Granny Au Pair Program

Series of articles about a variety of subjects related to families, grannies, active seniors and granny au pair

What will a Granny Au Pair bring me?

One common question of Families wondering whether the Granny Au Pair program is for them is: what will a Granny Au Pair bring me and my family?

Having doubts?

It can be intimidating to think of hosting a Granny for the first time. For some of us, having dinner with a total stranger means stepping way out of our comfort zone. And I was right there with you. I am not the most welcoming host and I enjoy my privacy. But then life happened – juggling full time careers and caring for young children had me reconsider the Granny Au Pair program.

What happens next?

I wasn’t really sure what to expect when our first Granny joined us. After interviewing many different candidates, we felt confident that she would be perfect for our family. I remember seeing her for the first time when my husband and her returned from the airport. She was that wonderful 71-year old lady, all smiles, totally excited to have arrived, and ready to meet our family the next morning. That very first feeling was one of warmth and confidence. Granny “Wika”, as our 2-year old would call her, joined us to lend a helping hand during the busy summer months. She has been so wonderful that we continued hosting Grannies. And while each has been slightly different, all of our Granny Au Pairs have brought us calm and peace of mind!

What will my Granny Au Pair bring to my family?

Granny Au Pair Benefits

Most Grannies are mothers or grand-mothers and many have worked as teachers or in daycares. They love children and want to make a difference in the lives of their host grand-kids. They come with a lifetime of experience, a love for lullabies and fairytales, and armed with patience and love. With all their attention on your children, you can rest assured that they will be well cared for by a Granny Au Pair who genuinely wants to pour her love on them. We came home, finding them all cuddling around books, investigating bugs, building forts of bedsheets, learning to write their names…

Often times, having a Granny Au Pair will also allow your children to be looked after in the comfort of your own home. Leaving your toddler in daycare never gets easier and you might be able to cut down on those hours if your Granny Au Pair is able to pick up the little ones from school. Children love coming home early to spend time in their environment. Our Grannies have looked forward to that pick-up time and so have our kids. As a parent, the pressure of rushing to school after work is lifted and you don’t feel guilty coming home late once in a while. You know your kids are well cared for by the Granny they love. You find some peace of mind, juggling your busy schedule with theirs.

Many Grannies have the desire to remain active. They travel as Au Pairs to feel helpful and integrated. While we never asked, we came home countless times to a vacuumed house. The laundry would be folded, or the terrace swept. Often, we’d come down from putting the kids in bed and found the dinner table cleared and cleaned. Those are the little things that made our lives so much easier and us so appreciative of our Grannies!

What will my Granny Au Pair bring me?

As mentioned earlier, peace of mind and reduced guilt are just some of the emotions I feel around our Granny Au Pair. Life becomes less stressful, more posed and calm. Everyone finds his own rhythm, parents included. Countless times, having our Granny allowed us to accompany a child to a game, while the others could stay home and enjoy time off. Our Grannies have encouraged us to tackle weekend projects while they took the kids to the playground for an hour.

Grannies will also share their recipes and tips and tricks. From stitching buttons to removing berry stains, I learned so much from them. They lended me their shoulder when I needed someone experience and with a fresh perspective to talk to. In many ways, they became my Granny as well and I just hope I was able to guide them as much as they guided me during their stays.

Give it a try!

I know you might feel vulnerable as you start this journey, but it will be wonderful and gratifying. The human side of it will outweigh your doubts and fears. There is so much that a Granny Au Pair will bring YOU!

 

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Why host a Granny Au Pair?

What makes hosting a Granny Au Pair an excellent childcare solution for you and your family?

Many families today, juggle careers, children, school activities, extra-curricular activities, work trips, etc. Parents are more involved in their children’s lives than any generation before them. Slate states that in 1971, 80% of 3rd graders walked to school alone. Today, less than 9% do. Who is picking up those trips to school? Parents…

Parents today, are expected to take their kids to school, bring them to the park, have them enrolled in a multitude of after-school classes, while putting home-made meals on the table each night, bathing their little, reading them bed night stories so they know 20,000 words by the time they’re first graders, and preparing a healthy lunch for the next day. All of this takes time, and parents often find that time is scarce. Many of us don’t dare reaching out and asking for help. And more and more don’t have family near by to lend a helping hand. The fatigue and stress accumulate. Parents today feel under pressure that can cause mental disorders. Researches call this the “Super Parent” syndrome and sociologists are worried about the lack of support parents get.

