Dear AuPairMoms— Could we re-open a topic from August 2012 on what to do when an au pair breaks a bone, is in a cast and can’t drive?
In that situation the au pair only had three weeks left, and the comments in large part were geared toward that scenario — mine’s a bit different.
We are with our first-ever au pair, who arrived four months ago. We live in the suburbs of a major metropolitan area, and driving is an essential part of our au pair’s responsibilities. There is no way to walk or to use public transportation to pick up our three kids from their middle and elementary schools and take them to their various activities. If the au pair doesn’t drive them, there will be no way for the kids to get to their music lessons and sports activities on four weekdays out of five.
Our au pair slipped on the ice (not while she was on duty) and broke her right elbow last Wednesday. If what the ER doctor said holds true, she will likely get put into a full arm hard cast for 6-8 weeks and then have to do PT to recover strength and mobility in her arm.
We will increase our child care costs dramatically if we have to hire an additional caregiver just to do the driving and be on call if a child needs picking up from school for the next two to three months. My husband and I both work a 45+ minute commute away, and it’s not feasible for either of us to work from home for an extended period of time. We’re waiting to hear from our local counselor to see if she has ideas.
Essentially, it boils down to us having 6-8 weeks of au pair payments, not the childcare we need, and no ability to pay for an additional 6-8 weeks of back up care.