Community Counselor Mary Wylde wrote in to her local newspaper recently in response to an article about the lack of child care options in the northern Vermont area. Read about how Au Pair in America changed her family’s life by allowing her children to have their own daily routine with an au pair:
After reading the article about the short supply of childcare, I sympathized with those parents struggling with that challenge. To this day, I still remember a snowy morning in 1992 when my two youngest (Char who was 3 and Coop who was 9 months) were in daycare. I woke them both up out of a sound sleep, bundled them in snowsuits, put them in car seats and drove them to daycare through a blustery snowstorm. On the dangerous drive, I thought to myself, I simply can no longer do this day in and day out; there has to be a better way. I didn’t think it was fair to subject my children to my demanding work schedule. The following month, we got our first au pair and life took on a new relaxed and natural pace. My kids could wake up when it made sense. My mornings were quiet and peaceful. Coop and Char could have a leisurely breakfast with our au pair and then play with their favorite toys. I could relax on my drive knowing they were home safe and sound. All was good with the world again.
We had au pairs for the next 4 years from Sweden, Denmark and Switzerland. Years later, Char and Coop traveled to Sweden to attend Annika’s wedding, who then returned to Stowe this past summer for a visit with her husband and 3 kids. It was a rich and rewarding experience for all of us.
Recently, I became the Community Counselor for Au Pair in America and now I get to help families in the Stowe, Montpelier and Burlington area with their child care needs. Our current au pairs are from Germany, France, Brazil, and Thailand. Some even speak their native language to their host kids, an additonal benefit of the program. The host families set their own schedule of 45 hours each week, often a combination of week days, nights and weekends. In addition, the au pairs all drive so they can do school drop offs, pick ups and drive the kids to and from other activities. And all of our Stowe au pairs have ski passes so they can ski with their host families!
I get together monthly with the girls and marvel as they talk so affectionately about their own host kids and parents. It is a special bond that develops over their year together. Having an au pair is certainly a flexible option for any family with a busy life. If parents want to know more about the program, they can check out the Au Pair in America website or they can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to fill them in on the details, and possibly bring families the same peace of mind as it did for me.