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au pair information


United States

Country info

Au pair info

Capital Washington
Population 310,232,863
Area 9,826,675
Currency United States Dollar ($)
Spoken languages English
Pocket money $ 195,75 (USD) per week
Working hours Max. 45 hours per week and no more than 10 hours per day.
Age 18 – 26 years

Au pair in United States

To become an au pair in the United States of America you have to obtain a J-1 visa. The Exchange Visitor (J) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs. The application have to be made through one of the 15 government designated sponsor organizations.    

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Au pair Program

Through the Au pair program, participants and host families take part in a mutually rewarding, intercultural opportunity. Participants can continue their education while experiencing everyday life with an American family, and hosts receive reliable and responsible childcare from individuals who become part of the family.

Au pairs must be:

  • Proficient in spoken English.
  • A secondary school graduate or equivalent.
  • Between 18-and-26-years-old.
  • Capable of fully participating in the program as evidenced by the satisfactory completion of a physical.
  • Personally interviewed, in English, by an organizational representative who shall prepare a report of the interview which shall be provided to the host family.
  • Successful in passing a background investigation that includes verification of school, three, non-family related personal and employment references, a criminal background check or its recognized equivalent and a personality profile. Such personality profile will be based upon a psychometric test designed to measure differences in characteristics among applicants against those characteristics considered most important to successfully participate in the au pair program.

Host Family Stay
Live with a family for 12 months, with the option to extend 6, 9, or 12 more months.

Professional Training
Receive a minimum of 32 hours of childcare training before you start.

Childcare Experience
Provide up to 10 hours a day/45 hours a week of childcare.

School Credit
Complete at least six hours of academic credit or equivalent in formal educational settings at an accredited U.S. post-secondary educational institution.

Financial Value
Receive up to $500 toward the cost of required academic course work. Room and board plus compensation for childcare work.

Limitations/Exceptions for Au Pair work
Au Pairs cannot be placed:

  • With a family that has an infant less than three months old unless a parent or other responsible adult is at home.
  • In homes with children under two years of age unless the Au Pair has at least 200 hours of documented infant childcare experience.
  • In families with a special needs child(ren), as identified by the family, unless the au pair has identified his/her prior experience, skills or training in the care of special needs children and the host family has reviewed and acknowledged the au pair’s prior experience, skills, or training in writing.
  • In the homes of relatives.

EduCare - Childcare for before and after school
EduCare applies to families that require childcare before and after school. EduCare Au Pairs may not be placed with families that have preschool children except if other, full-time childcare plans have been made.

The EduCare Au Pair may work no more than 10 hours per day, and a maximum of 30 hours per week. Au Pairs participating in the EduCare component receive 75 percent of the weekly rate paid to non-EduCare participants. EduCare Au Pairs must complete a minimum of 12 hours of academic credit or its equivalent during the program year. The host family is required to provide (up to) the first $1,000 toward the cost of the Au Pair's required academic course work.

Host families are required to:

  • Pay up to $500 toward the cost of the au pair's required academic course work.
  • Provide an appropriate suitable private room and three meals a day for the au pair.
  • Be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents fluent in spoken English.
  • Pay a weekly minimum stipend based on the program option selected.
  • Give the au pair one complete weekend off each month (Friday evening to Monday morning).
  • Facilitate the care provider's requirement to enroll in and attend an accredited post-secondary institution to fulfill her Educational Component requirement.
  • Provide a minimum of two weeks paid vacation for each 12 month exchange term (prorated for extension periods of six or nine months), in addition to regular weekly/monthly time off.
  • Include the au pair whenever possible in family meals, outings, holidays and other events.
  • Host families and Au Pairs must sign an Agreement detailing the au pair’s obligation to provide child care prior to the Au Pair's placement in the host family's home. In the event of questions regarding refunds or other adjustments, host families and au pairs should refer to their agreements. The Department of State does not have jurisdiction over contractual obligations.

Sponsors screen and select their program participants according to the eligibility criteria for each program category. Some categories require that a personal interview be part of the screening and selection process. In addition to program-specific criteria, all participants must satisfy English language proficiency and insurance requirements. Sponsors are to provide participants with pre-arrival information prior to their departure from their home countries and an orientation upon their arrival in the United States. Sponsors are also required to monitor the progress and welfare of the participants for the duration of their programs.

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