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Why would you want or need an au pair? Its a good question! Personally speaking I want to know that my daughter always has the care love and attention she deserves, but we understand that with the hectic schedules of modern day life, as a parent one cannot always be by their side 24 hours a day. Parents play the important role of primary provider and an au pair can play a vital supportive role in our children’s lives, making the time we spend with our children, quality time.

In the traditional sense, an au pair, is defined as a young person living with a family abroad caring for the family’s children and doing light house work.

However in South Africa, today, an au pair is much more than this. An au pair in South Africa, is a professional, responsible, experienced and even trained person who cares for the child’s entire welfare whilst in his or her care. An au pair is expected to do a lot more than just supervise the children.Play to learn, Learn to Play

It should be remembered that the parents should always be the primary care providers and role models for their children and au pairs can support the parents in achieving this goal by contributing to the childrens vital support network. An au pair helps with daily activities related to the child’s needs, from lifting to helping with homework, preparing healthy snacks and filling the children’s days with fun, age appropriate activities. This leaves time for mom and dad to relax with their children and enjoy a healthy relationship which ultimately will provide the basis to develop the communication and trust needed between children and parents as they get older.

We know it takes lots of  love, care and personal attention to develop a child to his or her full potential and every child deserves that chance. As children grow, so do the influences they are susceptible to outside the home. Having an au pair ensures that your children are cared for in the comfort of your home. The au pair will provide fun and learning opportunities in an environment safe for your children. What’s more, is that you will have more control over your child’s situation, you will get regular report backs on progress and activities, behavior patterns and this means that you will have a better chance of helping your children reach their full potential. Hiring an au pair provides you with the ability to spend your evenings/time with your children uninterrupted by homework, cooking and other child related chores. An au pair helps with the development of your child by balancing schoolwork, sport (extra-mural activities) and other activities of daily life.

Choosing an au pair is one the best things you can do for your child/children no matter how old they are. Children are influenced by friends, the media, teachers and other influential adults. Having some control over who these influences are, can only have a positive effect on your children’s lifestyle and over-all development.

I believe in this concept and would recommend an au pair for children of any age as long as you have thoroughly established your needs and done research to ensure that these needs can be met by a person capable of doing so.