Affordable childcare can be difficult to find these days. Between the cost of enrolling kids in daycare and paying increased fees for infants and kids under the age of two, it’s no wonder parents often stay home instead of paying for childcare.
Why an Au Pair = Affordable Childcare for Any Family
Depending on where you live and how many of your children need childcare, hosting an Au Pair can be one of the most affordable childcare solutions around. In addition to the cost of Au Pair childcare itself, Au Pairs can help parents save money in a multitude of ways.
Pay one price, no matter how many of your kids need childcare.
If your kids attend daycare, you may find yourself rearranging your schedule so you don’t need as much childcare. Especially when you need childcare for more than one child, it can get really expensive.
However, hosting an Au Pair costs the same amount no matter how many children you have. Au Pairs also offer more flexible scheduling, so you won’t find yourself limited to daycare hours. The combination of flexibility and fixed pricing makes it truly one of the most affordable childcare options around.
Childcare & weekend sitter, all in one.
Haven’t been on a date in ages? Can’t remember the last time you had the house to yourself? With an Au Pair, that all changes.
Au Pairs can work up to 45 hours per week (max of 10 hours per day). That means your Au Pair’s work hours are up to the two of you to agree upon. If you need a date night or a “me” day, you can easily arrange it with your Au Pair, at a time that works for both of you. Eliminating the need for a weekend sitter will certainly help you save money.
Stop using your sick days for your kids.
Haven’t taken a vacation in forever? You’re not alone. Many parents feel they can’t afford to use their PTO on something as frivolous as a vacation. In reality, they know they’ll need their PTO for sick days. If you find yourself foregoing vacations so you can stay home when your child comes down with a fever, you’ll be relieved to find out there’s another way.
Au Pairs will still care for your kids when they come down with something. And while an Au Pair is still susceptible to colds, your Au Pair can seriously lessen the number of sick days you have to take. (You can even use your sick days for yourself for a change!)
Take a stress-free family vacation (no, really!).
Speaking of vacations, it can be difficult to travel together as a family. Not only is travel itself stressful by nature, but parents often feel they can’t fully relax if they’re watching the kids the entire vacation. On the flip side, vacationing without your kids can lead to all kinds of parenting guilt—not exactly the relaxing time you had in mind.
Instead, take a vacation with your Au Pair! Not only does this give your Au Pair a great experience, but it offers you the flexibility to bring someone along who can help watch the kids. This way, you can have some much-needed relaxation time while trading off watching the kids. Plus, you can actually enjoy bringing your kids on vacation. Win-win!
Advance your career.
Not having to call in at the last minute because your child was sick has other benefits, too. You can use less unplanned PTO and plan ahead better at your job. You’ll also find yourself worrying less about leaving your kids with a childcare provider, giving you more capacity to excel at work.
Many parents attribute their career advancement with hosting an Au Pair. There are many factors that can contribute to this, but the biggest one is flexibility. Your Au Pair can work around your schedule, rather than you working around a daycare’s schedule.
So, not only is hosting an Au Pair one of the most affordable childcare solutions, but it can help you advance your career and earn more money, too.
Find a special needs provider without spending an arm and a leg.
If you have a child with special needs, you know how difficult it can be to find a childcare provider who can meet your child’s needs. It can be even harder to find someone qualified who also fits within your budget.
Many Au Pairs have special needs experience, have studied medicine to some degree, or have an interest in teaching special needs children. While they aren’t necessarily certified special needs care providers, they are willing to help and eager to learn. An Au Pair might just be the extra hand you need around the house.
Eliminate the need to hire a cleaning service.
When you get tired of coming home after a long day of work, only to tackle a long list of household chores, it’s easy to contemplate hiring a cleaning service. You may find yourself hiring someone currently, even if it’s just to do the deep cleaning you never have time to get to.
Au Pairs can’t do your deep cleaning, but they can do any childcare-related chores. For example, they can help the kids pick up after themselves. They can assist with the kids’ laundry, wash the dishes the kids use during the day, and vacuum the children’s play areas. This can be a huge help, and can help you find the time to do the deep cleaning yourself, eliminating the need to hire cleaning help.
Eat healthier and eat out less.
So many working parents feel like they don’t have time to cook dinner every night. There’s not enough time on the weekends to meal prep, and often McDonald’s, or that box of frozen chicken nuggets, seems like a lifesaver.
Because Au Pairs can take on many of the things you rush to do throughout the day, Host Parents often find themselves with more time to cook. They eat out less, meal prep more, and overall develop healthier habits. Eating out less saves a lot of money, making this more than just affordable childcare; it’s childcare that helps you spend less!
Stop paying for school lunch.
There’s nothing wrong with school lunch, especially if you find yourself with no time to pack lunches for your kids. However, it is an expense that you can cut out by hiring an Au Pair. Packing the kids’ lunches is something an Au Pair can easily assist with.
And who knows? Maybe your Au Pair will pack foods from her home country. Your kids might like your Au Pair’s home-packed lunch better than school lunch!
Get more for your money.
Daycare can be fun for kids, but at the end of the day, the daycare teachers don’t usually become lifelong friends with your family. They certainly don’t remind you where you left your keys, or that it’s trash day. And they don’t play with your family dog during their time off.
Au Pairs, on the other hand, do all of this and more. Some Au Pairs interact with the family more during their time off than others. But generally, Au Pairs love their Host Kids as much as their own family back home. Many families say their former Au Pairs stay in touch after they go home and are lifelong friends with both the kids and the parents.
And that’s a value you can’t find anywhere else.