Starting a Family & Teaching Kids to Save
Child Care and a Cultural Exchange
The cost of child care continues to rise, but there is a cheaper alternative that comes with additional advantages. Consider hiring an au pair: An au pair is a foreign citizen who lives with your family and cares for your children for up to 45 hours a week. The cost is lower in total because some of their “wage” is paid in the form of room and board. Simply contact a reputable agency (au pairs are regulated by the State Department and work under very specific guidelines.) Agencies take care of screening and background checks, will allow you to interview prospective caregivers, and also step in if there are problems or concerns.
But there is one drawback: An au pair is not allowed to stay with you for more than a year. So while you may have to change providers on a regular basis, your kids could receive in-home care, learn about another culture, and build a bridge to another country.