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Setting expectations for Au Pairs moving to big cities or small towns

Au pairs interview with families from all over the country before they place, and some au pairs believe they will only be happy in certain locations, like the better known cites in the U.S. But interviewing for location instead of for the right family could be a disaster for the au pair.
 
Of course families and local area representatives need to help set the right expectations between living in a big city or a small town in the U.S., but the au pair’s preferences between the two should not seal the deal or kill the deal. Whether a family lives in a small town or in the heart of a big city, it will not matter in the end. The right au pair and host family together, makes for a magical ride for both parties involved in the extraordinary childcare and cultural exchange. 
 
Differences between living in quiet towns and bustling cities in the U.S. include home size, cluster size, environmental differences, and dual working parents.  The main differences are space in the home, cluster sizes, environment, and host family careers.
 
1.Space in the home
Chasing the kids around a two-bedroom condo as a New York au pair, with a park around the block, is going to be a totally different experience than an au pair spreading out in a spacious five bedroom home, with an expansive backyard in Toledo, Ohio.
 
2. Larger au pair clusters or smaller clusters
There are more au pairs in larger cities therefore they often have more au pairs in the immediate area. Small towns generally have smaller au pair clusters and their social scene may consist of more local single adults, instead of other au pairs. Big cities will also have more access to more entertainment and small towns au pairs have to be more creative when coming up with activities to do with the kids or on down time.
 
3. Environmental differences
Sophistication, street performers, street tacos and racial diversity are some of the experiences available to an au pair in a large city. Au pairs in the country, however, are trading greener pastures for theaters and museums. Small town au pairs have wide-open spaces and their pick of rope swings, dirt roads, and bubbling streams, instead of stoplights and street performers.
 
4. Stay at home moms or dual working parents
Finally, because of the higher cost of living in bigger cities its often an economic necessity to have both parents in the work place in bigger cities, An au pair is more likely to work side by side with a stay at home mother in the country to help raise the kiddies, and city nannies may be home alone more often with the kids, while both parents are at work during the day.
 
The best advice potential au pairs get from seasoned au pairs is to match with host families they feel really good about, even if it means changing their expectations for a big city or small town. When au pairs place with a host family they truly get along with, they find the location is of lesser consequence. 
 
 
Sources
The New York Times Raising Kids in the City or the Suburbs
Childcare Aware What is the cost of Child Care in your state?
Sperlings Best Places Cost of Living Comparison: Toledo, Ohio – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Posted: 6/1/2017 8:52:55 AM by Summer Blackhurst
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