Is an Au Pair Right for You? Debunking the Myths Surrounding Live-in Child Care

Guest Post by Sarah Kelly from Adanac Au Pair    Is an Au Pair Right for You? How much does an Au Pair Cost in Ontario

A few years ago, I decided to leave everything I knew in Canada to become an Au Pair in France. What’s an Au Pair, you ask? An Au Pair is a live-in child care provider, typically from abroad, who wants to fully immerse in another culture. They want to gain child care experience, explore another country as more than just a tourist, and connect deeply with a family–even if they are strangers at first. The experience was a win-win. The family I lived with had two working parents and three children under the age of 10. The parents were able to further their careers and attend yoga classes, drum lessons, and anything else their hearts fancied. They had peace of mind knowing that a “big sister” figure was home caring for their kids.Is an Au Pair Right for You? How much does an Au Pair Cost in ontario

In France, I helped create a better work-life balance for the family and they shared their home and culture with me. On returning to Canada, I created Adanac Au Pair, a high standard placement agency, to bring that same reciprocal experience to Canadian families. We match Au Pairs with Canadian families to combat the lack of affordable live-in child care. Instead of scrambling to find a suitable solution, families can capitalize on a resource they already have–their spare bedroom. Just as Uber and AirBnb capitalize on people’s cars or vacant living space, families can offer their spare bedroom to an Au Pair and bring child care into their home.

Is an Au Pair Right for You? How much does an Au Pair Cost in Ontario

There’s a perception that live-in child care is inaccessible to working families. Today, we are going to debunk this and other myths so you can see the many benefits of having an Au Pair! How much does an Au Pair Cost in ontario

Live-in child care is only for the rich. How much does an Au Pair Cost in Ontario

With an Au Pair, families pay for one child care provider instead of paying per child. The cost of an Au Pair is comparable to the cost of daycare for two children. If you have more than two children, an Au Pair becomes an even more beneficial option. Additionally, you do not need to pay for a “spot” in daycare on days you do not require care. Au Pairs are paid minimum wage, with room and board deduction, and work around your schedule. For example, when you jet off on a winter vacation to the Dominican Republic, your Au Pair can use this time to explore other Canadian cities.Is an Au Pair Right for You? How much does an Au Pair Cost in ontario

Life’s too busy; I don’t have time to care for another person.

While Au Pairs act like a “big sibling” to your kids, they are adults and do not require parenting. As part of living in, a natural relationship develops and an Au Pair will become a unique part of your family. They may want to be invited to Grandma’s birthday party, Thanksgiving dinner or participate in other family traditions. But they also want to build their own community where they are placed. On days off, an Au Pair may want to explore Toronto with her friends from volleyball. She might attend choir practice at the local church. Or give French tutoring lessons. The wonderful thing is that just like your kids, each Au Pair is different! Since an Au Pair lives with you, their hours are flexible. This set-up is ideal for families with busy schedules, travel obligations, or shift work.

What about culture shock?

The best part about having an Au Pair in your home is the daily cultural interaction. Your children will learn all about another culture from your Au Pair–they could even learn a new language! The relationship goes both ways. They can share schnitzel recipes with you while you brag that Ryan Gosling is Canadian. Your Au Pair may experience culture shock when they arrive in Canada or at some point during their stay. Creating a warm, caring relationship with your Au Pair will help them navigate these sometimes difficult times. All Au Pairs speak English, are 18-30 years old and are ready to embrace Canadian culture.Is an Au Pair Right for You? How much does an Au Pair Cost in ontario

Isn’t it weird having a stranger live in your home?

Before being selected by a host family, Au Pairs go through an extensive screening process including medical and police checks, references and an extensive in-person interview. They come to Canada to provide child care, to experience the Canadian way of life, and to bring enthusiastic energy into your home. By living together, families build trusting and meaningful relationships with their Au Pair. These relationships are often deeper than those with traditional child care providers and can last a lifetime.  Au Pairs can come up lots of fun and unique ways to connect with your children to build great friendships.

It’s time to use that spare bedroom in your home to find dependable and affordable live-in child care. Achieve the work-life balance you daydream about with an Au Pair! For more information on Au Pair childcare you can visit Adanac Au Pair and ask Sarah all your questions.

Photo credits: Elana Bebjak Photography.

This post was brought to you by Adanac Au Pair.  All opinions are strictly my own.

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