Using an au pair for childcare is not just for the wealthy – it can actually be a fairly cost-effective childcare option. An au pair is usually a young person from a European country who comes to the UK to work as an au pair and earn a little spending money whilst improving their English language abilities. Living with a British family in this way is an ideal way for a young woman (or man) to see and experience life in the UK and conquer the colloquialisms. Although having a live-in au pair may not be an ideal option for every family, there are certain benefits that many couples will find make this a great choice when it comes to childcare.
AFFORDABILITY: Welcoming an au pair into your home can be one of the most cost effective ways of having your children looked after while you work. This is especially the case in large families with several children of varying ages.
FLEXIBILITY: While most childcare options require that parents stick to strict schedules and hours, engaging the services of an au pair ensures flexibility in childcare. This is a great option for parents whose work may involve overtime, long hours or regular travel.
EXCELLENT QUALITY PERSONALIZED LEARNING: Children being looked after by an au pair will generally enjoy the attention offered by an au pair. An au pair often becomes a valued member of the family who enjoys focusing on each child’s personal development and learning.
SENSE OF SECURITY: An au pair is an additional adult in the home who will provide busy parents with the support they need at all times. This is a particularly important issue for single parents as the adult company is often welcome.
ASSISTANCE IN THE HOME: An au pair will generally take care of many extra childcare related chores such as cooking, cleaning and laundry. Having somebody who can take care of some of the more mundane everyday jobs will allow busy parents to spend more quality time with their children.
STRESS BUSTING: Having a live-in au pair will eliminate the stress caused by the unexpected. If a child is ill and unable to go to school, the au pair will be on the spot, ready to take care of a sick child without any prior notice. This is also useful on INSET days and during half term and holidays.
SPECIAL NEEDS: Children with special needs often need more attention and engaging an au pair will mean that your child will get the one-to-one attention that will give you peace of mind while you’re at work.
CONTINUITY: Many families who hire an au pair will find that they develop a long-term relationship with the au pair which lasts much longer than the term of service. When the au pair returns to his/her own country, families will often stay in touch with this person who became a long term friend whilst caring for their children.