We’re blessed with two kids but live away from our family. We lack support when it comes to childcare. Mrs FI had a difficult choice to make. Should she re-enter the workplace or became a stay at home mom? She had worked hard in her job and achieved a lot in a short amount of time. To take a few years out would be very challenging to re-enter and she would lose her health care benefits.
She decided to go back to work. For the first year we hired a Nanny who came to our house and cared for our baby. Once our DD was 18 months, we felt more comfortable and put her in daycare for three days a week. This was when we decided to look into becoming a host family and inviting an Au Pair into our house.
An Au Pair is typically a student from a foreign country who comes for one year and lives with you. We were very diligent when picking an Au Pair, we didn’t want an 18 year party animal, or an entitled millennial kid. This is someone who will live in our house, help raise our kids, drive our car. It needs to be the right decision. We decided that our Au Pair needed to be someone who wanted to have a career in Childcare/teaching and want to become an Au Pair for the right reasons.
We created social media accounts on Instagram and Faceook so we could look at the profiles of who we decided to interview. We saw some outrageous things, drunk teenage images, drug use, inappropriate pictures and these are not people we want in our house.
After interviewing several candidates, we finally picked our Au Pair. An 18 year old young lady from Germany who arrived last April. She wanted to spend some time in America before continuing her studies to become a teacher. It’s worked out really well for us, dropping the youngest one off at day care three days a week, whilst always picking the oldest one up from school, looking after the house, walking the dog etc. Our Au Pair also babysits two evenings a month allowing for some adult time. It’s also been a great help on those kid sick days to have someone around to help.
Here are our costs we’ve encountered:
|Weekly Fee x52||$10,140|
|Weekly Food increase||$2,600|
The total cost is $2075 a month or $24,900 a year. We do contribute to the family spending flex account $5000 before tax money which helps pay for this. Thankfully my wife earns enough to warrant this expense. I hope the above calculations help you in making your decision. We use America’s largest Au Pair ‘Cultural Care’ site to find ours and if you go down this route, feel free to use our referral link below (I’ll even split it with you). If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.