Getting an au pair for your baby is a major step. Unlike nannies, au pairs are like temporary family members who will be providing live-in childcare assistance. The most unnerving part of welcoming an au pair in your home is that you don’t know them well. Moreover, the biggest challenge is to make them comfortable to develop a harmonious relationship. Therefore, while seeking the services of an au pair childcare agency, ensure that you avoid the following mistakes:
- Overlooking the agency’s credentials – Your first job is to find a reliable au pair childcare agency. Make sure that the agency is accredited by respected organizations. Furthermore, inquire how they review and select the prospective au pairs. Likewise, understand how they match au pairs and families together. Crisis management is crucial when it comes to au pairs, therefore, probe on how they have handled any form of problems in the past. Since au pair services require a hefty investment, don’t forget to get a clear picture of all the costs involving the application, program, and weekly stipends.
- Not thoroughly assessing the au pair’s application – The au pair childcare agency will send you the application of the au pair you are interested in. So, scrutinize it and look for important details. For example, if you are expecting the au pair to drop and pick your kids from school, check if they have a valid driver’s license.
- Not communicating with them – You should insist on having a word with the potential au pair as it will allow you to get to know them and their expectations better. You can come to a consensus on things like everyday duties, weekly stipends, and know if they want to take up a language course during their stay. Therefore, if you like an application, ask the au pair childcare agency to set up a phone call or video chat with the au pair. It will also be a great opportunity to convey your hopes about this alliance and avoid any confusions later.
Here are some popular au pair childcare agencies you can check.
- The International Au Pair Exchange
- Au Pair Foundation
- Cultural Care Au Pair
- Au Pair in America
- Go Au Pair
- Agent Au Pair
- InterExchange Au Pair USA
Cost of the au pair exchange program
if you want to host an au pair, be mindful of the financial add-ons. These include non-refundable application and processing fees, program fees, a weekly stipend, language course fees and, an overall increase in your household expenses for a year. Usually, the program fees charged by the au pair childcare services come down to a minimum of $7,000 approximately. Furthermore, the minimum weekly stipend for an au pair is around $200 per week. Likewise, an English language course can cost $500 or above approximately.