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"AuPairMom" - 5 new articles

  1. Choosing an Au Pair: The Serious One or The Fun One?
  2. How to Reduce the Costs of Having an Au Pair
  3. When to Disclose Host Parent Illness During Au Pair Match
  4. Should I Tell the Other Host Family Their Au Pair Is Leaving Early? (Poll)
  5. Easy Patriotic Dessert for 4th of July –Au Pairs & Kids
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search AuPairMom
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Choosing an Au Pair: The Serious One or The Fun One?

“There’s a lid for every pot”, we often say here on Au Pair Mom.

No matter how weird your situation, or how picky you are, there is an au pair out there for you.

Sometimes you’re lucky and you discover TWO au pairs who seem to fit your needs. So, how do you choose?

4069384258_686874d560_mThe problem is — there are 15 things that you think you want in an Au Pair, and you know you’re unlikely to get all 15. So you think, “If I can get 13, that’s great.”  But Au Pair “A” has one combination of 13 features, and Au Pair “B” has another combination of 13 great features.

Read the email from EenieMeenieMinyMoe HostMom, and then vote on which you’d choose.  Share your wisdom in the comments. 

We are seeking urgent advice on whether or not to hire an au pair, and, further, which one?

We currently have an 8 year old and a 13 year old- they have been latchkey kids for a year as I (mom) returned to work. Now we are expecting a baby in December! I am a teacher and have a good friend who will watch the baby on “teacher hours” for $40/day, but obviously, this doesn’t help with my bigger kids (appointments, sick days, different school schedule) as well as sick days, etc, for the baby, or general household stuff (kid laundry, tidying, small tasks we can expect au pair to help with). We have no family around, so we thought we’d just do an au pair as we can afford it and it seems worth it.

We have been interviewing...

Read the whole entry »


How to Reduce the Costs of Having an Au Pair

Parents who are researching childcare options for the first time invariably experience “sticker shock”. Who knew that a year of childcare in America could cost as much as a year at a good instate university?

Whether childcare is provided by a retail day care center, a someone-else’s-home-based childcare center, a nanny, or an au pair, good childcare costs money.

506171455_f95e668148_mIt’s not surprising, then, that we often get emails from parents asking if there are ways to reduce the costs of hiring an au pair. Just recently, a new mom wrote:

My head is spinning… Why does it cost $7,500 – 9,000 to bring an au pair here?

Are there any resources where there are au pairs currently in the US looking for work or to extend a J-1 that i could use to cut down on the costs?

Are there other options for reducing the costs?

Yes there are some options for reducing the costs of hosting an Au Pair, and we’ll address these, below. But first we need to consider:

What *Should* Childcare Cost?

For perspective, consider the appropriate cost of childcare, as a standard against which to evaluate how much you feel you can/should spend.  

Any qualified childcare provider should be paid at least the minimum wage. At least. So if you’re aiming for a full week of childcare, think “$8.00/hr times 40 hrs/week”. Your baseline is $320.00 per week.

If you can get 40 hours a week of care for slightly less than $320 week, terrific.

But don’t expect...

Read the whole entry »


When to Disclose Host Parent Illness During Au Pair Match

Recently we’ve discusses Au Pair illnesses, when an Au Pair ought to share this information with Host Parents, and how / when Host Parents can best respond.

Now, the shoe’s on the other foot, with this email from HostMomWithGoodPrognosis.


Should this information be shared before matching with an au pair? Or later, once the au pair arrives?

As HostMomWithGoodPrognosis writes:

I suppose the answer is always going to be “it depends on the specific facts,” so here are my facts for consideration.

A month or so ago, I had a lump in my thyroid tested and received a diagnosis of papillary thyroid carcinoma. The good news is that the prognosis for this is generally excellent — without boring you with the details, the survival rates are extraordinarily high, and it’s likely that at most I will only need to have part of my thyroid out. I won’t need chemo or radiation so I’m unlikely to be debilitated for any significant period of time. I’ve been told repeatedly by doctors that “it’s the best cancer to have” (somewhat annoying in that I’d rather not have any cancer, but objectively speaking it’s highly treatable and highly survivable). The options on the table right now are either active surveillance or a partial thyroidectomy, to be determined after I get a second opinion from one of the leading experts at a major cancer center in a couple of weeks.

The way the timeframe is shaping up,...

Read the whole entry »


Should I Tell the Other Host Family Their Au Pair Is Leaving Early? (Poll)

Dear AuPairMom —  My au pair’s good friend here is an au pair as well. According to my AP, the friend is scheduled to work for her host family for a year but will be leaving a few weeks early.

6824864579_d0480c3166_mThe problem? The Au Pair hasn’t told her Host Family that she’s leaving, even though she has purchased the tickets to go home!

It’s not clear when or if the Au Pair is planning on telling her Host Family.   As she gets closer to leaving and still hasn’t told, I’m wondering…should I say anything?

I’ve told our AP that her friend will really leave her HF in the lurch if she doesn’t say something soon. But beyond that, I don’t have an opportunity to talk to the AP, not sure I should say something if I did.

I could tell our counselor, but then if it worked back around to the HF and their AP, it’d obviously come back to me (assuming the AP hasn’t told other APs who have told their HFs).

What I keep thinking is – if it were me, I’d want to know.

Any suggestions?

OOF! If it were me, I’d like to know because who wants to be left in the lurch?  But I understand your concern– how can you tell the Host Family without betraying your own Au Pair’s confidence?

Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

Image by Janine on Flickr


Easy Patriotic Dessert for 4th of July –Au Pairs & Kids

Fourth of July picnics are the perfect time for desserts that feature the Red, White, and Blue, the Stars n’ Stripes, or your own combo of patriotic symbols.

ChmelikSome of these are marvelous, and simply too complicated. Between all the beer, burgers, and babies, who has time to make a fancy cake?   Hence, I offer you this, from the humor website Maximum Middle Age (which, btw, is for women over 35. What?)

The World’s Easiest Pinterest-Worthy Fourth of July Recipe

This would actually be a fun “project” for an Au Pair to concoct with a host child or two….

TexasMH and I bonded over a fabulous America’s Birthday cake a few years ago. I posted the recipe I’d found on Facebook, then she went ahead to make the cake and share her photos back with us. I can’t seem to find TexasHM’s actual photos, though, so here’s the pinterest version:


See also:  Fun for the 4th: Bake a Flag Cake


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