Between sports, recreation and music lessons, school, doctor appointments and playdates, our kids’ social calendars are often every bit as jam packed as ours are. Naturally, one form of child care isn’t going to be a solution for families with more than one child—or even one child with a busy schedule.
As most parents know, it can be quite the juggling act to make sure our kids are where they need to be, when they need to be there—and safely looked after at all times. It’s like juggling on a high wire when you have children with different needs and schedules within the same household.
Perhaps you have a family member that can cover most of your child care needs but not all. Or maybe you have a great day care center, but your schedule doesn’t mesh exactly with mandatory drop-off and pick-up times. And what happens when one child has to be dropped at soccer practice at the same time your oldest needs to be picked up from after school activities clear across town?
Since it’s impossible for anyone to be in two places at the same time, many families have found they can ease transitions and gain flexibility with their scheduling by welcoming an au pair into their home.
Hosting an au pair is a great way for families to coordinate child care options to find some peace of mind. Au pairs provide up to 45 hours of flexible child care and cultural enrichment for the entire family. The reduced stress from having an in-home caregiver living as part of the family is also a huge advantage of au pair child care.
For example, one of our host families was fortunate to have a family member providing the bulk of their child care. However, at times she was unavailable or struggled with the challenge of getting three kids to various appointments and activities. The parents didn’t want to take advantage or have her burn out from too hectic of a schedule, so they chose to host an au pair as supplemental child care in hopes of improving the situation.
Soon after welcoming their first au pair, this family reached out to rave about the difference it made in their household. It was great to hear that the children seemed happier with more one-on-one attention and that they were having more fun as a family. They also shared that their children were picking up French vocabulary and enjoyed learning about France from their au pair.
If you are struggling to find a balance in managing your family’s schedules and child care needs, you are not alone. Perhaps hosting an au pair is an option that would work for your family to take away some of the hassle and aggravation. To learn more about options in your area, contact Au Pair in America.