Family Embraces Au Pair for Childcare

Fair Oaks family Amy & John Dawson are using a unique approach to child care for their son, with a live in au pair from South Africa through AuPairCare.

The Dawson family of Fair Oaks is like many others -- working parents with a baby they adore. John and Amy are physicians from Fair Oaks who opted to have live-in child care through Au Pair Care for their son, Luke. Rather than outside day care, they embraced the idea of cultural exchange and are awaiting the arrival of their second au pair, Cassondra from South Africa. She’ll complete Au Pair Care’s infant specialized program, which includes infant CPR and First Aid from the American Heart Association, baby sign language, soothing massage and ongoing education about infant safety and development.

“John and I like the idea of having a young, energetic person join our family”, said Amy. “We are very busy people and having a live-in caregiver for our son is very important to us. Having an au pair as part of our family makes it much easier for me to leave the house in the morning knowing that our son will not only be well cared for, but will also be surrounded with love from that third member of our family.”

Au Pair Care has placed more than 40,000 au pairs since 1989 from more than 40 countries.

“Our service comes with the added benefit of cultural exchange," said Au Pair Care regional manager, Steven Courtney. "That can’t be said for any other childcare option."

An au pair will initially commit to one year in the U.S. and then has the option to renew for another six, nine or 12 months. Families will sometimes match with an au pair who has a similar heritage, or welcome someone with an entirely different culture into their home. It’s not unusual for the children to learn songs, language and customs from their au pair. Their work week contains up to 45 hours of child care or 10 hours per day as governed by the State Department. They participate in monthly cultural outings together with their area director, Leslie Marks.

“John and I find the cultural experience invaluable” said Amy. “We cherish different foods, languages and customs and we both feel that there is an unparalleled opportunity for education in this regard for our son. Although our son is only 8 months old, I expect him to learn the value of cultural exchange in every aspect as he ages.”

Au Pair Care will host its annual “International Au Pair & Host Family Day Fall Hoedown” on Oct. 16 in Roseville. The event is open to current and prospective host families. Free activities for children, including pumpkin decorating, bobbing for apples, and much more will be provided along with the opportunity to meet other host families and au pairs. For more information on attending or hosting an au pair­­, contact Leslie Marks, area director at 916-580-3880, lmarks.aupaircare@att.net, or visit www.aupaircare.com.

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