FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

APPLICATIONS

How far ahead should I apply?
We recommend that you apply as soon as you have made the decision to participate. It's good to try to get your application finished about 3 months before you'd like to head over to America.

Can I apply if I do not have a full driving license?
We accept P-Plater drivers, as this is the equivalent of a full license in the US. If you are a Learner driver, you'll need to pass your driving test before participating on our program. 

How do I get my 200 hours of childcare experience?
There are lots of ways to gain your 200 hours experience with children. Just to name a few:

  • Babysitting
  • Volunteering in Youth Groups and Social Clubs
  • Work Experience/Volunteering in a Childcare Centre or School
  • Before/After School Care
  • Holiday Programs
  • Sport Coaching or Assistant Coaching
  • Sunday School or Church Groups
  • Scouts/Girl Guides Volunteering

Do I need to have completed Year 12 in order to apply?
No, we only require year 10 or equivalent to be completed.

How long will it take once I have had my interview?
This will depend on when you apply, when you are available to depart to the US and the overall strength of your application. Many au pairs receive calls shortly after they are accepted onto the program and typically au pairs are placed within 3 months.

What are my chances of being placed with a family and how long?
You will likely be placed with a family very quickly however there are a few things you can do to facilitate the process. Make sure you list all your childcare experience in your application and that it is clearly presented. American families are also looking for Au Pairs who have good driving experience and good English language skills.

What if I already know the family I would like to Au pair for?
Yes, this is possible - we call it a "pre-match". Both you and the family must meet the requirements for the program. You should contact your local interviewer with information on the family. The family will need to apply through our US office and go through the normal screening process. You will still need to submit a full application and be interviewed in your home country.

Can I choose where I will live?
Au Pair in America places Au Pairs in 180 cluster areas across 37 states. Our aim is to find the family that best suits you. Our experience has shown that in order to have a successful year, the family you join is more important than their location. So, we recommend you stay open-minded and flexible with the location you are placed in. 

THE PROGRAM

Is it possible to Au Pair in America for less than 12 months?
The Au Pair in America program is a 12 month commitment. Our sister program, Camp America offers a 9-10 week summer program for anyone aged 18 or over. Camp America offers the opportunity to work at a US Summer Camp for 9 weeks in a variety of different positions.

Do I have to care for babies?
Many host families do have a child under 2 years old, so if you have the experience and willingness to care for babies then this will greatly increase your chances of finding a placement very quickly. Not all applicants are fully experienced or feel comfortable in looking after newborns or very young babies, so if this is the case, we would place you with a family that has older children. 

Can I talk to au pairs who have been to America?
Yes! One of our interviewers will be able to put you in touch with returned au pairs from your country. They will be happy to tell you all about their experiences. You could also consider attending an Au Pair in America event – check to see if there are any near you.

Can I come home if I am homesick?
When you arrive in America, it is natural to feel a little bit homesick. You should be able to quickly overcome homesickness with the help of your host family, your Community Counsellor and your new Au Pair friends. If you really want to return home then you will forfeit your return flight and you may not be able to participate on another US J-1 Visa program in the future. 

What if I am not compatible with my family?
Our aim is that both the Au Pair and host family have a happy, successful year. Should a conflict occur, the Community Counselor would assist. If it is an extreme situation then Au Pair in America may have to transfer you to another family - this is called a 'rematch'. 

RETURNING

If I’ve already participated on a 12 month J-1 Au Pair program, can I re-apply for a second time?
Yes! We have a returnee program available, providing that you:

  • have successfully completed your first stay in America
  • have completed the educational component of the program
  • are able to provide a copy of your completion certificate or a copy of your J-a Visa if you participated with a different au pair organization
  • have lived outside of the US for a t least 2 years

If you would like to apply for another year in America you can do so when you have been out of the US for 18 months. Please click here to start.

Can I return to the same family?
Yes, as long as you qualify as a ‘returnee Au Pair’ and your host family are happy to have you back again.