What is an Au Pair and how can one help my family? I will tell you that the Au Pair Program is one of the most flexible, reliable and affordable options for today’s busy American families.
An Au Pair is an energetic, experienced childcare provider who is interested in learning about the American culture and gaining experience as part of your family. Au Pairs are 18-26 yr old high school graduates (at a minimum) who provide safe, reliable in-home child care while bringing a cultural experience to your family. Many are college students or graduates with specialized training and experience not offered by private sitters or day care centers.
Your family can choose the language and culture of your Au Pair, depending on your needs and interests. Some families choose a language and culture similar to their own heritage, while others choose new and different languages and cultures each time.
Au Pairs can do just about all things childcare, starting with up to 45 hours of flexible childcare and childcare-related duties, which are detailed by you, the Host Family. This can include driving the kids to/from school, appointments, etc, actual childcare/supervising the kids, and childcare-related tasks like supervising chores, homework and even doing the kids’s laundry and light meal/snack prep and clean up for the kids. Part time is available too, up to 30 hours per week for those families who don’t need as many weekly hours!
Your agency, Go Au Pair, handles all the paperwork and logistics for you, as well as provides you the individual support of a Placement Coordinator and Local Area Representative (that’s me) for the duration of your participation. See my next entry, Understanding Au Pair Paperwork, for more details.
Most Au Pair placements are for one year, unless he or she is “in transition” or switching families, for a number of different reasons. Cost to you is pro-rated for the number of weeks your Au Pair lives with you, if shorter than a year. After completing their first year, Au Pairs may choose to extend for 6, 9 or 12 more months, with the same or a new family. The agency provides a number of cultural activities and events for Au Pairs and Host Families to facilitate a positive cultural exchange experience.
Au Pairs also complete an educational component, depending on the length of their placement, and Host Families pay agency fees (to the agency), a weekly stipend (to their Au Pair) and a portion of the educational component (to the college or university, and depending on length of placement).
This is a basic explanation of the Au Pair Program and how it works. Naturally, there are many more details, and even some gray areas, requiring more information. I would love to discuss your family’s childcare needs and how an Au Pair from Go Au Pair might benefit your family!
My name is Joan Lowell and I am the Go Au Pair LAR (Local Area Representative) for the Providence and surrounding area. We are accepting families anywhere in the RI, CT, MA region. Please message me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 401-309-1925 for more information about Au Pair childcare.