France is a country known for excelling at many different things—art, history, science, food, architecture and language to name just a few. But did you know that the French make exceptional caregivers as well?
When it comes to au pairs, the concept is literally named for the French. After all, the term “au pair” is French for “on par”—which reflects the exact kind of relationship an au pair has with a host family: One that is equal, mutually enriching, and caring.
French au pairs are seen as more than simply a childcare provider; they are a true member of the family, acting as a “big sister” or “big brother” to their host kids. And together with their host parents, they form a united front to help things run smoothly at home.
Perhaps some of this comes from the extensive childcare experience young French women and men so often gain. Whether it’s a French au pair, a French nanny or a French babysitter, these caregivers usually develop their childcare skillset through babysitting opportunities, caring for younger family members, and working in daycare centers or holiday camps.
It’s common for the French to pitch in with childcare duties, making it a team effort that lends itself well to the au pair experience in the USA. Au pairs from France also come from a country where quality childcare is a top priority for most families. France has an excellent childcare system where the state funds 80% of the care—meaning there are many families enrolled in childcare programs and therefore, ample opportunities for French caregivers to get the experience they need to embark on programs such as the au pair program in the USA.
Beyond the expertise that au pairs from France bring to host families in the USA, there is the incredible culture they’re excited to share! French people are proud and protective of their culture and their language—they do everything they can to preserve it while still sharing it with culturally-curious and open people such as host families.
When you decide to host a French au pair, you open your children up to the beauty of the French language. A French speaking au pair is excited to teach your little ones common French phrases. And there’s no better way to get the French pronunciation—one of the trickiest ones to master—right than having a native speaker living and working with you every day.
Of course, just because a French speaking au pair is eager to share their language with your family doesn’t mean they won’t be easy to communicate with. French au pairs are excellent at English—they are introduced to the language as young children in primary school and continue to be exposed to it well into adulthood. In fact, immersing themselves in an English-speaking environment is one of the greatest motivating factors for au pairs from France—so you can expect a perfect blend of French and English when you welcome one into your home.
French au pairs are proud of their heritage and happy to answer questions about it, whether it’s about their holidays, family life, art, etc. Having a live-in childcare provider from France means that your children can experience French traditions firsthand—such as making crepes or other French foods on special holidays. It also means learning French songs, dances, and other pieces of French culture that make the country one of the most popular ones! (Did you know that France is the most visited country in the world, with about 75 million tourists each year?!)
For many Cultural Care host families, hosting a French au pair is a joy because of their love for quality family time and closeness. Family is important to au pairs from France, so they’ll revel in opportunities to cook for parties and family dinners, and they’ll look forward to get-togethers and holidays that will allow them to socialize, learn more about the American way of life and share their own culture with an attentive audience. The French have strong family values and are expert communicators when it comes to airing any issues or concerns—so you can expect thoughtful, honest communication about the thing that matters most: Your children.
There are countless reasons to host a French au pair—but at the end of the day, it’s about what your family is looking for most! If you’re eager to host a live-in childcare provider that will care for your little ones with love, share their culture and language with you and look forward to spending quality time with the entire family, an au pair from France is the way to go.