With so many different options available for childcare these days, it can be hard to be sure you are choosing the right type of child care for your family. All children thrive in different environments, but did you know you could hire an au pair to look after your children in your own home?
A live in au pair will usually stay with your family for 3-6 months and live with your family during this time. Their duties can include looking after the children (not normally children under 2 years old though) and doing school pick-up and drop-offs as well as helping with homework, preparing dinner and getting the children ready for bed. There are a number of benefits to choosing live in au pair care, so here are a few of them
One of the main reasons why people often choose to hire an au pair instead of using traditional care like before and after school care, is simply how affordable it is compared with other types of child care.
If you have ever had a child in long day care or family day care, you will know rates can vary but usually start from $80 per day and can even be upwards of $100 a day in some areas. Even with the childcare rebate this is still a hefty amount to be forking out.
Au pairs on the other hand are much more affordable. Depending on the number of hours your au pair works per week, pocket money starts from as little as $170 per week.
Having the ability to adjust your weekly schedule is another key benefit of choosing an au pair instead of traditional day care.
With other formal care options often having set hours and rates per day, if you only need care for a few hours a day, using long or family day care can be an expensive option. With an au pair, you can determine what hours you need your children to be looked after and when, and set your weekly schedule around that, instead of the other way round.
So many parents these days work around their care arrangements, and don’t realise they can set their care arrangements to work around them.
3. Cultural experience
Au pairs come from foreign countries and therefore bring a completely new culture into your home. Your family will get to experience this new culture and have the opportunity to learn all about your new au pair and their home country.
If they speak a foreign language, they could even teach your children a few new words or phrases. Perhaps they could also treat you to a traditional meal from their country one evening when they prepare dinner – who could resist trying an authentic French Coq Au Vin or delicious Spanish paella?
4. Quality family time
Hiring an au pair also allows you to ensure that the time spent with your family is always quality time.
Having a live in au pair means having an extra pair of hands around the house to help out with light housework, tidying and keeping on top of the children’s laundry, and most mums wouldn’t say no to that! Being able to spend quality time with your children means less stress and more fun for everyone.
Some au pairs can also provide evening babysitting as part of their hours (if discussed before they start), so parents can have some quality grown up time too. If you don’t have family or friends who can babysit for you, it can be difficult to have a night out together, as well as expensive if you have to pay a babysitter.
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Have you had an au pair? What's your experience?
To find out more about whether an au pair is the solution for your family, get in touch with Nicole at Smart Au Pairs.