Recently, an article was released in the Globe and Mail about an after-school care centre being forced to close down for two days out of five because the Ministry of Education found non-compliances in their program. This is caused many parents to scramble to find care for their children. Within the past two years, the Ministry of Education has been implementing new rules to child focused programs which are confusing, frustrating and can lead to closure. Instead of parents deciding what is appropriate for their children, it’s the government coming in and making those decisions for them. Before and after school care centres are few and far between with long wait lists and limited hours. An excellent alternative to before and after school care, with minimal government involvement, is hiring an Au Pair!

Au Pairs provide childcare that is catered to your parenting methods, engage culturally with your children and have flexibility in scheduling because they live-in. Instead of worrying if you are going to get to the after-school centre before it closes, you can say goodbye to the stress and guilt of your 4pm meeting running late because your children are already being cared for in the comfort of your home. You will now be able to say hello to your children’s homework already being completed and dinner started!

The best part of having an Au Pair is the cultural aspect; a childcare provider who can teach your children a new language, skill or recipe. Au Pairs can also get children ready and even drive them to their activities. Children can smoothly transition between school, home and activities without feeling rushed.

Since Au Pairs are paid hourly, their wages depend on how many hours they work per week. Plus, room and board are deducted off of their pay check. For a family that has two or more children, an Au Pair is cheaper than daycare. Plus, they can provide light housekeeping as well as childcare. That means that an Au Pair can provide 2 hours of childcare in the morning, 1 hour of light housekeeping during the day and 2 hours of childcare in the afternoon/evening.

As an employer to an Au Pair, parents are the ones who decide what is appropriate for their children’s care. Busy parents already have so much on their plates that they do not need last minute cancellation on their childcare. An Au Pair commits to a family for a certain period of time and they work with the parents to focus on the children to provide them with the best care possible. Don’t get stuck in the Ministry of Education’s mess. Hire live-in care that works with you!