Selecting childcare can be a challenging task on which many parents
spend hours researching available alternatives and seeking recommendations from
family and friends. There are several options to choose from and many aspects
to consider. Perhaps the most misunderstood form of childcare, the au pair
program, is actually quite straightforward and provides the flexibility and
affordability that many parents are looking for.- in todays world.
What is an au pair? The translation of "au pair" is "on par" or equal, based on the idea that an au pair becomes like a member of the family. Au pairs are young adults, ranging in age from 18 to 26, that arrive in the United States legally, on a J-1 Cultural Exchange Visa. They typically come for one year, but can extend their stay for up to two years. Au pairs hope to acquire a better understanding of the cultural aspects of American life while living with an American family and caring for their children. All au pairs with Cultural Care Au Pair get certified in CPR and First Aid and are covered by Aetna health insurance for their entire stay in the USA.
Au Pairs are very affordable - The average weekly cost is approx. $360, or around $8 per hour for up to 45 hours of childcare coverage - regardless of the number of children in a family. Au pair host families come from all walks of life, with dual working parents, stay at home mums who need an extra pair of hands, single parents – both mums and dads, and same sex parents, and all have a wide range of occupations with both traditional and non-traditional work schedules.
Au Pairs are very flexible - Au pairs are carefully
screened and understand that flexibility and working up to 45 hours per week to
a max. of 10 hours per day is a requirement of the program. Parents
customize au pair childcare according to their schedule and, unlike a nanny or
daycare center whose service is typically based on a set schedule, an au pair
works when parents need them most and can offer split shifts to accommodate
needs e.g. with children who are at school or pre-school, the au pair is around
for the morning rush and then can come back ‘on duty’ when the kids need
picking up at midday or in the afternoon when school ends, and can work through
to the end of day, coping with the dinner and bed time routine.
Au Pairs help in the home as well as provide childcare - Unlike daycare or a babysitter, an au pair can perform all light household duties associated with children, so they can clean a playroom, prepare and clean up after meals, do children's laundry, make the children's beds and organize their toys and closets. As a member of the family they are also an extra pairs of hands in family life! In addition to childcare and help around the house, having an au pair also enriches a child's playtime through exposure to another language and culture and opens their eyes to a bigger and more diverse world.
Au Pairs are carefully screened - The au pair program is highly regulated by the Department of State and requires that all candidates have significant childcare experience and complete a thorough application, including background checks. During the screening process, the potential candidate is personally interviewed, tested on English competency, takes a personality profile survey, submits a criminal background check and provides personal and professional references.
Au pairs and Host Families get local support - Au
pair programs, like Cultural Care Au Pair, provide ongoing personalized support
throughout the year. Local childcare coordinators maintain monthly contact with
host families and provide a social outlet for the au pairs in the area by
hosting monthly meetings. A member of the staff is available 24 hours per day,
seven days a week and Cultural Care has an active on-line community that
provides answers and advice from other host families, local coordinators and
Au pairs can help your children with language learning - Studies have shown that exposing children to a second language enhances their language and cognitive development. With an au pair, parents can have a caregiver who speaks English and is also willing to teach their native language and share their culture with the family. Having an au pair can also reinforce a child's language learning at school.
Au Pairs pen up your children’s world - hosting an au pair is an opportunity to expose children to another country’s art, music, cuisine, language and culture letting them learn first hand that there are children just like them growing up across the globe!
As a local Child Care Consultant, I help families considering an au pair to help with their live-in childcare/nanny needs. I work across the whole of the USA and guide families through the process of choosing and welcoming an au pair into their home.
Get More Information about our Cultural Care Au Pair January savings! Open to New families registering between January 10, 2014 to January 14, 2014
For more information:
Local Childcare Consultant
Cultural Care Au Pair
Office Message Center: 818 646 8145
Cell: 310 908 3975