As more and more families get wrapped up in the complexities of a hectic schedule thanks to our modern way of living, it’s not uncommon that the need for outside help to assist them in raising their family.
There are many ways families go about this, and one of the choices is to look into the resource of connecting with an au pair.
An au pair is regarded as a full member of the family during the temporary period of the au pair’s visit. An au pair assists the family with childcare and may perform some light household tasks. Reciprocally, the family will provide a complimentary room and board, as well as some pocket money.
Personally, I have never heard of the term au pair, and the more I researched the topic the more fascinated I became, especially when many folks on the internet have been asking: can a single dad get an au pair?
This post will outline in detail just how common an au pair is for single fathers along with the details on how common it is, how to go about connecting with one, and if it’s even possible for them.
Why Do Single Dads Need An Au Pair Anyways?
As a single dad, the number of demands on you every day can be overwhelming, to say the least.
Between your career, picking up the kids from school, after-school events, and maintaining your home, the day-to-day operations of running a family is like a fulltime job in of itself.
The situation becomes even direr when a crisis arises and throws your entire schedule into turmoil.
After all, it’s not like you can make a couple calls at 3 am, forgo sleep and have someone show up to your door 20 minutes later.
Essentially, an au pair fills the gap and allows the single dad to focus on things that matter the most – maintaining the home on a basic level, bringing in the income by working, and spending what little time they have with their children.
Are Single Dads Discriminated Against Using An Au Pair?
As far as I have been able to determine through my research, au pair agencies like AUPAIRUSA do not discriminate against single dads. In fact, they have letters from au pairs describing the wonderful experiences they have had living with a single dad.
Here’s a sample letter from one very happy au pair:
Why Use An Au Pair?
There are many reasons why a single dad may use an au pair, especially when you factor the many drawbacks in using a nanny.
Aside from the most obvious drawback of a nanny not being available 24/7, live-in nannies often come with a hefty weekly salary, room and board, and benefits like taxes, insurance, and potentially some travel; a live-in nanny doesn’t come cheap.
All of these little things may sound inconsequential, however, they can certainly start to add up over time.
Another major drawback of using a nanny is that A great live-in one is difficult to find – and keep for that matter.
Many families find that not only the demands of the job can be a bit overwhelming for a less experienced nanny, but it’s easier for them to walk away from a position because they don’t really have a lot invested (chances are they didn’t have to relocate to another country).
Reasons To Use An Au Pair:
There are many reasons why a single dad would want to use an au pair:
Reason #1– Cultural Enrichment:
One advantage of using the services of an au pair is the amazing exposure your kids will have to a completely different culture.
The real cool thing is that an au pair will happily share her country’s music, craft, games, and so much more.
Many single fathers would choose an au pair for the chance to have their kids experience a different culture while learning a second language in the process.
Reason #2: Affordability:
One amazing benefit an au pair receives is being hosted in your choice of Country. Subsequently, the cost to host an au pair is not nearly as much as a full-time nanny.
According to Mike Liberty, a spokesperson for Au Pair in America:
The average weekly cost of a nanny is approximately $750 (depending on the area of the country and the number of children in the family) versus an average weekly cost of approximately $356 for an au pair (regardless of location or number of children).” In addition, many au pairs are insured by the agencies that place them, so you don’t need to purchase medical insurance.
Clearly Mike knows what he’s talking about, however, I would like to point out that the cost of a nanny is always fluctuating, and depending on which country you reside in the cost may be much more or slightly lower.
Reason #3 – Availability:
Having access to an au pair doesn’t mean that they will work 24/7 for you, after they are human too and require some time off – usually one or two weekends per month and some time in-between.
One distinct advantage is that the Au pair host families can create their own child care schedules on a week-by-week basis.
As any single dad can attest, no week is identical to any other in terms of work and level of commitment.
However, an au pair allows dads to schedule approximately 45 hours of child care each week which can be extremely helpful.
Clearly, there are some amazing benefits in using the services of an au pair. That said, like anything that sounds too good to be true, there are often some drawbacks too that must be addressed as well.
Disadvantage #1 – Lack Of Experience:
One huge drawback is that the au pair will often have very little to no experience in child care.
Because au pairs are not necessarily looking for a job in raising children, there is a good chance that they probably will not have experience caring for children.
If you have small toddlers or babies you may want to reconsider the use of an au pair – especially infants who may require specific care.
Disadvantage #2 – No In-Person Meetings:
I would say this is perhaps one of the main drawbacks of using an au pair because there is no possible way for you to meet them in-person until they actually arrive.
Sure, you can meet and interview them over Skype, however, let’s face it nothing comes close to an actual in-person meeting in an informal setting where you have the opportunity to observe their mannerisms and determine their sincerity.
Disadvantage #3 – Confusing Credentials:
This section only applies if you are going it alone without the help of a reputable agency specializing in au pairs.
Not only would a reputable agency do all the heavy lifting such as verifying international credentials, complete a psychometric test and take a Personality Inventory (PI) test relative to your country – one of the most intensely studied and researched personality tests.
Moreover, a reputable agency will examine their education level, police record, and a comprehensive medical report before moving on to the next level.
However, if you do decide to go it alone, the above mentioned are things you must take into consideration before you go any further.
Can A Single Dad Get An Au Pair? My Final Thoughts:
Children are our most precious gifts so it should not come as no surprise that us dads are willing to go the extra mile to ensure they are raised properly and have every opportunity available to them.
As mentioned, using an au pair children have some amazing advantages such as language, adventure, and culture that otherwise would not be available to them.
If you’re serious about the use of an au pair I would suggest you go through a reputable agency that will do all the verification and complete the necessary paperwork required to make the experience as straightforward as possible and with little to no complications.
I hope you enjoyed my post and if you have any experience with an au pair, or you would like to add to my post feel free to leave a comment below.