Au pair vs nanny

Many families like the idea of the one-on-one care a nanny can provide, but the high cost is a big deterrent. In most communities in the U.S., nannies are cost-prohibitive for middle class families.

Disadvantages of hiring a nanny

  • High cost and need for salary negotiations
  • Lack of quality candidates
  • Lack of a qualified agency in the area
  • Lack of night or weekend coverage
  • The hassle of verifying her legal work eligibility
  • Absence of a back-up plan if she falls ill or quits
  • No regulation or support from a third-party agency or staff member

Hosting an au pair can give you the one-on-one attention and in-home convenience that you want but without the high cost and other disadvantages of hiring a nanny. Compare au pair childcare to a nanny:

Value Comparison Au Pair Nanny

$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. 


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.


Assistance with household duties 

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


Convenience of a live-in caregiver

Peace of mind that comes with knowing your caregiver is close by.


Opportunity for cultural exchange

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


Year-long, local support

The assistance of a local childcare consultant (LCC) throughout your program term. 


Another benefit to hosting an au pair? All au pairs meet strict requirements mandated by Cultural Care and the U.S. Department of State.

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