With all that is happening in the world and the economy these days, it is even more important to have a steady, affordable and supportive scenario for the care of your children. I am a host mom to an Au Pair from Columbia and it has changed my life!
One consequence of the current economic crisis is that more mothers are working. More new moms are remaining in the workforce and at-home mothers who had decided to put their careers on hold are having to return to work. With an increase in dual income households comes an increase in the demand for quality childcare.
Local Childcare Coordinators have seen an increased interest in the au pair program among local families. “If you have two or three children, there really is no comparison. The cost of the program is about $320 per week and that’s per family, not per child,” Nancy McDonald, Local Childcare Coordinator for Cultural Care Au Pair says. “Au pairs can provide up to 45 hours per week of child care which works out to be less than $7.50 per hour, regardless of how many children you have.”
MacDonald also states that families are looking at more than just the costs. “In this current economic climate people are looking for flexibility as well as affordability. Cost conscious parents need to be creative with their childcare solutions as parents take on additional jobs or work longer hours.” The au pair program is an attractive option because it allows parents to set a schedule that works for them on a weekly basis, provides in-home care for their children and introduces children to other cultures.
The Greenspan family recently turned to the au pair program not only for the affordability but also for the flexibility and exposure to other cultures that the program offers. Jill Greenspan, a real estate executive with three school aged children, says, “As our kids were getting older and our careers becoming more demanding, we needed more flexibility than our nanny could provide. Also, having studied abroad and travelled internationally, we recognize the importance of exposing our children to other cultures and languages.”