Families with 3+ kids

Spotlight: The Rix family in Pennsylvania

Host parents: Sierra and Ed
Host children: Gwen (7), Ben (4), Harry (5) and Jane (8 months)
Host family since: 2009
Current au pair: Nicole from Switzerland

Host parents Sierra and Ed and their four children live in a bustling suburb of Philadelphia. Both work full-time, Ed as a pastor and Sierra at home in sales. With four children, an extra set of hands is essential to maintaining an organized household and au pairs have been a great solution for them.

Because Sierra works primarily from home, she likes having the kids there, too, but needs someone who can take charge so she can focus without interruption. Says Sierra, “When I’m working, I give the au pair full charge of the kids. When I was younger, I worked as a nanny and I know it can be hard when a parent is home, so I stay out of the way!” Her au pairs also take care of all the children’s laundry and meals so when Sierra finishes work, she can relax with the kids.

Why does our program work well for you as a family with four children?

Ed and I are strict with the kids; we love to have fun with them and believe this is only possible if they understand rules and follow them. I like knowing that my au pair is holding them to the same standards! She knows how we want our children to be disciplined so there is more consistency across the board.

What advice would you give to other big families who are thinking about hosting an au pair?

For us, the advantages of having an au pair have greatly outweighed the sacrifices. Is there another person in the mix that you have to think about and worry about? Yes. But once we get into a groove with our au pairs, it just makes daily life so much easier. I am less stressed and happier, so everyone else is less stressed and happier, too.

Meet more families with 3+ kids:

Rau family, VA Horsley-Wiedenroth family, MA Rosenfield family, CT Sternberg family, MA Alsop family, CA