Social media does nothing to help. We stare at picture-perfect families and wonder whether our children love us – we never french-braided their hair as artfully as our Facebook friends after all, or put up the eccentric birthday parties that seem to flood Pinterest… Katherine Stone, the founder of Postpartum Progress, states that: “The Pinterest society of looking at all these pictures of people who have perfectly decorated homes and reading on Facebook about children who are always perfectly dressed and way ahead of all developmental milestones — it puts a lot of pressure of mothers, especially those who feel vulnerable and not fully confident in themselves.”

Build your village

Granny Au Pair complicity with child

We have all heard the famous phrase: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Let’s use today’s technology to find that village. Children love being around older people. They are often calmer, gentler, in less of a hurry than their parents. Children feel re-assured by their posed tempers and patience. With platforms such as OurGranny.com, finding your “village” has become extremely convenient.

Hosting a Granny Au Pair is the perfect solution for many parents. We encourage you to give it a try, even if you have reserves around having a stranger live with you. That stranger might become your best ally. Your Granny will be your super-star. She will be the helping hand you have so desperately wished for. She will be thrilled to feel useful to your and your spouse. Kids will soon request that she’s the one reading the bedtime story. You might ask her to take the kids to the park while you vacuum your home. She might be happy to help you prepare the children’s lunch or take your son to his t-ball practice on Friday nights.

Remember, she has gone through what you are going through today. Be vulnerable and ask her for advice. She knows the struggles and the calmer seas lying ahead. She has the perspective you might not have just quiet yet. She will be as much support to you as she will be to the children.

We are convinced that Granny Au Pair’s can be the perfect solution for you and your family. Our first-hand experience taught us that our family received so much more than we had hoped. And we heard the same in return – our Grannies left over-joyed with their experience, feeling empowered with the feeling to have made a difference.

Share with us your doubts and questions. If you wonder about the cost of the program, read our article here. And if you have hosted a Granny Au Pair, tell us about your experience. We would love to hear from you!

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Granny Au Pair in America / USA

With nearly 34.3 million families with children under the age of 18 in 2017, the USA is an appealing destination for American Grannies wanting a national au pair experience, as well as foreign Grannies looking for an American experience.

American Grannies in America

There are over 58 million women over age 50 living in the United States. Many of them consider themselves active seniors. They play sports, participate in social and cultural events, and volunteer their time to remain connected and impactful. Many find fulfillment in working with young children – they volunteer at their local schools, YMCA, Big Brother Big Sister, etc, and would make wonderful Grannies. The advantage of being an American Granny Au Pair in the US is the ability to command the language and have an understanding of the American culture and parenting expectations. Being a Granny Au Pair will allow them to travel within the country, experiencing new ways of living. A Michigan Granny might find appealing the prospect of spending a couple of the winter months in Florida, helping a young family. While the Texan Granny will enjoy experiencing the winter snow or cooler summers in Oregon!

Foreign Grannies Au Pair in America

Many foreign Grannies are looking for ways to improve their English in a native environment. Joining an American family as a Granny Au Pair in America will allow them to practice their language skills in a safe and loving manner. The American culture is engraved in many minds as a reference – many times portrayed and referred to in movies and shows, but rarely experienced as a local. Imagine the amazement in someone’s eyes when roasting marshmallows for the first time, watching their first 4th of July parade, or sharing a Thanksgiving meal with friends and family. Living in the US has always been a dream, and the Granny Au Pair program can make it a reality. The cultural exchange will be a time for sharing and taking in as much as possible in the 90 days the Grannies are allowed to spend on US soil.

Hosting a foreign Granny has many advantages. One of them being the exposure of children to a foreign language. Should the Family be interested in the opportunity, the Granny can speak her native language to the kids, making it a natural way to introduce the children to new vocabulary or to reinforce a language spoken by one of the parents or some of the grand-parents. The Granny will happily share stories of her home country, bake her favorite cakes and bring a new know-how to raising children. Differences should be embraced and both the Family and the Granny will learn from the experience. Keeping an open line of discussion will bring one of the most meaningful experiences for all parties. Who knew a German lullaby could put your little to sleep?

Important considerations before becoming a Granny Au Pair in America

Remember that, as with any destination, you are responsible for checking the rules and regulations surrounding your stay in the country. Being a Granny Au Pair in America will require that you abide by American immigration laws. Most Grannies will enter the country using a tourist visa, however, it is your responsibility to determine the correct visa for your stay. Being a Granny Au Pair is neither paid work, not volunteering. You are visiting the county to be exposed to the culture, hear the language, and discover the area. You are the guest of your hosts and need to remember that, by American immigration law, a foreign national is not allowed to work nor volunteer without a proper work visa. Most of our Grannies enter American territory without any problem, communicating their intentions to the immigration officer. If you however, say that you are coming to volunteer with a family or work with a family’s children, immigration will not let you enter the United States. Please, plan your visit to the USA accordingly. If you are traveling from a foreign country, be aware of this important distinction: as a Granny, you are a TOURIST, not a worker or volunteer. Research and understand the laws and clearly communicate your intentions when entering the country. OurGranny.com cannot be held responsible for any problems you may experience with immigration.

