The current state of our economy has thrust many changes onto families in terms of work and finances. Families may need to reassess what type of childcare they need, finding something that fits their needs and budget. Nicole Joel Roswall, a local coordinator for Cultural Care in Rhode Island, shares why an au pair may be a good option for some families.
One consequence of the current economic crisis is that more mothers are working. More new moms are remaining in the workforce, and stay-at-home mothers who chose to put their careers on hold are now finding they need to return to work. With an increase in dual-income households comes an increase in the demand for quality childcare.
In some cases, this rising demand is driving up childcare costs. According to a recent report by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, the average price of full-time center care increased an average of 6.5 percent, almost three times the rate of inflation. Escalating childcare costs are having the greatest effect on the nanny business, with nanny hiring down between 10 to 30 percent.
One childcare program, however, has been able to meet the growing demand for childcare with an affordable option for working parents. Cultural Care Au Pair is a childcare and cultural exchange program headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that places au pairs across the country, including all parts of Rhode Island.
Au pairs are caring, committed and educated young people from abroad. They are eager to experience American culture while sharing their own unique backgrounds. In exchange for the privilege of living in your home as a family member, they will provide you with personalized and loving childcare.
“Although the demand for au pairs is strong, we understand that affordable childcare is an economic necessity for our current and potential host families,” says David Fougere, president of Cultural Care Au Pair. “We have taken some major steps to help families in these tough economic times. We are holding our prices at 2008 levels for 2009. We have also adjusted our payment plan and reduced the initial deposit so the upfront costs are more manageable. And we will be offering greater discounts to both new and repeat families, so many families will be paying even less than they paid last year.”
Nicole Joel Roswall, a local coordinator for Cultural Care in Rhode Island, says, “If you have two or three children, there really is no comparison. The cost of the program is about $320 per week and that’s per family, not per child.” The au pair program is also an attractive option because it allows parents to set a schedule that works for them on a weekly basis, provides in-home care for their children, and introduces children to other cultures.
Local families interested in learning more about the au pair program can contact Nicole Joel Roswall at 401.527.8884 or visit www.culturalcare.com for additional information on the Cultural Care Au Pair program.
About Cultural Care Au Pair
Cultural Care Au Pair is a leading provider of intercultural childcare in the United States. Now in its twentieth year, Cultural Care Au Pair has placed more than 75,000 au pairs in welcoming American homes since 1989. A U.S. Department of State regulated program, Cultural Care Au Pair is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with an 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.