There are so many choices to make when deciding on child care for your kids. A parent can make herself crazy going over what’s best for their family.
One option is hosting an au pair. (See Kristen’s sweet German au pair, Christin, in the photo on the right.) Being a host parent is not an easy decision, because you are opening up your home to a stranger who will take care of your child. When it works, it’s a great situation and I have met many parents who love hosting an au pair.
If you are considering being a host, The Adult School of Montclair has the perfect class for you. They are offering a Boot Camp for the Au Pair Host Parent class to help you make your decision. Instructor Nancy Felix, has been a host parent for twelve au pairs.
Nancy spoke with Barista Kids about the hosting experience and her upcoming class…
Barista Kids: Why did you decide on hosting an au pair the first time?
Nancy Felix: I got a speeding ticket on Ridgewood Avenue trying to catch a train to NYC! My day care, combined with both before care and after care situation was just not working out. I needed more flexibile childcare. My job is not quite 9-5 and I needed to know that someone could take care of my two boys in the morning or at night. The au pair program gives me tons of flexibility, not to mention it was much less expensive than having two kids in childcare or hiring a nanny. The total cost of having an au pair (regardless of number of kids) is about $350 per week.
BK: You have hosted 12 au pairs! Why so many?
NF: Well, we’ve had au pairs for 8 years! Even so, having that many is more than the normal one-per-year. We had a male au pair from Germany who was “discovered” on the streets of NYC and invited to Milan to be a fashion model! Another au pair had to go home early because her father passed away. We only had one real disaster, and we “rematched” with another au pair. What I have learned is that life happens!
BK: What is the most positive aspect about using an au pair to help with childcare?
NF: My kids now have a truly global perspective. We have had au pairs from Germany, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. Because of the au pair program, my boys are open to and respect people with different backgrounds. These are values that we wanted to instill as parents and all of our au pairs have helped us do that. The au pair program is the fastest growing child care program in the country, so I have written a book that will be the how-to guide to hiring and hosting an au pair. It is my hope that parents who attend the workshop and (eventually) read the book will take advantage of everything that the au pair program has to offer.
Want to take Nancy’s class? Space is still available. Register here before the class fills up.
Have you had good experiences hosting an au pair?