Are the cuts in childcare supplements affecting you?

Many families find it increasingly difficult to pay for childcare.

Did you know an au pair in your home could be the perfect solution?

Caroline Joyce is the director of Cara International au pair agency. Cara International has been in business since 2001 and knows all too well how valuable an au pair is.

Caroline has has an au pair for her own children and she is finding a definite increase in queries since the Budget announcements.

So what is an au pair?

An au pair is a young person from a foreign country who comes to live in your home so they can improve their English, and while doing so help with childcare and light housework.

It’s flexible au pair work, 35 hours a week, including babysitting in the evenings so you can go out.They can also help with light house work such as ironing for the children and help prepare meals. The au pair experience is really great for children as they can learn about other cultures and even learn a new language.

The au pair needs a room of her own and in return she receives a minimum of €100 pocket money per week.

In the summer the children are out of school this puts an added burden on families. If a family is nervous about having someone in the house then the summer au pair is a great option

You can try it out for two to three months and see is the programme is for you.

Irish au pairs look to travel more

This year Cara International is also finding a large increase in Irish people looking to be au pairs abroad.

Cara is sending au pairs to the USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. For work in the US you must have a driving licence and go for a minimum of 12 months.

The good thing is you do not need to have a foreign language for these programmes as many European families are happy to host English speaking students. It does give the student a chance to learn the language and this can only be an advantage in the current economic climate.

This programme is good for students who do not have a job for the summer. They can go from July onwards so idea for Leaving Cert students too.

All students have the back up and support of a local agency in the country they are going too.

Cara International is a member of IAPA (International Au Pair Association ). You can register on line for an au pair at You can also view au pairs profiles on the site and pick a profile that suits your family.

Please feel free to contact Caroline at (094 ) 9289802 or email [email protected] for more details.


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