It's an axiom - if you have children, you will look for childcare options sooner or later. You're lucky if you have sweet grandparents who are willing to spend each and every minute with their grandkids. But what if you have no one to help you take care of the kids when you're at work, going to the gym or simply tired? What if you're a single parent who needs flexible solutions? Here comes the Au Pair program - a perfect combination of affordable childcare with cultural exchange.
Imagine that your family suddenly extended and now your kids have a big sis or a big bro to spend time with. Imagine also that this person is 100% motivated to do exactly this job. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Well, don't think it is a fantasy because it's not. You can have all this and even more by hiring an Au Pair - a young person who would stay with you and help with your kids. If you need more information - below are 7 reasons why you should consider hiring an Au Pair. Let's start with…
1. ...affordable help
Nanny, kindergarten, babysitter, daycare - all these options are great, but in numerous countries, they are not very budget. For many families, it's not a choice but rather a struggle. On the other hand, hosting an Au Pair is the most affordable alternative any family can imagine. Depending on the country, having an Au Pair at your house may cost
you as less as 360 USD per month. Not too expensive for personalized one-to-one childcare, right?
2. Flexible care
What makes an Au Pair so excellent is the complete flexibility and response to individual needs. While daycare is great, it has a specific time when you can leave your children there. They won't adjust to your schedule and won't necessarily pay all attention to your child's needs as they have other kids too. While an Au Pair doesn't have other kids to care about, she/he will know everything about your kid(s) and look after them exactly when you need it. Another significant benefit - the Au Pair lives in your house
, so she/he is never late.
3. New culture
Were you always a type of family who wants to discover new cultures? With an Au Pair as your family member, you can do it without even leaving your house! As we mentioned, the Au Pair program combines childcare and cultural exchange, which means that your Au Pair will learn something new about your culture and share her/his. Think about all the aspects like cuisine, music, social life, games, habits. You can debate about differences and look for similarities, share traditional recipes and book recommendations, discuss religion and politics. Besides all that, it gives your kids a chance to grow open-minded and to learn how to love people for who they are rather than for stereotypical images.
4. Help with light housework
It's important to remember that an Au Pair is not a maid and not a babysitter. Her or his role is so much more than that! However, one of the Au Pair duties
is to keep the kid's room and clothes clean, to cook them simple meals, and to help them with personal hygiene. It may seem easy, but being a parent takes all your free time, and having someone who can take at least some of your daily tasks makes a huge difference.
How long does it take to become a friend with someone? A year, a month, or a long conversation? You can figure it out while hosting an Au Pair. Having a person who stays with you from a couple of months to a couple of years will inevitably create a close relationship that makes them feel like a family member. An Au Pair establishes a special bond with children and becomes a friend to parents. The nice part is that this friendship usually lasts for years, even after the Au Pair left. You can visit each other or meet somewhere for vacation, you can call and have dinners together via Skype.
6. New language
We all know what they say - if you wish to learn a new language, surround yourself with it. If you want your kids to learn a specific one, there is hardly a better way to teach them than hosting an Au Pair. Instead of trying to memorize 10 new words while reading the book, your kid can ask the Au Pair, "how do you call it in your language?" Plus, it's well known that things are much easier remembered in a certain context.
It will be mutually beneficial - an Au Pair can teach her/his language and learn yours.
7. Free time
It doesn't matter if you're a newly married couple, 15 years together or a single parent - everybody needs some time for themselves! And hiring an Au Pair will finally let you have it. Occasionally, you can stay late at work without worrying, you can go to the gym in the morning or to the spa in the evening knowing that a caring and loving person will take care of your child(ren). Just remember to discuss the schedule and your plans with the Au Pair, so it doesn't interfere with her/his plans.
If, after this post, you feel an urgent need to host an Au Pair, you need to check if you can actually do it. Read the general requirements for the Host Families
and find out about the program regulations in your country
Do you have any questions? Or maybe you have more reasons to add to our list? Share in the comment section!
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