When you have your child and is ready to return to work, it is then you recognize the great responsibility in having to find a child care service. You will need a service that is safe, looks after the health of your child, and as much as is possible, provide some stimulation to aid his development. There are different child care services and the au pair may just be right one for your family situation.
What is an au Pair Service?
Au pair is a child care service that employs young people usually between the ages of 18 and 26 to take care of children. You will find au pairs by paying a fee to an agency that does the kind of service to match your family with the right person. Government regulations require that au pairs do 32 hours of training in child care. Over 200 hours more training in infant care are needed if the person will be looking after babies below two years. The au pair will also need to show evidence of relevant training if she is going to be placed with a child with special needs.
How Does the au Pair Service Work?
Au pairs can only work a maximum of 45 hours for the week and no more than 10 hours in one day. Along with a weekly stipend, you will be required to provide all the amenities for the worker to live comfortably. This includes a private bedroom with bed and closet, bathroom and access to electricity. Her conditions of work must also include opportunities for further education, paid vacation leave and days off. The work of the au pair is limited to taking care of the children only and light cleaning and laundry relating to them.
Is the au Pair Right for You?
Consider the au pair a good option because your child may be exposed to different cultures. These workers often come from a different country or region. Your child may therefore learn a different language or exposed to other foods. One of the big pluses of the au pair service is the flexibility with which parents can use them. Parents with irregular work schedules, or who travel very often find they can change their programs with the au pair more than they can with a nanny service. They take the kids to school and pick them up after. The au pair is like a sister or another member of the family. The service is also good for parents who have more than one child as it is less expensive than it would cost in a daycare facility. One of the biggest benefits for you is that you avoid costly fees for picking up late that exist in a day care.
What should you take into consideration?
You need to be mindful that an au pair service only has a limited period and therefore any attachment between kids and worker will be broken. Au pairs are allowed to work a period of one year in a family, with up to nine months extension. Consider also that a stranger will be sharing your living space. You must be able to approach this with an open mind. Determine if you are able to trust her driving your kids to school and other places. Be mindful also that this service option is limited to caring for the children and does not extend to cleaning for other members of the household. You may therefore need to get another service to take care of other duties to be performed. You will also need to put a plan in place in the event the worker gets sick.
The au pair service can be beneficial to you and your family. You however must first explore the service and see if it would fit your situation. Further, it is important to determine if there exists a good provider in the Albany area.
If you have questions, perhaps we can steer you in the right direction.
TSL Team Contributions
This blog is for parents and educators to learn more about our organization. It's also the space where we share information of interest to parents.