Friday, June 22, 2012

Host an au pair - a new venture and weekend savings!

Child care for an attached family

Making a child care decision can be daunting.
While many believe attachment parenting is only for families with a SAHM, that isn't the case. The tenets of attachment parenting mean that working moms probably "need" to be more attached than not so that the time spent together IS meaningful. But making the child care decision can be a tough one.
As an attached mom and a selective-vaccinating family, regular day care just doesn't work for us. I don't like the potential issues with behaviors from other kids, illnesses (and what do you do when your kids are sick FROM daycare?) And, I like to know how AND decide exactly how my kids are being disciplined. 

    We shy away from bribery (when we can, at times... we do what we gotta do)
  • We don't like rewards for basic things (no M&Ms for going poop, no stickers for allowing us to comb hair), and
  • We don't like the food choices at most daycare/preschools

When we just had our daughter we went through a gamut of nannies. Some good, some not so good. But we went through a few and it just didn't seem to be the right fit. When we started calculating costs for child care for two kids, there was just no way we could pass up the cost and flexibility of hosting an au pair. For the past 18 months we've hosted from Germany. We've had ups and downs, but mostly ups and we get to continue with OUR parenting choices. Plus, we can build date nights into the 45 hours alloted for each week :) 

If you or someone you know is looking for flexible, live-in care, you may want to consider an au pair. Plus this weekend, there are some savings that I'm sure you'd be interested in. For around $8.00/hr (at 45 hours per week), you can have your own customized child care. Hosting isn't for everyone, it is a relationship you're building when you welcome someone into your home. As a host parent myself, I can definitely help families know what it is they're looking for when interviewing.

If hosting an au pair sounds like something that may fit your needs, please let me know!



lovepigeon said...

Hi I came across this entry on your blog as I am considering hosting an au pair to look after our daughter.

I am going back to work 3 days a week when she will be 8 1/2 months and can't face putting her in nursery - it just seems way too institutional for a baby and even with a ratio of 1 carer to 3 babies I feel this is not enough at this age. Unfortunately there are no childminders in my area and we cannot afford a nanny so only option seems to be au pair.

Everyone says you should not use au pair for care of under 2 but if I got someone with past experience of looking after babies and I got someone slightly older (20+) then do you think this could work ok?

I work only 5 minute walk from where we live so could be home quickly if any problems + could come home for lunch and so she would be alone with baby from 9:00am till 4:00pm three days a week.

I was thinking I could have activities arranged for every day she is with the baby (eg go to the local play and stay in the morning then take baby for walk in park in the afternoon) so the day is broken up for them.

I would value any advice you have / your experience. We live in the UK.

Amanda McMahon said...

Our first au pair came when my son was only 5 months old - you need to thoroughly interview your candidates. Find someone with experience in both IN HOME and in an environment where they are used to following instructions.

You can likely also do a nanny cam if you really are worried. You should disclose this.

If you have agencies, use one to help you in case something falls through. Good luck!