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Anyone have experience with an Au Pair?

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  • Anyone have experience with an Au Pair?

    Just finished up residency training. We have one kid at home but possibly another in the next year or two. My wife is currently stay at home but wants to get back in the working world at least part time. We've discussed daycare, hiring a nanny, etc... but one of my attendings mentioned how much of a benefit having an au pair was to her family. For those who have experience, I was wondering the following:

    -What company did you end up using to find a reputable Au Pair? What was the "interview process like"?

    -Were there particular countries that you sought after and others you tried to avoid?

    -How much did it typically cost you in a year? I know there are payments to the company, to the au pair directly and then other things you need to provide (lodging, transportation, meals, bring them on family vacations, etc...). Maybe someone has records of their experience to give me an idea.

    -How many hours a week did they typically provide of child care per week?

    -Do they typically do other jobs other than watching children such as cooking, laundry, feeding pets, etc...

    -Can you deduct the cost of childcare since it is allowing both parents to work?

    -We don't have a huge home. Were there any issues with privacy or other concerns?

    -Were there any administrative hassles before, during or after the au pair's tenure? Were they taken care of by the agency?

    Ultimately, was the process worthwhile and would you consider doing it again?

     

  • #2
    Have done it all - nanny, daycare with us trying to do pickups, live in and au pair. Hands down au pairs been best for us NOW that kids out of toddler stage. We have 3 kids though and both make good money (MD). Not sure if any of this is worth it if my salary barely paid childcare provider.

    -What company did you end up using to find a reputable Au Pair? What was the “interview process like”?
    Used cultural care au pair only because others we knew had done it. We live in suburbs so excellent driving was #1 priority then reliability. We only interviewed Skyped/FaceTime) those looking to spend 2nd year in Uus. This means they have already been here 1 yr so experience with driving and another family to vouch for them. Number of candidates lower because of this but we live in desireable state (ca)

    -Were there particular countries that you sought after and others you tried to avoid?
    Avoided Asian 2/2 poor driving even though they reported driving for years. Thai tend to be older though so may actually have more driving experience. If driving not needed they are excellent with young kids. Germans and Austrians excellent drivers, rigorous licensing process in those countries. Of course, some of these may be stereotypes.

    -How much did it typically cost you in a year? I know there are payments to the company, to the au pair directly and then other things you need to provide (lodging, transportation, meals, bring them on family vacations, etc…). Maybe someone has records of their experience to give me an idea.
    Is very clear on website actual money exchanged -19k. Only you can determine worth of foood housing car insurance taking them on vacations. General numbers here useless since maybe we value our 1 room at 1k to rent out, eat steaks nightly and travel to cape cod and Hawaii every year (we don’t)

    -How many hours a week did they typically provide of child care per week?
    We have 3 kids so we’re very generous with time. Only 30-35. We have friend with two small kids and uses her to the max at 45 but treats her very well (they Do Go to Hawaii)

    -Do they typically do other jobs other than watching children such as cooking, laundry, feeding pets, etc…
    Unload dishwasher, I’d asked for more if I had less for her to do. But best to make it clear upfront at time of hire/interview

    -Can you deduct the cost of childcare since it is allowing both parents to work?
    Deductions? Not this year. Given minimal we ca deduct two weeks of summer camp and we’re done with dependent care deductions

    -We don’t have a huge home. Were there any issues with privacy or other concerns?
    This is killer point for most. It’s having another adolescent family member in the home. You’ll see each other all the time if space is tight. I wouldn’t f this if au pair right next to us. Of note, they need own bedroom but not own bath.

    -Were there any administrative hassles before, during or after the au pair’s tenure? Were they taken care of by the agency?
    Straightforward

    Ultimately, was the process worthwhile and would you consider doing it again?
    On 4th year now, great so far even though new au pair each year. Kids like them but not attached.

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