What does this mean for you? Your host family will have great confidence in you and your abilities and will count on you to use your professional knowledge and experience in the day-to-day care of their children. In return, you will be warmly welcomed and treated as an important member of the family.
Reasons Families Host a Social Care Professional
Experience and Professional Service
Finding a trusted childcare provider is an important process for host parents. Parents appreciate the maturity, experience and expertise that a social care professional offers to their children and the family overall.
Interest in Cultural Exchange
Our host families want to expose their children to different cultures and languages while they are still young. Some may have a German background and want their children to be connected to their home culture. Our apex social care professionals and their host families often become friends for life – even returning to visit “their family” long after the program has ended.
Expertise in Special Needs
Families value the training and experience that social care professionals have with children, especially those with special needs. These children often require specialized support and regular therapy sessions and benefit from the one-on-one care that they receive.
Continuity of Childcare
Families love the fact that our social care professionals work with a particular family for at least 12 months – but can extend their time to up to 24 months (USA only). This gives them peace of mind and continuity of schedules and childcare.
Flexibility and Comfort
Work schedules for parents don’t always match up with a daycare center’s hours, child’s activities, or doctor or therapist appointments. Parents appreciate that social care professionals can work flexible hours, helping them to better manage their family’s schedule and have their children cared for in the comfort of their own home.
American parents are 100% responsible for the cost of daycare for their children. Hiring a social care professional is often be more affordable than a daycare center or nanny, especially if the family has more than one child.
Mara and her husband, Pat, a career military officer are based in Arlington, Virginia, with their two children, J.P., age 13, and Sally Ann, age 11. J.P. has special needs – autism, a cleft palate and a chromosomal deletion that is unique to him. He’s had more than 26 surgeries already and functions at a three-year-old level.
Mara first learned about the program from another military family. She’s discovered it’s an ideal care solution for her family and she has hosted au pairs for most of the last decade. She has also supported other host families as both an Area Director and Program Advisor, most recently at apex social (known as apex PROaupair in the USA).
“When interviewing candidates I’m very up front and honest about my child’s needs,” she explained. “It’s vital to let your childcare provider know the broad range of what goes on in your home – the good times and the bad. I don’t want anyone to be shocked upon arrival because I wasn’t clear from the beginning about what to expect. It’s not fair to them and it doesn’t help our family.”
Helping her social care professional find work-life balance is a top priority for Mara. She always makes sure her social care professional has time to pursue her own interests, meet with friends and get to know her community.
“Our family has almost no expectations of her outside of work,” Mara said. “We think of her as an adult and if she wants to hang out with us, she can come do anything she wants with our family. But I don’t want her to burn out, and we make sure to let her have her space and pick and choose what she wants to do.”
Mara and her family keep in contact with each of her previous social care professionals, though they are closer to some than others.
“Maintaining the relationships has enriched our lives, and some continue to want to help with our family during my husband’s deployment or our moves,” she said.