The life of a military family is unpredictable. Military families have unique child care needs and require flexibility and reliability.
Au pairs are typically young international visitors who travel to the United States on a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa and gain a better understanding of American life while living with an American family and caring for their young children. Au pairs are screened and required to have at least 200 hours of recent child care experience and to speak English to an acceptable standard.
Here are 5 reasons why au pair child care is the best option for many military families:
On average, military families relocate 10 times more often than civilian families—sometimes with very little notice. Hosting an au pair means military families do not need to worry about interviewing new child care options or dealing with waitlists. Au pairs can move with families and help the children pack. Children in military families can maintain a consistent routine by keeping their familiar child care provider.
2. Extra set of hands
Managing child care is stressful when both parents work long, irregular hours or when one parent is deployed. Due to frequent relocating, military families often lack nearby relatives to help with child care on occasion. Au pairs can help take children to school, make their meals, do their laundry and straighten up their rooms. If a host parent is deployed, an au pair can help with scheduling Skype calls or writing letters.
Beitz, a host parent in Virginia, talks about the impact that their family’s au pair has had on their ability to do their jobs as military personnel:
“As a family with two active duty military members, our au pair has been a key family member and critical enabler for us to continue our work for our Nation.”
An au pair works a flexible schedule determined by your family’s needs. Au pairs can work up to 10 hours a day and 45 hours a week. Au pairs are available nights and weekends and can accommodate most work schedules. No more worrying about taking days off work for snow days, school breaks or sick days!
Michael, a host dad from Colorado, explains how having an au pair benefited his military family:
“Au pairs with Military Families provide numerous benefits for families that are searching for reliable and affordable childcare that can meet the needs of the sponsor family. If the family is a dual income family then the Au Pair is there to support a family’s different schedules and a great example is, should one spouse have to work late and the military spouse is deployed, in the field or TDY. Normal daycare options would not provide such flexibility as what Au Pairs provide. From our experience, our Au pairs have remained flexible should we have short notice changes in our schedules and very supportive of our military careers. Having an Au Pair lets us know while we are gone that our children are in safe hands.”
4. Cultural exchange
Au pairs enrich host families through cultural exchange. Children are exposed to other customs, languages and global perspectives. Children can learn a new language and celebrate new holidays! Cultural exchange can be especially beneficial to military families who may have to move overseas on assignments at some point.
5. Military Discount
Au Pair in America appreciates the sacrifices made by military families. Please give our office a call at 1-800-928-7247 for more details about our military discount.