Au Pair vs Nanny

What is an Au Pair?

At Nanny Authority, we do not place au pairs. However, we believe that you ought to have a full picture of your child care options. And whether you’re looking for a child care position or looking to hire a child care provider, understanding the au pair vs nanny distinction is important. So what is an au pair and how do they differ from a nanny? There are several ways in which au pair arrangements stand out.

Au Pairs are Live-In

If you hire an au pair, be prepared to provide them with housing. The arrangement shares a few similarities with hosting a foreign exchange student; an au pair is invited to come to the United States and care for children in exchange for room and board along with a stipend. This allows the au pair to experience life in a new cultural setting.

Au Pair Limitations

Although this model does work for some families, there are several drawbacks that accompany employing an au pair. Au pairs are limited to one year of service in the U.S. — this can make it difficult for families who wish to develop a strong, long-term relationship with their childcare provider, and also necessitates undertaking another nanny search in the relatively near future.

Additionally, au pairs are limited in the number of hours they are allowed to work each week and must attend classes at the host family’s expense. When unforeseen childcare responsibilities arise, these rules around hours can complicate the arrangement and create a need to hire auxiliary help.  Although au pair salaries are low, the peripheral costs that come with employing them can add up and negate the cost benefits that theoretically come with this relationship.

Au Pair Job Positions

As you can see, when contrasting an au pair vs nanny there are a number of differences that will undoubtedly affect your decision. Keep in mind that an au pair arrangement requires host families to invest a significant amount of resources both in terms of time and money. In order to hire an au pair, you must seek them out through a U.S. government-approved au pair agency.

If you’re a parent looking to expose your young ones to a new language and a different way of life, this can be made possible when hiring a nanny domestically. To get a better idea of your nanny job options or to find a nanny, contact Nanny Authority online or give us a call at 877-466-2669.