members! Respect their autonomy and never talk negatively about them in front of the children.

Family

Many families are surprised to learn how much more they gain from hosting an au pair. Besides the program fee and weekly stipend, an au pair will help you with household chores like cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping. They can also provide extra support with children’s activities and a much-needed sense of stability and consistency to the family’s daily routine.

Talking to au pairs from the start about their responsibilities as part of your home is important. You can do this during your interview by asking them questions about their work schedules and what they plan to do with their off-duty time. You can also ask about how they have experienced working with other childminders, and if you are comfortable with this, you may request references from former au pairs. Treating your au pair like a family member will make her feel included and happy. It will motivate her to perform her tasks well and ensure the family stays safe, comfortable and healthy.

Travel

Host families who travel with their au pair can make the most of their time away from home. In addition to paying their au pair a salary during her trip, they can also cover the cost of airfare or train tickets and meals while on vacation. It is a great way to help your au pair enjoy her new experiences while at the same time keeping her financially responsible for her au pair duties. However, before you invite your au pair to join you on your family trips, be sure you understand that she is there as a childcare provider, not as a guest or an extended family member. In other words, if your au pair is expected to be on duty, she needs her room and should be reimbursed for expenses related to working while on vacation (sightseeing cruises, meals out, etc.). She can, however, be compensated with additional “prime time” to explore on her own or shop for souvenirs (like that Eiffel Tower photo frame!). Be fair about her curfew.

Education

An au pair can be a great source of intercultural education. Many of our host families tell us that their children’s foreign language skills and academic performance improve significantly with the daily practice and attention their au pairs provide because au pairs have smaller class sizes in the home, which allows for personalized one-on-one instruction. Au pairs have a lot to do during their time with their host family, including cooking, cleaning and running errands for the family. Au pairs need transportation skills, as they may be responsible for running errands or transporting the kids in their care to school and activities. It is also important for au pairs to respect their host families and their privacy during their off hours. It is important during family holidays when au pairs often work more than usual. Honesty is always the best policy and will make for a lasting relationship with your Host Family.

Language

Families can introduce their children to various cultures and languages in a special way by hiring au pairs. Au pairs are also a great option for families saving money on childcare costs by providing in-home childcare with a flexible schedule. They often work only 45 hours a week and are available to cover snow days and sick days. Au pairs often build valuable relationships with their host families long after the program ends. When interviewing an au pair, consider whether she is interested in your children and your family’s lifestyle. Be sure to ask about her expectations for meals, errands and outings. Also, discuss any dietary preferences or restrictions. Host families should regularly talk with their au pairs to ensure everyone is on the same page about expectations. It is a good idea to spend the first week showing an au pair everything about the home, from the kitchen to her room and the yard. Introduce her to your children and give her a tour of the neighborhood. Then, allow her time to settle in her room and be alone.

Devin Haneyhttps://www.boxityourself.com/
Hi there! This is Devin Haney. I am a Freelancer. I love to Blogging. I would love to connect with everyone here. On relaxing Sunday afternoon you will find me.

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