A live in nanny or au pair might at first seem a difficult decision, if this is your first time. Here we try to give a little advice on the common questions. Please note that it is impossible to cover the rules for every country - you should check with your Government to see if there are special rules for your own country. Also, we will use the term 'live in nanny' below, although most of this also applies to au pairs.
1. Cost of a Live In Nanny
Most of the families on our site find that a live in nanny is a less expensive option than having children in daycare. You have to provide a weekly salary, which can vary from USD $100 to $500 per week, depending on where you are in the world and the qualifications/experience of your nanny. You also have to provide food and accommodation. In some countries (e.g. the USA) you will also have to put your live-in nanny through one of the recognised Government agencies, which charge for the administration involved. However, the overall cost will normally work out less than the cost of having 2 children in daycare.
2. The Nanny's Room
A live in nanny will normally require her own room. Some families worry about the quality of accommodation they can provide. However, please remember that many nannies come from less-developed countries and will often consider your house and the room you provide to be much better than what they are used to at home. If a nanny has been used to sharing a small room with her sister, having her own room in your house will seem like a luxury to her!
3. Food for Live In Nannies
Families often worry too much about the question of food. Generally, however, nannies will eat with the family, or with the children when the parents are working, and it is normal for them to eat what the family eats. If your nannies come from another country, experiencing your cuisine is all part of the cultural adventure!
4. Having a 'Stranger' Living in the Home
This is of course very much a personal decision for parents, but most families find that the benefits of having live in nannies are much greater than the imagined loss of privacy. New Au Pair strongly recommends that a family takes the time to get to know potential nannies before they offer a job. It may take a little time, emailing and talking on the phone, but this is the best way to ensure that your new nanny becomes 'part of the family'. Our experience is that when nannies ask to leave early (or are asked to leave by the parents) it is often because the decision to employ them was made too quickly. We recommend that you ask your potential new nannies as many questions as possible, to get to know them as well as you can before choosing someone.
5. Additional Benefits of Live In Nannies
Don't forget, live in nannies will generally help around the home, which can reduce the time you have to spend cooking, cleaning or tidying up. Nannies can also be asked to do some babysitting in the evenings, giving you the chance to go out more. And sometimes, it's just useful having someone who will wait in for the washing machine repairman so that you don't have to!
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- Dalia S, United Kingdom