Sources:

United States Census Bureau

AARP Top 10 Demographics &Interests Facts About Americans Ages 50+

AARP Marital Status by Sex

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Cost of the Granny Au Pair Program

Many ask us about the cost of the Granny Au Pair program and we would like to write a few sentences on the topic.

With the cornerstone of this program being mutuality, a typical agreement between a Host Family and a Granny should evolve around the exchange of benefits. While the family receives the Granny’s help and know-how, the Granny receives an unforgettable life experience and, in most cases, a cultural exchange. For that reason, there is typically no need for payment. Additionally, with many Grannies traveling to Families abroad, many countries’ immigration laws will not allow for payment for services rendered.

The cost of hosting a Granny Au Pair for the Host Family is mostly related to room and board. Since the Granny will be integrated as part of your family, she will have access to a private room in your home and you will bear the costs of water, electricity, and food for her. In most cases (and negotiable), the Host Family will also provide transportation from the Granny’s hometown to their home (i.e., airfare, train tickets, etc.).

The costs to the Granny are fairly minimal – potential transportation to the location, activities and past times, personal expenses… Another cost to be considered is her fixed costs at home, such as a mortgage or rent. Should the Granny consider that the Family’s requirements justify pocket money, this should be discussed (before arrival recommended) and the Family might agree to a small allowance. As a principle, we expect the Host Families to consider their Granny as they would their own parent, and not ask more of her than they would of a family member. Should a Granny visit a family in the summer time and spend 9 hours a day with the sole responsibility of the children, please use your best judgment regarding a potential allowance. In 99% of cases, we hope that both parties gain enough from the experience to not justify any sort of payment.

The goal of this program is for the Granny to be as integrated in the Host Family’s everyday life. For the Host Family, consider your Granny as you would your own Mom. Be sure to include her as much, or as little, as she would like to be. We have had Grannies who loved participating in our weekend outings, while others preferred to stay at home, relax, and participate in their own activities. There is no magical recipe to success. To each its own preferences and ways of enjoying the exchange. Our best advice is to openly discuss and agree to the big lines prior to the Granny’s arrival, and to keep an open and honest relationship during the exchange!

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Why become a Granny au pair?

[ Au Pair ]  is French for equal and even. That is the cornerstone of the OurGranny program. Grannies and Families will share, give, and receive from one another in the most mutual way, making this experience rich and precious.

Whether you call yourself Granny au pair, Nana au pair, Yaya au pair, or Grandma au pair, you are active, enjoy spending time with others, and seek to make a difference in people’s lives. What more fulfilling than being around children and breathing in their liveliness and enthusiasm?

By becoming a family’s Granny, you will be make a true difference in their lives. You probably remember those early years, raising your own children, and how much you valued an extra pair of hand. Simple tasks such as preparing the kids’ lunch boxes can remove much weight off of tired parents’ shoulders. Share your experiences and savoir-faire with them. Help them navigate waters you have sailed before them. You will strive, knowing that you are the one bringing time back into their lives, allowing them to spend more quality moments with one another. You will bring more value to their busy lives than you know.

Do not underestimate the impact that you will have on the children. You will generally be involved with children living far away from their own grand-parents. Be ready to receive countless hugs, dry some tears, be their listener, the one having time to answer when Mommy gets busy with Little Brother. You will become their confident. They will come to you to prepare their cards for Father’s Day or draft their letter to Santa Claus. And only once you become their Granny, will you understand the impact that the children have on your own self. The snuggles at story time will become the favorite part of your days. They will share their unconditional love with you and you will get more out of your Granny experience than you ever imagined.

In this au pair relationship, you will receive so much more than you expect – all in the form of human interaction, love, fulfillment, and experiences. You will feel valued and useful. More than you have been in months or years. You will be that family’s rock and stability. The one they can lean on when times get hard and they need someone to talk to. In exchange, you will receive a new purpose and gain esteem in a way you never imagined. You still have so much to live and experience. Join a family and start seeing life through their eyes – live new things, participate in new activities, share common interests and start new ventures. Give a new sense to your life, you are so worth it!

Life is far from over and we encourage you to start a new chapter as Granny au pair. There is so much in store for you – go and unlock your potential to be happy and feel useful by becoming a child’s Granny, Nana, Yaya, Grandma, or whatever else your host children might call you!

 

 

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