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Au pair childcare is more affordable while childcare costs continue to rise

(reposted from

As a recently released NACCRRA report found, childcare costs are rapidly rising, even comparable to the cost of a year of college tuition. For some, costs are so expensive – particularly for multiple children – it is almost prohibitive, yet parents need childcare to be able to provide for their families. Though the term “au pair” is often confused with “nanny” and mistaken as childcare for the wealthy, for many families (especially with 2 or more children) an au pair is actually the most affordable childcare option.

In its report, “Parents and the High Cost of Childcare: 2010 Update,” the National Association for Childcare Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) states that the highest statewide average cost for full-time childcare for one infant in a center is $18,750 per year; for a 4 year old, parents paid $13,150 a year for full time care; and for school-age children, parents paid an average of $10,720 per year for part time care in a center.

In comparison, the average cost of an au pair is on average $340 per week, or $7.50 per hour, regardless of the number of children. Additionally, the au pairs live with the family and provide up to 45 hours per week of childcare, giving the family maximum flexibility. Those hours can also include light household chores, help with meal preparations, driving the children to school and extra-curricular activities.

ABC reported: "We do not generally think of child care as that expensive, and families, when they have an infant, are basically on the lower end of their earning power as opposed to a family who's got a child in college," Linda Smith, executive director of NACCRRA, told "Good Morning America".

The report described monthly child care fees for two children of any age as exceeding the median monthly rent cost in every state, and were nearly as high -- and in some cases higher -- than the average monthly mortgage payment in every state.

What are your thoughts on this report? Do you feel you are receiving the quality of care and one-on-one attention you require for the money you spend on childcare? Leave comments at

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