Is an Au Pair Superior for Your Family than a Regular Nanny?

Today we have another guest blogger, Rachel Thomas.  The decision of who will care for the children is not an easy one. Rachel explains her view on some differences between a nanny and an au pair.

The main difference between an Au Pair and a regular nanny is that the au pair is usually a foreign individual who exchanges childcare and possibly minor house cleaning for room and board. In essence, it’s like a foreign exchange program for the workforce. While there are similarities between a nanny and an au pair, there may be some differences that can change the way you view one over the other.Fan
1. Different Requirements – Generally, au pairs are foreign women under the age of 30 and must be authorized to care for children by the U.S. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. At least, that is what is required for being an au pair in the United States. Each country is different with their qualifications. Basically, anyone can be a nanny depending on the requirements of the agency or those who hire a person privately. However, most nanny agencies will require a background in child development and a form of medical expertise.2014

2. Family or Not? – Au pairs are usually treated as an extended family member as they accompany you on outings and other family functions. A nanny can be treated the same way as well, but don’t require the invitation in order to do their job. From this aspect, the nannies presence is more of a professional one as he or she is paid to do a job rather than accompany the family.

3. Longevity – Although the requirements differ with each host country, an au pair is only able to stay with the family for a certain amount of time. This could be as little as 12 months at a time. A nanny can remain employed by a family for as long as the help is needed or until the nanny resigns. In either case, emotional bonds can develop between the family and the caregiver. However, it may be harder to give up an au pair over the nanny for the au pair’s purpose is to become a part of the family whereas the nanny is performing a job as an Bucks Conty 1

4. Linguistics – In some cases, a language barrier may be present when including an au pair into the family. Although they may have a basic working knowledge of the native tongue, the language differences could still pose as a wall that needs to be broken down. Nannies will nearly always speak fluently as they are usually hired on as local employees.

5. Paycheck – When determining pay, au pairs are usually more inexpensive to bring into the home than a nanny. Depending on the agency or the private contract, a nanny can be paid from $12 per hour and up for a 12 hour shift per day. While this amount is estimated due to the cost of living in any given area, au pairs are given the means to live comfortably and a weekly allowance for their own uses. Even if the  additional person to your budget raises the costs within the home, the au pair is still usually far more inexpensive to maintain than a nanny.aupair and kids

What it truly boils down to is how you personally want to conduct your family. An au pair can bring cultural diversity and could easily bond with the family on an emotional level. The nanny can grow to “family member status” over time, but is purposely hired on as nothing more than an employee. Do you save money by bringing someone into your home to help with the children, or do you treat the situation as a job?

Author Bio:

Rachel is an ex-babysitting pro as well as a professional writer and blogger. She is a graduate from Iowa State University and currently writes for babysitting. She welcomes questions/comments which can be sent to @


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