Benefits of Hosting an Au Pair
Being a host family means welcoming a new family member to your home and trusting them with the care of your children and related household chores. Our Au Pairs are recent secondary school graduates, proficient in English and have extensive prior babysitting, day care center and sibling care experience. In exchange for the care of your children, you will provide a private room as well as a cultural exchange experience for your Au Pair while your family benefits from being exposed to another language and culture.
- Flexibility: Au Pair childcare is the most flexible childcare option available: Au Pair childcare adapts to your individual family schedule. An Au Pair can work in the morning to get your children ready for school, make breakfast and drive your children to school while you get ready for work. She/he can then take a break until it is time to pick up your children from school. The schedule is up to you and your family. Additionally, your au pair is available during sick and snow days.
- 45 hours of childcare per week at a fixed cost, no matter how many children you have: Unlike daycare or nannies, the costs for an Au Pair don’t increase by the number of children you have.
- Customizable childcare in concert with your family values: You continue to determine your children’s routines, what your children eat, what they learn and how they are being raised. You decide with which children your little ones have play dates.
- An enriching educational experience via daily exposure to another culture and language: your entire family learns about your au pair’s culture and country as well as language.
- Help with household childcare related chores: Your au pair can help you with the morning routine, school drop off, room pick up, kids’ laundry, grocery shopping, meals, activities and homework. Many of our host parents are happy to say “it is so nice to come home to be able to play with my kids instead of having to worry about what they are going to eat or wear the next day.”
- Childcare Comparison
Host Family Stories
The Owsiany in Maryland, hosting second year their Au Pair from Argentina- Marisol. As both parents work full time Marisol takes care of Nora. This is where Marisol really shines. The care she provides Nora is greater than anything we could have hoped for. “If you ask Nora who her best friend is, she will tell you Sol. Sol has been very proactive in making sure that Nora is learning and developing at a rate commensurate with her age. So much so, that’s she’s actually leaps and bounds above where she should be. Nora’s Spanish is as good as her English and I’m not sure there’s a kid-friendly attraction in DC that she hasn’t been to with Sol. Whether it’s trips to the Zoo, the National Aquarium, Port Discovery, or the recently begun ice skating lessons that they’re taking together (Sol’s an outstanding skater), Nora is the most engaged almost 2 year old I’ve ever met.”
Host Family Wei:
I would like to highly recommend Au Pair Foundation for our great experience with their European origin au pairs. They screen and select their candidates in a very thorough manner and take every little detail seriously. After the match, they also make sure that the candidates take all the required trainings and get ready for transitioning to another country and a new family to live with. Throughout the year, Au Pair Foundation always provides reliable and continuous support to both the family and the au pair. We think that their service is excellent as a cultural exchange program.
Au Pair Myths
There are lots of misconceptions and myths about Au Pairs. Most people have heard of Au Pairs yet there is still a lot of uncertainty when it comes to who they are, what they can do and cannot do. As a result, many people don’t even consider them when it comes to childcare. Here are some common misconceptions:
- Au Pairs are only for the rich: FALSE. The truth is that Au Pairs are not just for the wealthy. Au Pairs are not nannies whose pay is determined by where you live as well as the number of children you have. Our host families hold a variety of jobs and understand that childcare is one of their biggest expenses and that is why they choose to have an Au Pair. The average weekly cost of hosting an Au Pair is just $350 per week, regardless of the number of children a family has. In many communities across the U.S., this figure is much less expensive than day care or a nanny, especially for families with more than one child.
- Having an Au Pair means that a host family loses all privacy: FALSE. The truth is that your Au Pair should feel like part of your family so you want to make sure she/he is a good fit. While you include your Au Pair in family activities and celebrations, you will notice that your au pair will also enjoy spending much of her free time with her/his friends. Au Pairs have a need for their own privacy and social lives.
- Au Pairs come to the U.S. just to have fun: FALSE. The truth is that Au Pairs join our program because they enjoy children and want to experience life with an American family. They also want to improve their English skills. Good English skills usually translate into better employment opportunities for Au Pairs back home.
- Au Pairs are like babysitters: FALSE. The truth is that Au Pairs have 200+ hours of documented childcare experience and have passed a demanding screening process including a criminal background check. Unlike a babysitter, Au Pairs expect to help with chores related to the children including laundry, meals and room clean-up.
- If there are any problems, we are alone: FALSE. The truth is that we provide you with a year round Local Coordinator support who lives within 60 minutes from your home, mediation assistance as well as full-time support from our office staff.
Do you have questions? Well, we have answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in our FAQ. Do you have an additional question? Please contact us to speak directly with a member of the Au Pair Foundation team who can help you get the answers you need.