logo AyiConnect Staff, Oct 23, 2020
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Bilingual Nannies vs. Au Pairs: Finding the Right Fit

Which option is better for creating a bilingual environment for your child?

Bilingual live-in nannies and au pairs can help children learn two languages in a safe and loving home.

A bilingual live-in nanny is a household worker who lives with the family and provides childcare and housework. They also provide a chance for the children to learn a second language from a native speaker. An au pair is a young person who lives with a family in another country in exchange for childcare.

Families hire bilingual nannies to teach their children a second language while caring for them. Au pairs share their culture and learn a new language while living in a different country. Au pairs may also take on some childcare duties, but their main focus is on cultural exchange.

Both bilingual live-in nannies and au pairs can be a great way for families to get help with childcare and cultural exchange. However, there are some pros and cons to each option that families should consider before making a decision.

Some benefits to having a bilingual live-in nanny instead of an au pair. 

  • Consistent care: Nannies may provide more consistent care. This is because they are not on a visa and are more likely to stay with the family for a longer period.
  • Expanded capabilities:
    • Nannies are most likely more experienced with childcare.
    • Nannies can help with cooking, cleaning, and other chores because they have fewer restrictions on their duties.
    • Au pairs are primarily childcare assistants, while nannies can be primary caregivers.
  • Trial possibility: Nannies can take a trial in person. Trialing an au pair is not usually possible as they live in another country. The exception is when they are already in the host country.
  • Limited restriction on working hours: Nannies can work overtime. Au pairs have a maximum number of hours they can work per week (e.g., 45 hours per week).

Some benefits to hiring an au pair instead of a live-in bilingual nanny: 

  • Cultural exchange: Au pairs bring a cultural perspective to your home, exposing children to new customs and traditions.
  • Energetic: Au pairs are young persons and may have a lot of energy to engage with your children.
  • Affordability: Au pairs typically receive a stipend, food, and living arrangement for culture exchange opportunities. Overall cost is over $1,000 lower than a live-in nanny. 
  • Language immersion: Au pairs may provide opportunities for your children to immerse themselves in a second language.
  • Shared household responsibilities: Au pairs may contribute to light housework within their working hours.
  • Support: Au pair programs may offer flexible support options. 

Generally, a bilingual live-in nanny may be a better option for families:

  • With younger children, or 
  • Looking to immerse their child in bilingual education

In contrast, an au pair may be better suited for family:

  • With older children looking for light help, or
  • Want to expose their kids to another culture

Conclusion 

Bilingual live-in help can help children learn a second language. The children can learn to form a positive relationship with a caregiver from a different culture. 

Live-in nannies are often a better option than au pairs because they have more experience with childcare and are more mature. Many parents also find it beneficial for their children to have access to bilingual education in their home. Furthermore, bilingual live-in nannies can provide more individualized attention to your child as their sole purpose. 

Au pairs, on the other hand, are typically young adults with less childcare experience than bilingual live-in nannies. However, they are often more affordable. They may be a good option for families who need light childcare and housework in exchange for room and board. Additionally, au pairs can bring a fresh perspective for your children learn about a different culture.

Each family is different with the type of care they need. Find what’s important to your family, so you can create a nurturing multilingual environment for your child. 


AyiConnect is a platform to connect families with helpers who have a language specialty in addition to care. You can engage with them directly through self service or concierge service. Our concierge service helps busy families in the United States who don’t have time to search or need language assistance. Schedule a free consultation here for our concierge service, or download our app.