Au pair vs day care

As parents, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of all childcare options and choose what will work best for our schedule, budget and lifestyle. Families who choose daycare are often discouraged by the toll it takes on their work/life balance and finances.

Disadvantages of daycare

  • High cost and “per child” rates
  • Hassle of transporting children to and from the daycare facility
  • Inflexible hours and expensive late fees
  • High staff turnover and staff inexperience
  • High child-to-staff ratio
  • Long wait lists
  • Lack of coverage when children are sick
  • Tendency to expose children to colds and other illnesses

Parents who compare the benefits and limitations of daycare to au pair childcare are often surprised. “What you get” compared to “what you pay” makes hosting an au pair a great value for many families.

Value Comparison Au Pair daycare

$360 weekly fixed cost (per family, not per child)

An affordable childcare solution regardless of the number of children you have.


Up to 45 hours of care per week

A convenient option for working parents.


Childcare on a schedule you set

The ability to create your own childcare schedule week-to-week.


Low caregiver-to-child ratio

Assurance that your children receive 100% of their caregiver’s attention all day long.


Assistance with household duties

An extra helping hand with kids’ laundry, meals and room pick-up.


Candidates qualified in CPR/AED and First Aid*

Know that your childcare provider is Red Cross-certified in adult and pediatric CPR/AED and First Aid.


Candidates qualified in driver safety**

New this year, Cultural Care au pairs will also attend a classroom course on driver’s safety, also delivered by the American Red Cross, designed to familiarize au pairs with American driving laws, signs and protocols.


Year-long, local support

The assistance of a local childcare consultant (LCC) throughout your exchange year.


Opportunity for cultural exchange

Exposure to a new culture, language and way of life.


Live-in caregiver

Convenience and peace of mind that come with knowing your caregiver is close by.


Learn more about how an au pair compares to hiring a nanny.

*Effective for au pairs arriving from overseas in January 2013 and beyond.
**Effective for au pairs arriving from overseas February 2014 and beyond.