Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose Au Pair USA?
Since 1989, Au Pair USA has connected international au pairs with American families to create life-changing, cultural exchange experiences. We are proud to have been among the first group of USA Department of State-designated sponsors of this amazing program, as well as a founding member of the International Au Pair Association (IAPA).
How long is the Au Pair USA program?
The au pair program requires an initial 12-month commitment. If you successfully complete your first 12-months, you have the option of requesting a program extension for an additional 6, 9 or 12 months.
Do you accept male au pairs?
Yes, we place both male and female au pairs on our program.
Do I need to have experience driving a car?
Almost all host families need someone who can drive and has at least one year of driving experience. If you are a safe, experienced driver, then it will be easier for you to match with a host family. In most American cities, driving is the primary method of transportation.
Do I have to pay any fee to participate in the program?
To participate in the Au Pair USA program, you will pay a program fee. The Au Pair USA representative in your country will be able to provide you with specific details about program fees.
How are host families screened?
Au Pair USA carefully screens each host family participating in our program. The applying family completes a detailed application, provides references, and is interviewed in person by our Local Coordinator. Host families are educated about the program and must agree to follow program rules and regulations. Additionally, all adult family members must pass a criminal background check.
Can I choose my host family?
Yes! You and the host family make the decision to match together. Once you’ve completed your application, your profile will be available to families. Our placement team will work with you to introduce you to compatible host families. You’ll have an opportunity to interview via phone or video with prospective families. This is a great way to learn about the family’s care needs, lifestyle, and personality.
How long does it take to match with a host family?
The length of time it takes to match depends on your qualifications and experience. We have many different types of host families who participate in our program with varying needs and requirements. Typically it takes a few weeks to a few months to place.
What if I have a problem?
Au Pair USA is here to support you. If you have a problem, your Local Coordinator, Regional Supervisor and/or our corporate team will be there to help you. In the event of an emergency situation, a member of the Au Pair USA team is always on call to assist you when you need help.
Where are host families located in the USA?
We have many different types of families participating in our program - from big cities like Boston and San Francisco to smaller, more suburban towns. No matter where your new host family lives, you can be sure it’s a comfortable home where you will have your own room and plenty to see and do in your community.
Can I do extra work for extra money while I’m an au pair?
Au pairs are only allowed work for their host family and may not accept outside employment. Also, au pairs cannot work beyond the maximum daily or weekly work hour limits for extra money.
What is the Au Pair USA Online Academy?
Before traveling to the USA you will attend Au Pair USA’s Online Academy. Our program includes courses in Child Development, First Aid and CPR training, American Culture, Life as an Au Pair, Personal Safety and other important topics. We use a variety of training methods including live sessions with Au Pair USA staff, videos, online courses, and offline activities. The Online Academy meets the Department of State’s training requirements.
Is it safe in the United States?
In general, the United States is a very safe place. However, it is always a good idea to keep security and safety in mind. You are likely to find the USA full of warm, friendly people who will enjoy meeting you, share their culture with you and learn about yours.
Will I be able to travel?
Yes, you may travel freely within the United States during your time as an au pair. If you plan to travel outside of the United States during your program, your J-1 visa must still be valid, and you must follow the specific visa rules and regulations of your destination country.
How long will I be able to stay in the USA after I complete my program?
When you complete the program, you can remain in the USA for 30 days after your program end date. Many au pairs use this time to travel and see a new part of the country.
Can I be an au pair for less than 12-months?
No, the Au Pair USA program requires a 12-month commitment, giving you plenty of time to make the most of your program in the USA.
Can I extend my program for longer than one year?
Yes! You can extend for an additional 6, 9 or 12 months, once you have successfully completed the initial 12-month program.
Can I be an au pair more than once?
Yes! You can return to the USA as a repeat au pair. To qualify, you must be no older than 26, have successfully completed your original au pair program, and have resided outside of the USA for a period of two years. You must also meet all the other admission qualifications.