Has anyone here had an au pair? Any good/bad experiences with them? Sort of curious about how it all works.
We haven't...but DH's cousin uses them to help care for their two twin boys. They had a young woman most recently from Sweden (or something) who was using the opportunity to travel, learn english better, etc. I thought she was a family friend at first...the way the adults all got along and how the kids played with her. They were all very sad when she had to leave
Sounds like they need a visa, and you cover the cost of their healthcare, travel food and housing...but only have to pay something like $5/hr for salary. They can stay in the US a year, and while they only technically work a 40-45hr week...they are there all day to help with the kids, cooking, housework, night feedings, etc. They live with you and your family.
http://www.aupair.com/ (and other sites like it)
Our au pair has been here for 2 weeks now and she is AWESOME so far. We love her. We went thru Cultural Care Au Pair and so far it has been a great experience.
My only advice is that you ask very specific questions of the au pairs you are looking for. Most of them don't have a lot of experience, but are eager to learn. We have 2 very young girls, so we needed someone with a little baby experience AND preschooler experience. We had to interview quite a few au pairs to find someone we clicked with who also had the experience we were looking for.
Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about the process. dyana (dot) stevens (at) gmail (dot) com