Do I need an au pair for my school-aged children?

As full-time childcare is usually mainly required before the children attend school, the au pair program option is considered an alternative to full-time daycare or a nanny. However, there are many busy families with children ranging from 3 months to 14 years old, that also choose the au pair program option. Today, we will discuss the advantages of an au pair for families with children from 6 to 14 years old:

FLEXIBILITY

An au pair provides complete flexibility of schedule, including the ability to work split shifts, with some hours in the morning, and some hours in the afternoon through evening. An au pair is also available to fill in gaps in school-care during snow days, teacher work days and school breaks.
Additionally, they can work some evenings and week-ends to help with family or sports events, or provide parents a date night per week. No matter what, they are available up to 45 hours per week/ 10 hours per day, with 1.5 consecutive days off per week (one of those being a full week-end per month).

A SECOND SET OF HANDS

Au pairs can help get the children get ready for school each morning, and drive them or walk them to the bus station. Some additional time can be scheduled for daily chores, from picking up the living room area, emptying the dishwasher to handling the children’s laundry and getting their sports bags ready for soccer class.
In the afternoon hours, they can also help with taking the kids to extra-curricular activities, assist them with homework, and getting dinner ready.

THE EXPOSURE TO A SECOND LANGUAGE

With an au pair that has a good level of English, your children will enjoy their relationship with a “big sister” figure, there to help them, be part of the family for a year and provide exposure to their native language and culture. Older children will have a better understanding of the au pair’s background and have the opportunity to keep in touch beyond their year (or two) together.
And if they take the au pair’s native language in school, what a great opportunity to practise what they learn at home!

If you have school-aged children and are considering hiring someone to help you, we can discuss your needs and expectations and figure out the au pair profile that would be a great match for your family!

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