New Canaan Parents: Why should you host an au pair?
As a mother of three boys, I know firsthand that finding and choosing the best childcare for my family isn’t easy. As parents, we want a high-quality option we can trust that also provides flexibility and enrichment for everyone involved. I am happy to say that I’ve found my solution through hosting au pairs!
My au pair journey began three years ago after my twins arrived. After many years of frustration in managing multiple childcare options, I finally found au pair agency Cultural Care Au Pair last summer and welcomed my first au pair from Italy. Since then, I haven’t looked back. The cultural exchange and flexibility are complete game-changers. My boys love having a “big sister” and the exchange element is really special.
Essentially, an au pair is a young adult between the ages of 18-26 from another country who lives with an American family for up to two years as part of a cultural exchange. The au pair provides up to 45 hours per week of childcare while learning about American culture and improving their English, and become a part of the family during their time here.
Learning about my au pair’s culture while also sharing ours has been a wonderful experience. Since my current au pair and my best friend’s au pair are both Italian, we frequently plan big family dinners and the girls help us cook gnocchi and lasagna. The meals are absolutely delicious and we love eating together while telling stories of the day. In addition to being exposed to these Italian traditions, we love sharing ours and recently took her on a trip to Jackson Hole. She has always wanted to go whitewater rafting, so we arranged for a sitter to watch the kids while the adults took an amazing trip down the Snake River together. We had SO much fun and really bonded. Martina has truly become a part of the family.
After such a positive hosting experience, I decided to become even more involved in the au pair program and have recently become a Local Childcare Consultant (LCC) for the New Canaan community. In my new role, I love experiencing all of the different cultures of the au pairs I welcome and enjoy helping host families find the right au pair for their specific childcare needs. Once families apply to host, I interview them, follow up with them regularly, and facilitate monthly au pair meetings which gives them a chance to network and bond. I also provide support throughout the year as various questions arise.
As a host mom myself, I have experience with all aspects of this amazing program and I’m happy to answer any questions for those interested.
Testimonials for Lindsey and the program:
“I had never considered welcoming an Au Pair until Lindsey made the suggestion. She knew I was struggling with expensive childcare and it became more than I could handle. We are now on our second year with our au pair. My three boys LOVE her like family and she has brought such sanity to my life.” – Ryann G
“I long considered the au pair program but was hesitant about how another person would fit into our household. Once my third child arrived, I realized I had to give it a try. The ability to shift hours to any day of the week with one childcare provider my children know and love is priceless. Plus, the help with kids’ meals, projects (messes!) and laundry is wonderful.” – Charlotte S