When it comes to finding someone suitable to care for your children, it can be challenging to figure out which childcare option will work best for your family. Daycares often have long waiting lists and high fees, and it can be tough to find a long-term nanny who is willing to work around your schedule and offer the flexibility that you may need during the holidays and summer months. One option that is often overlooked is becoming a host family to an out-of-town au pair.
What is an au pair?
‘Au Pair’ is a French term which translates as “equal to”, meaning that the relationship between a family and their au pair is a reciprocal and caring one. Au pairs become a part of the family during their stay, and are usually between the ages of 18 and 30. They tend to be short-term, live-in placements, ranging from 6 months to a year.
Here are 5 ways busy families can benefit from hosting an au pair in their home:
1) Au Pairs provide an affordable childcare option for your family.
Unlike daycare or nanny services which can cost upwards of $2,000 per month, an au pair’s wage tends to be lower, and room and board can be deducted from their fee.
2) They can help with your household chores.
While an au pair’s main responsibility is childcare, she will also assist with child-related household duties. Many will also hold driver’s licences and be able to drive as part of their duties. Au pairs will have undertaken previous childcare work outside of their own family such as babysitting and tutoring.
3) Your children can learn about new cultures.
Not only will be providing an au pair with the opportunity to learn
more about your culture, but hosting an au pair can provide your children with a great opportunity to learn about their culture, their food and even introduce a second language into the home.
4) You can enjoy flexibility to suit your needs.
An Au Pair usually works 25 – 40 hours per week, based on your needs. She does not need to work full-time like a live-in nanny. They live with their Canadian host family and are flexible when it comes to their working hours, able to take care of children on both a full or part-time basis. Typically, an au pair placement will be for a 6-12 month period.
5) You can welcome someone into your family.
Au pairs have a responsibility to care for your children, but they are also in your home to discover Canada and it is their choice to live with a Canadian family to experience Canadian culture first hand. Welcoming an au pair into your home is a great way to share your culture, and connect with someone from another country who may want to share their home with you the next time you visit their country as well. Host families often make lasting connections with their au pairs, feeling as though they’ve added to their family as a result.
Interested in learning more about becoming a host family for an au pair? International Nannies and Home Care Ltd. can help! Visit their site for more information and to sign up.