Advice about Twins
– Feb 20, 2019(3 replies)
Hello Parents- we are very excited about our twins. we need some help/advice, we work full time and will need a full time live-in nanny for our twins. these are hard to come by. does anyone have experience getting aupair for twins?
If you have any advice it will help
Full time child care if very expensive and we don't want to have to sell our home
thanksFeb 20, 2019
I think an au pair could work in your situation. Just be aware of the regulations and limitations of having an au pair vs. a professional nanny. Au pairs are young and may or may not have a lot of experience with babies. The parents I know who have hired au pairs have had older children, but in theory you might find an au pair who is up to caring for two infants while you are at work. Au pairs are regulated by the US State Department. They must be between 18 and 26 years old, they can work no more than 45 hours a week, and they must meet various regulations such as being proficient in English, having childcare experience, attending school while they are here, and passing a background check. This usually means you will be hiring the au pair through an agency who has already vetted the au pair, which you will pay a fee for, on top of the salary you are required to pay the au pair (in addition to room and board.) You should think of the au pair as a young person who is visiting the U.S. and staying with you the host family, providing childcare in exchange for a place to stay and a small salary. Au pairs are not professional childcare providers. But you could make it work if you have room in your home and are willing to do some amount of supervision. See https://j1visa.state.gov/programs/au-pair for details.
I'm in Lafayette with two kids, both me and my husband work full time outside the home and travel quite a bit. I am on my 6th au pair (we started after my daughter turned 1 year old). East of the Caldecott there are au pairs everywhere - I think there are 3 within walking distance of my home...
Initially I also explored the live in nanny route and contacted Town & Country. I was basically told that it is very hard to find live in candidates in this area. So we tried the au pair route and for the most part it has been successful. Au pairs, when they work well, are AMAZING. The flip is that when they don't work well it can be pretty rough; you have someone living in your home. As another posted stated, they are not professional nannies; they are very young (mostly) women, often with little formal childcare experience. There is a lot of guidance/training, but the rewards in terms of flexibility and cost make it well worth it. To be successful, you have to completely shift your expectations of what you get; it will not be like a nanny. If you are interested, I'd speak with host families who do have au pairs to get more of a sense. Or reach out to one of the many agencies, speak with a Local Childcare Coordinator (LCC) to understand if the program is right for you.
I don't know how old your twins are, but most agencies have a special pool of "infant qualified" au pairs that have more experience with babies. An au pair could be a good fit, as long as your expectations are in line. Good luck!
I don’t have twins but I have three kids 3 and under and just welcomed our second au pair (our first one was with us for two years - the max time they can stay). We’ve been really happy with our au pairs and decided to use one because of cost and convenience. Realistically, we couldn’t afford daycare/preschool for three small kids (would have cost more than rent!) and it was important for us that we didn’t have the morning rush to get everyone ready, lunches packed and out the door, or having to do afternoon pick up. Flexibility with an au pair is so valuable.
At the same same time I would only suggest an au pair of you are sure you’ll be comfortable having them live with you and you are able to treat them with respect and not as “hired help” as I’ve seen many other families do. As the previous person said, they are not professional caregivers so you’ll be teaching them how to do almost everything (think of them as nannies doing their first job) and you should set expectations accordingly.
We’ve loved having an au pair and plan to have one for the next several years even after kids are in school!
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