Affordable help for parents of special needs children is hard to find. And it’s a too-often overlooked need.
Parents of special needs children need help, possibly more than most people understand. My years as a special educator and friend to many parents of children with special needs have taught me humility. Parents of children with special needs deserve a break! But all too often, the help parents need is far too expensive.
The Au Pair Program can provide much-needed affordable help for parents of special needs children. Hiring an Au Pair might sound expensive, but parents are often pleasantly surprised to find out how affordable it is.
As a mom of six “average” children, I can honestly say I could use some help! I imagine just one child with developmental or emotional concerns would add to any parent’s load. Some families are blessed with more than one child with special needs.
Children with special needs often require more attention or assistance to complete everyday tasks. This takes time and attention (plus a whole lot of patience), resources that are likely in short supply for many parents these days. An Au Pair is a creative solution more and more families are discovering.
Many Au Pairs already have special needs experience or are looking to go into special needs education. Not only do Au Pairs offer affordable help for parents of special needs children, but they are loving childcare providers who want a lifelong connection with your kids.
What kind of help can Au Pairs provide your special needs child?
Kids with and without special needs require help with all kinds of tasks. Depending on the child’s age and ability, and parents’ expectations, an Au Pair from Go Au Pair can help.
Routine for special needs children
Young children, especially those with special needs, desire routine. Au Pairs can provide the structure which allows your child to be successful.
Need help getting the basics done in the morning or before bed? Parents of special needs children often need help at peak times when their children may need more hands-on assistance to bathe, brush teeth and hair, or manage clothing.
When the routine changes or your child is struggling emotionally, your Au Pair is there. Au Pairs can work flexible hours and stay home when parents need to go to work. This gives security and peace of mind to parents of special needs children.
Repetition for special needs children
In addition to structure, special needs kids often need repetition. Au Pairs are happy to practice their English skills by speaking to your children. As a matter of fact, your special needs child may find he or she makes a great teacher.
While we are talking about help for parents of special needs children, let’s not forget school. Academics is an area where children with special needs require more time and attention than some parents have at their disposal.
Au Pairs can provide repetitive practice for daily tasks like reading and math. Indeed, most Au Pairs love this type of activity! It makes them feel like a useful, contributing member of your family.
Emotional Support for parents and their special needs children
Speaking of Host Families, Au Pairs provide help and support to both parents and their children with special needs. Parents, especially single parents, can be pulled in many directions and just stretched too thin.
One Host Mom, Sara, nominated her Au Pair, Damaris, for the help she provided to her four young children with special needs. Not only does Damaris provide day-to-day help with supervising the kids, she “celebrates with the kids on their little victories and makes them feel special all the time.”
Life with kids isn’t always perfect, even on the best of days. But Au Pairs like Damaris don’t throw in the towel when things get tough. Instead, they are willing to learn and want to know what to do better next time.
Parents of children with special needs could really use more of that level of support, patience, and understanding.
Play for special needs children
Play is important for all kids. Children with special needs sometimes require more support to even learn how to play. Parents are often too tired or busy to play.
Au Pairs love to play with the children in their care! Special needs or not, play is vital to a child’s development. Your children will adore their time spent playing with their Au Pair.
Whether it be sports, indoor play or a new adventure, Au Pairs make great playmates to their host children. Au Pairs can even drive your kids to their after school sports events, music lessons, or playdates.
Consistency for special needs children and families
Parents of special needs children want consistency. They need to know that the same person will care for their child each day. They want that person to know and love their child like a family member. That is not always possible in other settings.
Special needs children love the consistency of knowing their Au Pair will be there when they get up and when they get home from school. Au Pairs are members of the parenting team, maintaining expectations and consequences for their children. Consistent support can result in increased independence for all kids.
The Au Pair Program places an Au Pair in your home for 12 months. Special needs children will have plenty of time to bond with their Au Pair, and families may even choose to extend for 6, 9, or 12 months. After that, parents find involving their children in the selection process very helpful.
Is this really affordable help?
In 33 of 50 U.S. states, childcare costs more than a year of in-state college tuition. Is yours one of them? With an election year looming, childcare costs have gotten some air time lately. How much are you paying and what are you getting in return?
Surprisingly, Au Pair childcare is more affordable than most families realize. Compared to daycare or a private nanny, it is very reasonable. The benefits of flexibility, language exposure, and live-in help make it even more affordable.
Au Pairs can work up to 45 hours per week. At an average of $8.15 per hour, that’s quite affordable! Host Families choose the country and language of their Au Pairs. Expose your children to the same language or many world languages.
Are you convinced? Go Au Pair has dedicated representatives in nearly 80 U.S. cities waiting to work with you. Consider this exciting and dynamic cultural exchange program as an affordable solution to your childcare needs. Register today, expand your world tomorrow.