For almost 5 years, I have been hosting au pairs to help raise my twin girls. I'm often asked about the benefits of the program over more traditional options like daycare and/or hiring a nanny. Sometimes I'm asked "what's is an au pair?" The other day my brother asked if I would continue with the au pair program in September when my twins will start full day kindergarten. My answer: yes, yes and yes!
As a working mom, I need the extra hand getting the kids ready and off to school, picking them up from school, and taking them to their activities. I especially need help during school breaks and the summer. Plus its wonderful to have an extra hand in organizing the ever-growing pile of laundry and toys that tend to accumulate. I hope to continue with the au pair program for many years to come. To that end, I thought I would share a little bit about what the program offers.
What does a host family get while hosting an Au Pair?
FLEXIBILITY: An au pair can provide up to 45 hours per week of childcare (up to 10 hours per day) on a schedule you decide, including early morning, evening and weekend coverage. Au pairs can also care for your children when they are sick, out from school on snow days and during school vacations. Families with busy schedules love hosting au pairs!
TRUST: Because an au pair lives with you as a member of your family, your relationship with her develops quickly and mutual trust happens much faster than with a daycare provider or live-out nanny. After an initial period of adjustment, our host parents describe feeling a deep sense of comfort knowing their children are cared for by someone they know and respect.
CULTURE: Au pairs come from many countries all over the world and can expose your entire family to their language and culture. Your children will learn words in your au pair’s native tongue as well as songs and games from her home country. Au pairs also help children gain a renewed appreciation for their own environment and a desire to see more of the world.
PROTECTION: Cultural Care Au Pair is a government-regulated program, meaning there are guidelines in place designed to protect both families and au pairs during the exchange year. It also means that au pairs travel to the U.S. on a legal J-1 visa, allowing them to stay in the country (and with your family) for up to two years.
For more information contact me, Lisa Remo, a Host Mom & Local Childcare Consultant. Cell: 201.920.5287 Email: Lisa.firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://lremo.aupairnews.com