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Advice for Families

Why Live-in Childcare Is a Great Choice for Families in a COVID-19 World

It’s often hard to see positive aspects of difficult situations. And COVID-19 has caused a great variety of difficult situations: health, happiness, finances, and ability to travel are among many facets of life that have suffered in 2020. However, there is one aspect that doesn’t need to suffer: childcare.

Hosting an au pair not only provides dependable, live-in childcare, but also mitigates the exposure to COVID-19 outside your family’s network.

Au Pair USA talked with a few families and au pairs who shared personal stories affirming the strength of live-in childcare in a COVID-19 world.

Host mom Melissa says,

We are both working from home, schools are closed, we don’t have immediate family who can help us, and continuity of current childcare is critical to the happiness and wellbeing of our children, especially during this unprecedented time. Au pair Elle has become family and we don’t want this disrupted during an already unusual time.

Host mom Cynthia says,

My husband, who is an essential worker, and I need to work full-time to ensure our livelihood.  Because we don’t know the status of the school system in the fall, it is more critical now than ever to have someone at home that the family knows well and fully trusts to ensure the well-being of our children.

Host mom Lida says,

With schools closed, we need support with childcare. Our son loves au pair Lucas and at this challenging time it would be difficult for him to adjust to another ‘new normal’ if Lucas were to leave.

Host mom Lily says,

Having an au pair allows us to have a productive home life and have space to each do the things we need and still get our work done. I also found out how appreciative I am that I have an au pair that lives with us and can help us consistently Monday through Friday with childcare during normal working hours. I don’t think I would survive with my sanity intact without Karolaine.

A young woman holds hands with two boys on a road surrounded by trees.
Karolaine leads the boys down a “good path!” 
Image courtesy of Lily Nguyen

These four stories aren’t unique. As discussed in a recently released report by independent research group EurekaFacts, American families are now, more than ever, seeking dependable and caring childcare as they navigate the realities presented by COVID-19. In fact, 71% of families reported that if the program were no longer available, it would affect them at least “a fair amount,” including the majority (55%) who say it would affect them “a great deal.” Given the multitude of concerns families have right now, hosting an au pair may be one of the safest childcare options available into the foreseeable future. 

COVID-19 has caused anxiety and uncertainty for au pairs as well, but many report that they’ve coped by embracing their host family as a support system. As au pair Natalia observes, “during COVID-19, it hasn’t been easy. But saw that I can really count on my host family. They are supportive, especially during this hard time. I have experienced how nice, positive, and supportive Americans can be.”

COVID-19 has caused incredible disturbances on American society. But it also has shone a light on networks of support. These stories give us hope for the future of live-in childcare! Ready to learn more? You’re just a click away!

Matt Wallace

Matt Wallace is the Community & Digital Content Manager for the InterExchange Marketing team. He received a Master of Science in Global Affairs from New York University, and worked with the State Department and two New York organizations with missions to introduce young people to multiculturalism and international relations. He is excited to leverage this experience with InterExchange!