Written by: Anja Phillips
1. (Post) COVID-19 dilemma
Stay-at-home orders might be lifted but many parents can’t work without childcare. The shortage of childcare options is magnified by more limited spots in daycare venues and ambiguities over whether schools will open (or not) in the fall. Add to that the hundreds of summer camps canceled and the stress level for you as parents continues to rise. How can you go back to work (or even work from home) if you have no one to take care of your children? Au Pairs can alleviate that stress. They become part of your family and take care of your kids in your own home. Having affordable, live-in childcare maximizes the ability to social distance.
How many times have you had a last-minute office crisis and needed to stay longer, and your spouse is out-of-town? Who will pick up the kids from soccer practice or ballet? With an Au Pair, you have another flexible parenting partner who can help fill in the gaps.
When was the last time you were out on a date night (even before COVID-19)? It is usually such a hassle to pick a night that works, to find a babysitter … and by the time you make it out of the house, you’ve already spent a fair amount of money and time before your date even starts! With a live-in Au Pair, you can easily schedule weekly date nights (or just some peace and quiet) while the kids are safely cared for by someone you trust.
Our Au Pairs can provide up to 45 hours of live-in childcare per week (up to 10 hours per day) on a schedule you create within 5 1/2 days of the week, including evenings and/or weekends. Au Pairs can also care for your children when they are sick, out of school (think school closures, snow days), and during school vacations.
Au Pairs can help with a variety of daily tasks including driving children to school or activities, helping with homework, laundry, preparing meals or entertaining them with cultural activities. Families with busy schedules love hosting Au Pairs!
CHI Au Pairs love children. Because an Au Pair lives with you as a member of your family, your relationship with him or her develops quickly. Mutual trust develops much faster than with a daycare provider or live-out nanny.
After an initial period of adjustment, our host parents describe feeling a deep sense of comfort knowing their children are cared for by someone they know and respect. Your Au Pair will become a true member of the family for a year or 2 – often times for life. A big sister or brother, a best friend, a teacher.
4. Cultural exchange
Au Pairs are excited to share their cultural heritage with their host families. They share their language and culture and truly immerse themselves in family life and their role of taking care of the children. Your children will learn words in your Au Pair’s native tongue as well as songs and games from their home country.
Au Pairs also help children gain a renewed appreciation for their own environment and a desire to see more of the world.
Au Pairs are an affordable childcare option and the price is the same for 1 or more children & comes to about $370 per week – per FAMILY, not per child! Think about it. If you have 2 or more children, it is less expensive than paying for 2 kids in preschool or daycare!
It can be even less if you match with an in-country Au Pair (rematch or extension).
CHI has no application fee, good discounts (currently $700!) throughout the year, and flexible payment plans for families. Visit CHI’s website www.chinet.org/au-pair for all the latest promotions and discounts.
AND … CHI Au pair also pays a $300 referral bonus when your referred family matches with an Au Pair! So, make sure to share this article with your friends!
6. CHI as your Au Pair organization
Since 1980, Cultural Homestay International (CHI) has been developing international cultural exchange programs with the mission that the best way to promote trust and understanding among nations is to build a more prosperous, peaceful world.
CHI is able to fly Au Pairs directly to host families on the approximate date selected by the host family to accommodate their needs and schedule. The CHI Au Pair orientation is offered online to maximize social distancing!
At CHI, host families or Au Pairs are not just a number! CHI’s smaller size allows more hands-on support and guidance to families and Au pairs. And CHI has some awesome local coordinators who are there to help and support host families and Au Pairs in any way they can.
And last but not least, the Au Pair program is government-regulated, meaning there are guidelines in place designed to protect both families and Au Pairs during the exchange year. It also means that Au Pairs travel to the U.S. on a legal J-1 visa, allowing them to stay in the country (and with your family) for up to two years.
Truthfully, there are countless benefits to becoming a host family.
If you’re looking for childcare to suit your needs, consider welcoming an Au Pair into your home and your heart.
For more information about hosting an Au Pair visit: chinet.org/au-pair