As any working parent will know, trying to arrange care for your children outside of normal school hours can be a nightmare, especially if you work full time. The cost of these services can also be prohibitive for some families, particularly if you have more than one child. But are there any alternatives for before and after school care?
One of the most affordable alternatives to before and after school care is hosting an au pair. An au pair is a usually a young person from a foreign country who lives with your family for a few months (3 to 6 months mostly) to experience a different culture, country and often language. In return for accommodation and meals in your home, they can provide around 25-35 hours of child care support and light housework. Their duties can include dropping the children at school in the mornings and picking them up in the afternoons – and this is where your family can benefit from not having to resort to often expensive out of school hours care.
Using before and after school care may work well during term time, but what about during the school holidays? Not all schools offer vacation care so you may be forced to make alternative arrangements. These changes of environments can sometimes be stressful for children, and choosing to hire an au pair can go a long way to ensuring continuity of care during both the school term and periods of holidays.
A great time of the year to get an au pair is around the school holidays. Most working parents need to use vacation care during the holidays but if you have an au pair, you may be able to use it less or perhaps not at all. An au pair may be able to work during the day as per the agreement you decide upon with them before the start of their placement. Of course au pairs are not meant to work full time, unless they are appropriately financially compensated – a reputable au pair agency can help you to iron out the details before you decide to welcome an au pair into your home.
Smart Au Pairs are able to help you find an au pair that will blend seamlessly into your family and offer your children (and you!) a culturally enriching experience that they will value for a lifetime. All au pairs are fully screened to ensure your children are in safe hands while you are away from them. Get started on your au pair search with Smart Au Pairs and say goodbye to high childcare costs today.