Some families start with au pairs and stay with au pairs until their kids can drive. Many (most?) parents use an array of childcare options over the course of their parenthood. Lots of us will switch back and forth between different childcare options, depending on what we and our kids need at any given time. For most folks, what triggers a switch to au pairs is a change in their own or their kids schedules that makes their childcare needs something other than 5 weekdays days of 8 to 5 childcare.
A soon-to-be host mom emailed with a question about making this switch from nannies to au pairs.
I have a 4 year old and 1 year old. The 1 year old will start attending pre-school in the fall 3 days a week and my older son will go 5 days so my child care needs/hours will be changing. I have had 3 nannies and one that fell thru after 2 weeks so I feel that I have some experience with child care in my home, the interview process for the nannies, surprise issues and happy circumstances with employing someone to care for my kids… Also, all 4 nannies have been international w/ English as a second language (but all lived in the US for 5 or more years).
I’d like to know how host parents that have employed nannies and also hosted au pairs would compare and contrast the experience?
What kinds of differences should I expect?
Were there any things that surprised you about having an au pair, based on your experience with a nanny?
I’d love to hear any stories and suggestions– I’m excited about getting an au pair and I really want to make this work well for all of us.
The Nanny! from Jason DeRusha