An au pair is a domestic assistant from a foreign country working for, and living as part of, a host family. Most of the time an au pair will do childcare and take on some housework responsibility for only a fraction of a price. Alot of families have resulted to getting au pairs due to financial decisions because it’s cheaper to hire an au pair than a regular nanny. Even though it seems cheaper to the parents, there are some things to consider. An au pair is under contract for only one year, and because of that most parents don’t realize the attachment issues that affect the children each time they switch au pairs. Children need consistency and security knowing that they can trust you and know that you will be consistent with them. Children do not need instability as far as caregiving.
Most au pairs are overworked and as a result, end up despising their career. As a parent, you don’t want an unhappy caregiver taking care of your children.
I just had a conversation with an au pair who shared her experience with me, she just started 2.5 months ago and she is seems to be counting down to the time her contract will be over, this is not a good sign. She complained that she feels like she is a mother, father, sister, brother, taxi driver and employee. She expressed her intial confusion of when she first started, she was bombarded with all sorts of responsibilities as far as laundry, tidying up the children’s room, picking up and dropping off the children to and fro various activities and for the money she is getting she has now realized this was NOT a good deal. When au pairs get here and begin to mingle with other nannies and compare the prices
As parents, keep in mind that au pairs don’t really have experience as nannies and so it takes time to get used the responsibilities.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some awesome au pairs out there who are willing to adjust and rise to the occasion.
As a parent wanting to hire an au pair, take seriously into consideration the attachment issues your child might have.
My personal recommendation is to try and get an au pair for much older children, so as to eliminate the attachment issues.
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