FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Lee Anna Whitely
Regional Development Consultant
Cultural Care Au Pair
AU PAIR CHILDCARE AFFORDABLE?
Au Pairs Often More Affordable Than Day Care or Nannies
Darien, CT-December 6, 2013 -- There’s no question that childcare is a significant expense for working families. Monthly childcare fees for two children represent the single largest household expenditure nationally according to Parents and the High Cost of Childcare, a recent study published by NACCRRA, the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. Childcare fees outrank annual food costs and exceed median monthly rent costs and mortgage payments.
Finding childcare that works within the family budget is a challenge for families at all income levels. One might assume middle-income families would have an easy time finding affordable childcare, but according to Eric Karolak, deputy director of the National Child Care Information Center, a clearinghouse that provides comprehensive childcare information resources, that is not the case. "There are a lot of families who aren't wealthy, but they are in need," Karolak says. "There's a great middle who are struggling to confront the cost of child care."
According to the NACCRRA report, since 2000 the average
annual cost of childcare has increased twice as fast as the median income of families
with children and those costs continue to rise. In many states, the
annual cost for one child in a day care center full time exceeds $11,000. “In
today’s economy, the number of parents losing jobs, working part time, taking
pay cuts, or working two or more jobs is rising…the high cost of child care is
causing many parents to remove their children from organized child care,”
according to The
Economy’s Impact on Parents Choices and Perceptions About Childcare,
another recent NACCRRA report.
So, what are the options beyond daycare? Suze Orman, well-known personal finance expert, provides online calculators for numerous personal financial calculations. Her calculator for affordable babysitting gives users the going rate for a babysitter in their area. According to the babysitter rate calculator, babysitters in most metropolitan areas charge $11 to $16 per hour. And nannies can make even more. Based on a 2010 salary and benefits survey distributed by the International Nanny Association, live-in and live-out full time nanny salaries average up to $700 per week. Nannys4Hire gives nannies with 2+ years experience a salary range that averages from $400 to $1,000 per week, or $20,800 to $52,000 annually, plus benefits, taxes and overtime pays.
One of the most cost effective options for many families is the au pair program, especially if you have more than one child. Au pairs are experienced, trained young people from overseas who come to the U.S. on a cultural exchange visa to provide up to 45 hours per week of live-in childcare. The average weekly cost of an au pair is $350 regardless of the number of children in the family. This includes the application fee, selection fee, program fee and the au pair’s weekly stipend and works out to be just $7.80 per hour. The average annual cost for an au pair is $17,830, significantly lower than the cost of daycare centers, babysitters and nannies for families with two or more children.
The au pair program is an attractive option because it allows parents to set a schedule that works for them on a weekly basis at a cost that remains the same whether a family works a traditional 9 to 5 schedule or has the au pair work non-traditional hours. Contrary to the misconception that the au pair program is only for the wealthy, families in need of childcare with more than one child find the au pair program to be one of the most affordable childcare options available.
For more information on hosting an au pair, please call Regional Development Consultant Lee Anna Whitely at 203-918-2455 or visit www.culturalcare.com.
About Cultural Care Au Pair
Cultural Care Au Pair is the leading provider of intercultural childcare in the United States. Since 1989, Cultural Care Au Pair has placed more than 85,000 au pairs in welcoming American homes. A U.S. Department of State regulated program, Cultural Care Au Pair is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with their own extensive network of recruitment, screening and orientation offices worldwide and more than 600 local coordinators across the U.S. For more information about hosting an au pair, visit www.culturalcare.com or call 800-333-6056.