“Au Pair” sounds like such a fancy word. I had heard of au pairs and always thought it was something I would never have been able to afford and was just something European families had. Did you know au pairs are affordable AND that you can get an au pair right here in America (in Greater Cincinnati to be exact)?!
WHAT IS AU PAIR IN AMERICA?
Au Pair in America provides flexible, dependable child care that enriches families through cultural exchange. An au pair can make your life so much more relaxing. No rushing off to daycare when the caretaker is just down the hallway! An au pair’s job description is multifaceted and will vary somewhat depending on a family’s needs. Here are some typical au pair responsibilities included in an au pair’s job description:
- waking the children
- dressing infants and toddlers
- bathing and playing with the children
- preparing meals for the children
- looking after the children’s belongings
- making the children’s beds and straightening their rooms
- doing the children’s laundry
- cleaning up the kitchen after the children eat
- straightening up the playroom once playtime is over
- driving children to and from school, appointments, or outings as requested by the host family
- stay at home with the children when the children are sick or on holidays (for au pairs on the standard or Extraordinaire programs)
As you can see from this list, the value of an au pair far outweighs what you get with any other child care option we’re used to in everyday American life.
WHY SHOULD I HOST AN AU PAIR?
You get your free time/me time/date nights back in addition to having peace of mind during your work day. Finding the right child care option can be one of the biggest challenges for parents. The biggest things we run up against are finding providers that have flexibility to go with our busy schedules, difficulty in getting kids to their caregivers, and the often steep screening and hiring costs.
With Au Pair in America, you get forty-five hours of child care per week (up to ten hours per day), the au pair lives right in your home, and you only pay a single cost for your family – not per child. There are even more benefits, such as maintaining a better work-life balance, getting a unique cultural exchange experience for your kids, care that caters to children of all ages, a high level of schedule flexibility, and reliable care during life’s inevitable surprises.
HOW ARE AU PAIRS AFFORDABLE?
If this all sounds amazing to you (which it probably does!), you’re now wondering how much it costs to host an au pair and whether it really is affordable. Au Pair in America program fees are based on a program duration of 12 months. Fees and au pair salary are per family, not per child. The fees include a Match Processing Fee, an Annual Program Fee, and a Minimum Weekly Stipend.
When you compare au pair program rates to rates for childcare providers in Cincinnati, you can expect to pay less than two-thirds with Au Pair in America if you have just one child. Note that the rates for traditional child care are significantly higher for infants and toddlers (even when my now-teenaged-daughter was an infant, full-time OUTSIDE-the-home care was averaging $800-$1,200 a week!). For so much less, you can have an au pair that is part of the family! Remember again, you’re not paying per child – you’re paying per family with Au Pair in America. If you have more than one child, then the savings are astronomical!