Candidates, Day to Day

Top 7 Unexpected Reasons to get an Au Pair

The typical reason for getting an au pair is “I go to work and need someone to care for my kids” and sometimes “I want my kids to learn a certain language”.  While these are great reasons that people get an au pair, there are some other benefits that people don’t always think about.

study

1. Your au pair can move with you.  One of the hardest things about moving is finding new childcare for your children, especially if you work odd hours.  We have several families who move a couple of times per year or have several houses that they split their time between.  They love that they can bring their au pair from location to location and have consistent, loving childcare.

2. Your au pair can travel with you.  If you go on lots of business trips or family vacations, you can bring your au pair with you so you don’t have to be away from your children or try to find childcare along the way.

3. Your au pair can tutor your children.  Many families get au pairs to teach their children a new language, but most of our au pairs have some college and a lot of au pairs have graduated with degrees in things like Economics, Physiotherapy, Law, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Political Science, Social Work,  Tourism Management, Environmental Science, Advertising Design, Medical Assisting, or Business Administration.  These au pairs have a lot of knowledge that they can pass on to your children.

4. Your au pair can coach your children in different skills and hobbies.  Many au pairs are experienced in different activities such as  violin, painting, tennis, dance, guitar, baking, piano, swimming, aerobics, and yoga.  Wouldn’t it be great to get a childcare provider and piano teacher in one?  Or maybe your au pair can teach you whole family about yoga or some other activity.  Most au pairs have many skills that they would love to share with your family.

swim baby

5. Your au pair can be a taxi driver.  Some families don’t need childcare as much as a taxi driver, especially if they have older children.  Whether it’s running kids to school, activities or appointments, au pairs can take over those responsibilities so you can focus on your responsibilities.

6. Your au pair can be the night nanny. Some families choose to have their au pair take the night shift so they can spend more quality time with the children during the day.

7. Your au pair can be a nurse.  Some of our au pairs are trained as nurses (Aliona, DeuRe) or speech therapists (Ju Yeon).  Others have experience with special needs children (Anna, Karen, and Thandeka).  If you have a child that has special needs, many au pairs are uniquely qualified to give your child the one-on-one attention that will help your child learn and grow.  Also, all au pairs can care for your children when they are sick so you don’t have to miss work.
What are some different reasons that you would like to have an au pair?

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Au Pair Advice, Day to Day

A letter to host families and au pairs: On-duty vs. Off-duty time

(This is an email that went out to host families and au pairs in 9/2012)

Dear Host Families and Au Pairs,

We at API hope that school is off to a good start and everyone is transitioning well.  There has been some questions about schedules with the start of school so your Regional Directors wanted to address those questions.

Karol from Costa Rica

As you know, the regulations state that au pairs can work up to 10 hours per day and 45 hours per week.  This includes the time that is necessary to get the child-related housework done.  Families need to give their au pair a schedule with a start and end time and au pairs need to be dressed and ready to go 5 minutes before that start time.  When it comes to the time that au pairs are suppose to be off, we know it is difficult to be home at an exact time every day, but it is important for families respect their au pair’s time off and try to be as consistent as possible.

When an au pair is on-duty, that time needs to be devoted to providing active childcare.  We expect our au pairs to be involved with the children whether that be playing with them, cleaning up after them or helping them with homework. If you want some ideas, follow us on Twitter @AuPairInt where we give craft ideas and advice.  TV, cell phones and computers should not be in use during on-duty time, unless for the benefit for the children

Marion from The Netherlands

and with the permission of the host family.

Host families, please recognize that your au pair will need some down time once her time is over.  Just like you need a break from your job, your au pair needs a chance to relax once you take over.

Shuo from China

Au Pairs, you need to remember that this is an exchange program and part of that is interacting with the   family like a member of the family.  You should pitch in at times, without being asked.  If everyone is cleaning, you should be cleaning too.  If your family is making dinner, you should ask if you can help or volunteer to watch the kids.  While you do need your alone time, you should not be disappearing into your room whenever you are not on duty.  On the flip side, your host family is going to want some time to just be a family.  Please be understanding of that.  The most important thing is to communicate with each other and come to an agreement that works for everyone.

Please take some time this month to look at your schedules, discuss the changes that might be happening with the start of school and discuss how best to manage them together.  Your area directors will also be addressing this with you.

Have a great day,

Lisa Kempton & Alexia Smith

Regional Directors

Au Pair International