Most parents realize hosting an au pair is a great alternative to daycare or hiring a full-time nanny. But what is less obvious are all the unexpected benefits au teams offer their host families!
An au pair is a foreign exchange student who lives and works with your family while caring for your children. Many au pairs become close friends with their host families.
An au pair host family requirements include providing live-in childcare and helping with household tasks like laundry, meal prep, and tidying kids' areas. This frees up time for parents to spend quality time with their children and can save money over hiring a babysitter or buying last-minute takeout dinners.
Au pairs can work up to 45 hours a week on a schedule you create together. This means that date nights, gym classes, and even travel become easier to schedule with an extra set of hands at home. Many host families keep in touch with their au pairs and plan visits in the U.S. and overseas.
Cultural exchange is at the heart of an au pair's program, and host families are encouraged to include their au pairs in family holidays and activities. Au pairs often share recipes, songs and traditions from their home countries with their hosts. This might pique your children's interest and inspire them to discover more about the globe.
Lastly, an au pair is eligible for the weekly stipend and room and board required by the Department of State but may be paid higher than this minimum if host families agree. Families are also responsible for their au pairs participating in the educational component. They can offer additional financial incentives like Uber/Lyft credits, a car, or cover ticket costs for public transportation so they can attend classes on weekends or after school.
Peace of Mind
Unlike the uncertainty of daycare and the flexibility of nannies, au pairs are dedicated to your family. They live with you and work within your family's specified schedule, ensuring that they are always available for sick days, snow days, or life's little surprises.
This stability can help children feel secure and loved in unpredictable or stressful situations. Additionally, au pairs typically have a strong bond with their host families and can make the transition to their new country less daunting for kids.
A large part of the au pair experience is cultural exchange, and au pairs come from all over the world. They can introduce your children to other languages, cultures, and customs. Additionally, many au couples share recipes and songs with their hosts that can become treasured family traditions.
When choosing a program, finding a well-established and reputable agency is important. If you're interested in hosting an au pair, review the specific requirements for Host Families and register today. AuPairWorld connects au pairs and host families nationwide through a safe, trustworthy, and convenient online platform. It's free to use, and our staff is ready to assist with any questions about the au pair process. Learn more about our unique approach to au pair recruitment and fostering lasting relationships.
Time for You
When you host an au pair, you bring in a new team member to help manage the daily tasks that can add up. Whether it's dropping the kids off at school or daycare in the morning, handling scheduling for extracurricular activities, running to get groceries or cleaning supplies, picking up your child from soccer practice, making lunches or dinners or keeping the children occupied and entertained at home. At the same time you work or run errands, an au pair can save you time by helping with these tasks.
Furthermore, an au pair is a live-in caregiver who will be present when you require them. This starkly contrasts most daycare choices, which demand you to adhere to their timetable.
Au pairs also assist with home tasks such as laundry, meal preparation, and keeping the children's surroundings neat. They also bring much information from their nations, which will benefit your children. They could teach your children another language or share foods, songs, and holiday customs from their native country.
In addition to the benefits listed above, many host families form ties with their au pair that extend beyond childcare. This bond often lasts a lifetime and can be meaningful for both parties. It's not unusual for au pairs to visit their host family's country of origin years after the program ends, rekindling old friendships and creating wonderful memories.
Time for Your Family
The most obvious benefit of hosting an au pair is time. A reliable au pair provides live-in childcare on a schedule you create that fits your family's needs. This means fewer trips to drop off kids at daycare and less time spent dealing with sick children (which could ultimately cost you more money in the long run).
Au pairs can also perform light housework directly related to childcare, such as laundry, food prep, and keeping the children's rooms tidy. This frees up some of your time to focus on other important things — like work, spending quality time with the kids, and enjoying life.
As a bonus, an au pair is affordable and offers your family cultural exchange. Many au pairs come from countries worldwide and bring language, music, and traditions that can expand your children's knowledge of the world daily.
While the benefits of hosting an au pair are numerous, it is important to remember that not all au pairs are created equal. Unfortunately, some families abuse the program and exploit au pairs for their gain. This has resulted in lawsuits, nonprofit investigations, and news reports that paint a picture of an au pair experience that is anything but warm and fuzzy.