Au pair vs childcare
The topic of childcare costs sparks ongoing debates. Everyone has their own opinion on this important subject, whether you already have children or are planning to start your family. Everyone is always very curious to find out whether an au pair is cheaper than formal childcare.
It is important to remember that what works well for one family may not be the ideal solution for another. Choosing a childcare option depends on individual circumstances and evolving needs. Hence, it's important to be aware of all available options.
What requirements are you looking for?
To understand the costs of childcare versus those of hiring an au pair, it's helpful to first assess your specific requirements. Consider factors such as your desired hourly/daily/weekly childcare schedule, the need for in-home care, flexibility requirements (e.g. shift work), regular babysitting needs, budget constraints, and any special needs your child or children may have. Having a clear understanding of your preferences will aid in making informed decisions and provide perspective on associated costs.
Some parents have access to daycare centres conveniently located near their home or workplace. Most will however, find themselves paying up to $160 per child per day (before subsidies). These costs naturally increase when multiple children from the same family attend daycare.
Hosting an au pair typically involves providing pocket money starting from around $300 per week. If you choose to work with an au pair agency, you will need to consider the placement fee as an additional expense. Other factors to consider include obtaining a family police check, providing all meals and board, and a completion bonus for the au pair. Learn more about our au pair program cost.
When it comes to babysitting, au pairs often go the extra mile, offering greater flexibility and a more cost-effective solution since they live in your home, eliminating taxi fares. Furthermore, an au pair affords families the convenience of not worrying about late fees at daycare centres, as their children are cared for at home. Erratic working hours or unexpected delays at the office no longer translate into extra costs due to the inherent flexibility provided by hosting an au pair.
Upon tallying all the costs, it becomes evident that hiring an au pair generally proves to be more economical than traditional childcare. However, it's important to note that childcare decisions extend beyond financial considerations. Various factors come into play when determining the best option for your family. Take the time to explore all available choices and discover which one aligns best with your unique circumstances. Read more about our Cultural Exchange, benefits of having an au pair and au pair tasks.