Thursday, July 23, 2020

Why Granny Au-Pairs Are a Much Better Choice

Twenty-something au pairs are often full of energy, enthusiasm, and charm, but their life experience is low and – while they might have one eye on your child — the other’s firmly trained on their smartphone, their new boyfriend or the weekend’s social possibilities.

So why should only young women be au-pairs? This was the question Michaela Hansen, a mum-of-two asked before setting up "Granny Au-Pair" in Hamburg, Germany in 2010. As a young mother, she’d had a Spanish au pair — “a lovely young lady but not a big help: she couldn’t fry an egg and was mainly interested in parties. It was like having an extra child”.

Older au-pairs says Hansen, have more life experience and can rise to most challenges. “They don’t easily get flustered if confronted with a screaming toddler. They are more focused. They’re not out all night. They’ve raised their own children and have that experience to fall back on.”

We are all looking for childcare solutions – when au pairs are so pervasive, why hadn’t we heard of granny au-pairs? The concept “fit my thinking” – as a child, her own granny lived in the family home. The older generation has a lot to offer, she feels, in support of the middle generation and to share with the younger.


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