Rise of foreign au pairs forces Manhattan parents to rethink real estate

February 12, 2013 11:00AM

As New York City parents increasing shun pricey nannies for live-in au pairs, they are running into yet another pricey problem: a lack of space. According to DNAInfo, there are more than 1,800 foreign au pairs living in New York State, and each one is required to have his or her own bedroom. And giving an au pair a bedroom in square-footage-strapped Manhattan is forcing parents to rethink their real estate decisions.

In some cases parents are giving up their own bedrooms, chopping up master suites and consolidating their children into a single room. Other more mobile parents simple move into larger apartments.

“I realized I had to have more help and the only help that makes sense is to have a live-in,” Micol Molinari, who had to move her twins into her own bedroom to accommodate her Swedish au pair, told DNAinfo. “It was the only thing we could afford.”

Tanya Lindin, a consultant for Cultural Care Au Pair, the largest au pair company in the U.S., explained that although a $7.25 per hour au pair is extremely affordable compared to a $30 per hour nanny, they begin to make closets look like appealing bedrooms.

“It’s so much simpler in the [spacious] suburbs. Here in Manhattan, it’s definitely more creative,” Lindin said. [DNAInfo]Christopher Cameron