In Canada, 69% of families have dual-earning parents with a child age 16 and younger, 75% of which work full-time hours , making dependable and accommodating childcare difficult to find. What is the solution? Find flexible child care. For many Canadian families, this is easier said than done considering location of child care centres, hours of operation and the quality of child care they provide (check out our blog on the characteristics of a high-quality daycare and how an Au Pair fulfills those need). Today, we are going to focus on how flexible Au Pair’s are not only to a family’s schedule, but as well to their other child care needs such as parenting style and location. Canadian families that are struggling with their needs have come to the right place to help find a solution.
An Au Pair is flexible to a family’s schedule.
One of the best parts of having an Au Pair is having child care that lives-in. Families can benefit from the accessibility of having someone in their home who is available to care for their children without outsourcing to their neighbour’s 14 year old. Normally, Au Pairs have a set schedule where they know the exact hours they are working per week. Yet, they are also available to babysit if an emergency comes up or if the host parents get surprised by a couple of friends to see Adele in concert. As long as host families are following employment standards of their province and are being fair employers, an Au Pair would probably be happy to make a bit more money on their Friday night.
Families do not need to worry about commute to daycare either since their daycare provider is living in the same home as them. This provides ease to a morning routine by allowing parents and children to sleep in a little bit more and have a calming breakfast that does not include shovelling food down. If children are going to school, an Au Pair can drop them off in the morning and then pick them up again at bell avoiding before and after school programs (check out our blog on Au Pairs vs. After School Programs).
An Au Pair is flexible to parenting styles.
A part of being an Au Pair is to adapt to the host parent’s parenting style: how they discipline, their family rules and how they mange the household. Creating continuity between the Au Pair and the host parents for the children, so that they know that whether their parents or their Au Pair is caring them for they will receive the same rewards/punishments for their behaviour, allows for a smooth transition in introducing an Au Pair into the family. Children thrive in a structured environment and an Au Pair can make sure that rules are being followed firmly, assisting parents in child rearing.
An Au Pair is flexible to a family’s location.
As previously mentioned, Au Pairs live-in with their host family which provides flexibility in scheduling since child care is readily available for parents. Another benefit of having an Au Pair live-in is that they can also travel with a host family, continuing to provide child care over family vacations. For example, if a host family wants to plan a ski trip for a couple of days but the little one cannot quite keep up, an Au Pair can stay at the resort with him while the rest of the family can enjoy a full day of skiing allowing for a win-win situation.
The only restriction for travelling with your Au Pair is dependent on where she can travel with her citizenship. Yet, if you are planning on staying within Canada there are no problems. Make sure you check in with the country you plan on travelling to and see if there are any restrictions. For example, if a host family has a German Au Pair and they want to travel to the USA then they will need to get an ESTA form, a one-time low cost travel visa.
Given that 69% of Canadian families are dual earning parents, there needs to be a shift in child care that allows parents not to compromise their lifestyles and needs. Au Pairs are the solution that many Canadian families are looking for! Give us a call today to see how your life can be changed with adding someone to your family.