Host Families are often concerned about taking the leap of faith required to make a match with a young adult from another country. Au Pairs are young adults, ages 18-26 years, who come to this country for a period of one to two years in order to live with an American family while providing childcare and childcare-related housekeeping and also attending a local college or university for a complete cultural exchange experience. When I get calls or emails from potential host parents, they often ask about the benefits of the au pair program and why I would recommend it over the best local options. I usually have a short list of obvious answers, but fellow-blogger Summer Blackhurst has put her own spin on it.
When you discover that au pairs bring more than 45 hours of childcare and related tasks to the table, you may never hire another babysitter again. Au pairs add to your family. They bring a greater repertoire of parenting skills to your home. That is not to say you don’t have enough of your own, but the saying “two minds are better than one” really does apply here. Imagine an issue that you are having with your kids, big or small. If you try to brainstorm solutions by yourself, you are limited to your own imagination, unless you go searching online or in a book. With an au pair, he or she brings varied experiences from other families that you and I simply do not have unless we have been a caretaker for other families.
When you open your home and family to a cultural exchange experience, your entire family will be different for it. Your au pair is also taking a giant leap of faith, leaving his or her safety net of home, traveling halfway around the world, in many cases, to spend a year or two caring for total strangers, living in a strange society full of strange customs and traditions. Imagine if you left home and went to China or some faraway country to live there and care for the children of your hosts! When families and au pairs approach the program with open hearts and minds, spirits of cooperation and communication, wonderful things can happen. You may ignite a spark in one of your children which will enhance their lives, and maybe even the world!
If you’d like more information about the Au Pair Program in the RI, CT and MA area, feel free to contact me at 401.309.1925 or firstname.lastname@example.org. New Host Families in my local area may be eligible for up to 15% savings! This cultural experience is affordable for your family!