Child care is often the bane of a parent’s desire to return to work or maintain/progress a career. There are so many different options – sharing care between parents, grandparents, friends, day care (long or occasional), and others. One of the options that seems to be not so well understood is au pairs.
In today’s episode we talk to Sue Pember, a passionate entrepreneur who has founded Aussie Au Pairs.
As well as the basics (What even is an au pair!?), Sue shares all the details you need to know – how much should you pay an au pair? How much time do they spend working? What kind of work can they do? How do you find an au pair you can trust?
Au pairs can be seen to be a bit of a holy grail for child care and in a humorous way Sue sheds some light on the pros and cons to give people a real understanding of what this form of child care entails.
In Sue’s opinion, the key advantages of an au pair include:
- Au pairs are often young people who really like kids. It can be like having an older brother or sister for your children.
- They can truly become part of the family, creating a long term relationship that continues after they leave your home.
On the other hand, some of the disadvantages include:
- As a family engaging an au pair you won’t have access to the government rebates that other child care brings.
- Au pairs are generally not qualified child care givers, and it can be difficult to assess their capabilities prior to them joining your family.
- Communication can be difficult where English is a second language.
- They are in your space. No walking around in your underwear!
Ultimately, Sue believes that what you get out of an au pair relationship is directly proportionate to what you put into it.
Sue also shares some of her personal story and how she is managing the juggle between her husband, two children and running three businesses. She shares her passion for providing work opportunities to mothers and semi-retirees and building businesses that take advantage of the skills these people hold.