Working a demanding 9-5 job while juggling young children is a real struggle for many American households. It is not uncommon to have both parents working full time to live comfortably and pay the bills. Some turn to pre-school, daycare, babysitters and nannies. Others turn to au pairs (or nannies from other countries).
Like other child care providers, parents work with agencies to do careful background checks and examinations of the au pair’s experience and qualifications. While many au pairs have child care experience, their lack of driving skills in a foreign country can be concerning.
Many Americans live in suburbs and areas outside the city, making travel by car a necessity. This is problematic as some au pairs don’t know how to drive or have a driver’s license. This understandably causes concerns from parents who are entrusting their children with someone who will likely be driving them around town. While the lack of driving experience may deter some host families, others have turned to helping their au pair learn to legally drive.
Options for Improving Your Au Pair’s Driving
If you’re of the camp that is willing to work with your au pair to improve and develop their driving skills, there are many online and on-the-road driving training courses to choose from. Below is a list of possible ideas to help your au pair become a safe driver.
Before entering the country:
Some families want their au pair to be familiar with driving before arriving at their doorstep. The Internet is by far the best option for this scenario. Going this route, you can select an online driving course that fits your needs and budget,.The au pair can then complete the online course on their own computer in the comfort of their own home. Many online driving courses also offer practice written exams to test the au pair’s driving course knowledge. Completing an online driving course prior to entering the country will speed up the time it takes for the au pair to obtain their driver’s license.
After entering the country:
Though some families would advise having your au pair learn the basics of driving before arriving, sometimes that may not be an option.
- Online courses-These can still work, especially if you’re in immediate need of someone staying home with your kids. In-person classes work great if your schedule has some flexibility.
- Enroll in a driving school– Your au pair will only be able to get behind the wheel training and testing after they have arrived anyways, so why not enroll them in an adult driving class? They will learn about safe driving while having the opportunity to socialize. Every city has at least one driving school for you to choose from.
- Take them out driving– Practice makes perfect, the more behind-the-wheel your au pair gets the more confident you both will feel and their chances of passing the driving test will increase.
Don’t risk the welfare of your kids, the au pair or other drivers by not teaching your au pair to drive. If you know frequent, daily driving will be a part of the au pair’s responsibilities, asking about the au pair’s driving experience during the interviewing and screening process can help you weed down the ones that will be the best fit for your family.
If you do get matched with an au pair without driving experience, know that there are many options available you can choose from to suit your needs, schedule, and budget. Contact 911DrivingSchool.com for more information about classes available.