Is the Au Pair Program Right for Me?

Before you take the quiz, here is a short list of why thousands of families are using the Au Pair program to meet their childcare needs:

  • Flexible, live-in childcare, as many people have schedules that change week to week.
  • Affordable childcare. The Au Pair is paid the same, regardless of the number of children living in the home. The average yearly cost is approximately $19,000/ family/year, vs. approximately $40,000/family/year for a nanny in the Tri-State area.
  • Laundry. The Au Pairs wash, fold and put away all of the children’s laundry. (This alone is worth the $195.75 weekly stipend, in my opinion!)
  • All the other childcare-related tasks like taxi-ing to school and activities, meal prep and clean up, picking up toys and organizing sports equipment can be covered by the Au Pair.
  • Children are exposed to someone coming from a completely different background and different first language. This has a broadening effect on their childhood experience that they would probably not have without the Au Pair program.
  • Long term, many host families have formed a real bond with their Au Pair and they keep in touch long after the experience is over. There have been many families intimately involved in international wedding plans.

But IS the Au Pair program right for you? The truth is, like most choices, the answer depends on many different facets.

You can use the questions in the quiz below to help you weigh some of the risks, responsibilities, and rewards in regards to your family:

  1. Which is more important to me? a) the socialization of my child with others their age or  b) my child getting one-on-one attention
  2. How much flexibility do I need? a) my schedule is the same day after day, week after week and/or it is during traditional working hours or  b) My schedule is different from one week to the next and/or I need childcare only a couple of hours in the morning and several hours in the evening every day
  3. How many hours a week do I need childcare at home? a) I have a long commute and work a long day and I want the same person covering child care all day for me or b)  I work from home and/ or I have a flexible enough schedule that I can make sure to stay within the Dep’t of State regulations of using my Au Pair no more than 10 hours in a day and no more than 45 hours in a week
  4. Do I need any help with childcare related tasks such as laundry, driving or helping with homework?  a) Not really- I have it covered or  b) Yes! I could really use the help!
  5. How soon do I need childcare?  a) I have plenty of time to figure it out or  b) I will need childcare in the next couple of months or less.
  6. How interested am I in cultural exchange?  a) I could take it or leave it or  b) I love exposing my children to people of different cultures.
  7. How much time will I be willing to invest in a relationship with your child’s caregiver?  a) I am spread too thin as it is. I do not have time to invest in another person right now or  b) I would be willing to nurture a relationship with my child’s caregiver if I thought it would benefit our family
  8. If my caregiver was sick, injured or hospitalized,  a) I have no back-up childcare and could lose money and/or my employment as a result or  b) I have family and friends who could provide interim childcare while my regular caregiver recovered.

The scoring is pretty easy- if you scored mostly “a”s, our local preschools will likely meet your needs best.

If you scored a mix, you probably need a babysitter or nanny, especially if you do not think you can follow the hours requirements set by the Department of State.

If you scored mostly “b”s, you should click “register” at my home page (click on the link below) and start your journey to find your next Au Pair!

For more information about the contract host families and au pairs exchange, please read:

Friday, 26 January 2018 6:56 PM


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