× Family & Parenting

Nanny/AuPair 101

11 years 11 months ago #47019 by TexasRose
Hi Ladies. :D I thought I'd try starting a thread dedicated to sharing experiences and advice about hiring and having nannies/aupairs for our children. I don't know how many of you have one, but it seems like the questions pop up pretty regularly.

We are applying to host an Au Pair for the next year, starting in August. For those who aren't familiar with the term, this is a young woman from overseas who becomes a live-in nanny and sort of cultural exchange student in your home for a year. You pay a small weekly stipend and provide room and board. She takes care of the kids and their needs (food, laundry) for up to 45 hrs/week. The cost for a year is about $14,000 total. (that includes program fees, stipend and such) It's not cheap, but for someone like me with 3 kids, it's really a bargain, especially when you consider that most nannies these days charge over $12/hr!

I'd love for everyone to share their experiences, ask questions, and give advice. :scratchchin: Childcare is a major issue for us MomMDs!

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."
11 years 11 months ago #47020 by Laramisa
Are Au Pairs in the states really allowed to work 45 hours per week? I live in Switzerland and au pairs here are only allowed to work a maximum of 30 hours per week plus you have to pay for their language classes (this is the student part of their exchange). We haven't gotten an au pair because we are English speaking at home and we can only get an au pair permit if we are german speaking at home (so that they can learn the language from us). But I have lots of friends with au pairs, mostly from Central/Eastern Europe and most of their experiences have been good. One bad thing can be is they change every year and you and your kids have to get used to a new person. And sometimes it is like having another child (a teenager) in the house, which can almost make more work for you. I don't know how much au pair experiences in Europe compare to the states though. Good luck in your search.
11 years 11 months ago #47021 by TexasRose
Thanks. :)

I think the role of au pair is a bit different here in the US. They can work up to 45 hrs/week. We do pay up to $500 tuition for classes because they have to take 6 credit hours during the year that they are here. It's more of a nanny who gets to live in another country and take a couple of classes than the way it sounds like it's set up where you are.

There's a program called Educare here that is new. It's a 30hr/week working and 12 hrs of credits program. More education, less nanny.

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."
11 years 11 months ago #47022 by AnotherJen
Hi Texas Rose!

We just have one child -- 2yo daughter -- and for the most part we've gone through craigslist to find childcare. The first year was marked by a live-in part-time nanny who was a bit of a disaster (great for our daughter, lousy for us, made us feel like strangers in our own home!)...

The past year we've been sharing a nanny full time with another family, so that the two kids are together with a great nanny 50 hrs/wk. We're trying to find another family in our area to continue this arrangement through next year, and it's nerve-wracking that we haven't found anyone yet, as our current arrangement ends July 6... When I go into 3rd year, our daughter will be 3+, so it will be a good time to start something school-like and to get an au pair...

We also rent a room to a wonderful woman with reduced rent in exchange for ~5 hr/wk childcare to cover those weird hours that come up w/ med school and a husband who travles. She's a medical translator who is also on a med school trajectory.

So, there are many ways to do this...to find loving, energetic childcare...
11 years 11 months ago #47023 by TexasRose
Jen, sorry I didn't see your post sooner! I like the creative problem solving you've done with your childcare. Flexibility is such a great trait in parenthood. ;)

Well, it's official. We've matched with an Au Pair who is coming to our home on Saturday! :D :eek: She's already in the country and had to find a new host family because of a problem with her previous host situation. (not her fault. They couldn't pay her. :( )

I'm excited that she's coming, and she sounds great, but at the same time I cannot believe that we just invited a complete stranger to come live with us! :scratchchin: She's 24 and from France. She has good childcare experience and references, so from here we just have to trust that this will work out. Once again, I think flexibility is key.

The great news about this, though, is that I no longer have to fret about who is going to pick my daughter up after her drama club meeting at school. I don't have to worry about getting the kids dinner on a late study night when my husband is out of town. And, I don't have to flip out if one of his trips falls over a call night for me when I start rotations in 6 months. What a weight off my mind!

Anyone who wants to know how it's going can check in with my weblog or PM me, btw. :)

"All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you."
11 years 11 months ago #47024 by kimH
Hey! We have hired a family member to live with us to work as a nanny. Our daughter will be in Kindergarten and the nanny will also be taking college classes.

Does anyone have any suggestions about software programs for doing payroll for the 'nanny tax' for her?

Thanks! Kim
Moderators: TexasRoseefex101mommd2b
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