Do You Want A Nanny Or An Au Pair?

Posted on: 11 April 2016

For single parents or for households where both parents are working, deciding what sort of daycare to provide for young children can be a real challenge. However, you may not have considered some other options for child care, such as an au pair or a nanny. Each of these options will have its own advantages and challenges 

The Nanny Option

Some people have a knack for working with children. Nannies are typically trained, dedicated professionals who pursue a career in child education. Hiring a nanny for your children means that you get much more than just someone to stay with your children while you are away. A nanny should help to educate and socialize your children. While you are away at work, you can be confident that your children are getting high-quality, one-on-one training from a qualified professional.

The main disadvantage of hiring a nanny is that you can pay as much as $800 a week for the most qualified nannies. Another issues is that a nanny's personality can sometimes clash with your children's or your personality. You may have to go through a few nannies on a trial basis before you find one that is a good match for your family, and even then, nannies have their own career goals and social lives which means that finding a nanny who is a good fit is rarely a permanent solution. 

The Au Pair Option

The term au pair is used for caregivers who come from foreign countries. If you plan to travel or move to a foreign culture, and you want your family to have a chance to acclimate to the culture before you go, then an au pair can introduce your family to the language, music, food, and culture of the country you plan to visit. Even if you have no travel plans, and au pair can help you provide experience with foreign cultures to your children.

A language barrier can be a real challenge for your family. Even though the au pair you hire should be fluent in English, there are some aspects of language that you can't learn until you arrive in the states. Thus, miscommunications can create disturbances in your relationship with your au pair. Furthermore, the documents outlining your au pair's qualifications are often in a foreign language and written for the requirements of a foreign government, so understanding what services you can expect from your au pair can be difficult. 

In general, providing a nanny for your children has many advantages. Children learn best with a one-on-one connection with their teacher. Thus, having a nanny in your home should offer your children superior eduction as compared to taking them to a daycare center. Also, if you hire an au pair, you can provide your children a robust experience with a foreign language and culture. As long as you have the budget for it, either option is a good way to make sure your children are well cared for while you are away at work.