Is an Au Pair Right for YOUR Family? How to Decide and Get Started!

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If you have children and you work, you probably use some form of childcare. Perhaps your kids are older and you only need a few hours before and after school each day. Maybe you have twins or a baby plus kids in school and think you can’t afford to host an Au Pair.

Many American families are surprised to discover the wonderful benefits of hosting an Au Pair in their home to meet their childcare needs. Au Pairs can provide flexible, full or part time childcare, perform child-related household tasks like kid’s laundry and meal prep and clean up. Plus your Au Pair can drive your kids to and from the bus stop, school, after school activities, or wherever you need.

Is an Au Pair right for your family, you ask? Do you have an extra private bedroom? That is one requirement. Do you have a need for anywhere from 30-45 hours per week of childcare? Do you have a desire to have a long-term relationship, like an extended family member, with your childcare provider? Do you have a desire to teach your children tolerance, acceptance and a lifelong interest in the cultures of our world?

What better way to meet all of those needs than to host an Au Pair? Go Au Pair even accepts payments from state-sponsored programs and flex-spending accounts for families using those programs! We are currently offering a significant discount in the Southern New England area for new families who choose this exciting child care option!

Once you decide an Au Pair is right for you, get started with your online application and I will be calling you soon! While you are waiting to hear from me, start your wish list. List the things you need and want from your new Au Pair; this will help you greatly during the selection process, since we have over 300 Available Au Pairs to choose from over 50 countries!

What do you put on your list? That depends on your family. Do you or your relatives speak a certain language you’d like your children to learn? That goes on the top of the list. Are you set on a male or female Au Pair? Yes, we have both, and many families are pleasantly surprised by the joy a male Au Pair brings to their home, plus we offer a discount for families who choose male Au Pairs! Is there a specific culture or region of the world that you want your children to learn? Or is there a certain culture or language that you would like to avoid, for some reason?

Do you want someone who already has a college degree? Keep in mind all Au Pairs do have an educational requirement, even if they already hold a degree, but some hold very helpful degrees. We have one Au Pair who is a trained dentist, another who is a licensed Nutritionalist, and others with degrees in languages and education as well.

What skills do you need from your Au Pair? If driving is required for the job, add that to the list. What about swimming or CPR and First Aid training? Do you have pets? Add them to your list. Have you thought about the other things you and your kids want to learn from your Au Pair? Perhaps you want to host an Au Pair from China who has cooking skills, so you can learn some authentic Chinese techniques. Perhaps your children’s grandparents only speak Portuguese or French and you’d love your children to learn more. Perhaps your ancestors are from Italy and you want to learn all you can without traveling there. Hosting an Au Pair can expand your family’s horizons further than you can see!

Once you have some items on your list, you may sort them into two categories: Need and Want. Obviously, if you need a driver for the children since their school is five miles from your home, an experienced and licensed driver goes in the Need column. If you want your kids to learn Spanish, but you would be flexible to include other languages, perhaps Spanish-speaking goes in the Want column. Depending on your family, your list will be different from mine.

Blogger Summer Blackhurst shares what she thinks is important in her blog: How to Know the Right Au Pair for Your Family.  Go check out her blog for lots of great ideas! Don’t forget to consider the hours you may need, as a part-time Au Pair can work up to 30 hours in a week and full-time up to 45 hours.

Contact me, Joan Lowell, Local Area Representative in the Providence, RI area, with your questions about becoming a Host Family and having a cultural child care experience. I can be reached at 401.309.1925 or jlowell@goaupair.com. What are you waiting for? Go start that list!

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