Yes, it’s a real thing. There are nannies for hire who will truly love your kids as much as you do.
That fact is surprising enough on its own. But even more surprising…?
Finding one of these nannies isn’t as difficult as it sounds.
They’re called “Au Pairs.” An Au Pair is very similar to a live-in nanny, but they’re also so much more.
You can find a nanny who’s almost guaranteed to develop a deep, lasting bond with your children. Keep reading to find out how!
How Can I Be Sure an Au Pair Will Love My Kids?
Many families say their nannys’ love has been apparent in interacting with their kids. Nannies can be a fantastic childcare solution for many families.
However, the dynamic between a family and Au Pair is much different than with a nanny. This is largely because Au Pairs:
- Live with their Host Families
- Intend to become a real member of the family
- Are motivated by a love of children and desire to experience U.S. culture
- Do not have conflicting duties and responsibilities in the local area
Families are sometimes hard-pressed to find a nanny who can meet their demanding schedules, much less become a real member of the family. Non-live-in nannies can get stuck in traffic, have a family emergency, or be unable to come to work on a snow day.
Au Pairs can also request sick days or be called away for family emergencies, such as a death in the family. However, this happens less often with Au Pairs, because they live in the family’s home. (It’s hard to be late for work when you live there!)
But the aspect that makes the biggest difference is the motivation Au Pairs have for joining the program.
When Au Pairs are motivated by a love of childcare and cultural exchange, and sign up for a program that gives them exactly that, it’s easy to foster real love between the Au Pair and Host Family.
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How are Au Pairs Different from a Regular Nanny for Hire?
Unlike nannies, Au Pairs are not certified or licensed to provide childcare. So if you need a certified professional, you might want to look into nanny cost vs daycare.
Though Au Pairs are not certified childcare providers, most Au Pairs come with extensive childcare experience. Some are even experienced in the following areas:
- Daycare center/ preschool
- Volunteering at an orphanage
- Language tutoring
- Infant & toddler care
- Tending special needs children
- Medical work or pursuing medical degree
The above are common interests among our Au Pair candidates. Their motivations for joining the program tend to revolve around children and cultural exposure. Thus, Au Pairs often exhibit a level of care and dedication you’d be hard-pressed to find in a nanny.
What Au Pairs can and can’t do.
Because Au Pairs are exchange visitors, they are treated (and interact) as family members.
Even after Au Pairs return home, they stay in touch. Whenever possible, parents say they visit one another and chat on Skype.
Parents often say they have adopted an “international family” through the program. The Au Pair’s parents can even become like another set of grandparents.
A family who’s hired nannies in the past may be accustomed to an employer-employee dynamic. However, most Au Pairs don’t join this program to be treated as an employee.
Additionally, Au Pairs must follow specific requirements that are quite different from nanny care.
Many of these requirements help boost the experience of the Host Family, as well. When Au Pairs are happy, healthy, and feel like part of your family, the quality of the experience cannot be overstated.
The Au Pair program is an exchange visitor program under the J-1 Visa, and must follow federally-mandated regulations:
- Au Pairs are able to stay in the U.S. for up to two years;
- Working hours cannot exceed 45 hours/ week or 10 hours/ day;
- Host Families cover the Au Pair’s living expenses, including housing, food, phone bill, $500 in tuition, basic amenities, etc.;
- Housekeeping cannot be required of an Au Pair, except when related to childcare (e.g., helping with kids’ laundry);
- Unless you live in Massachusetts, Au Pairs are paid based on a minimum stipend rather than hourly pay;
- Au Pairs must obtain at least 6 credit hours of education at an accredited university during their year.
There’s more that goes into the program, but this gives you a basic idea of the regulations and what Au Pairs can and can’t do.
Nanny Care Providers Who Connect As Family Members
Au Pairs are the next best thing to family. Now that you’ve learned the difference between Au Pair and nanny care, you can register on our site for free and start searching for your dream Au Pair!
(You will not be charged for anything until you finalize a match with an Au Pair. Submit your profile today and start searching for free!)
Our families agree… Au Pair child care is the best! Register for free today and start browsing Au Pair profiles.
“After years of stress and frustration, and many different nannies, we decided to look for an au pair. When Veronika arrived on January 2, 2016 our lives were forever changed. We had no idea that a real life Mary Poppins had just arrived!”
“I can honestly say that bringing her to live with us as our au pair has been the best decision we could possibly have made. She has afforded us so many priceless “intangibles” during her time here that I can’t begin to quantify her contributions to our family.”