We know what it’s like… one night during the ad breaks your loving child vaguely mentioned something about becoming an Au Pair in America for a year. You rightfully have questions…”who is Au Pair in America’ and how do I know that they’re not some fly-by-night company who will take the money and run?” “How do I know that my child will be looked after while they’re away?
To answer your questions here’s a summing up of the program, costs and insurance details that should hopefully address many of your concerns, and allow you to give your your blessing. Naturally we are also more than happy to answer any question you have by phone 1300889067 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Au Pair in America is a legal cultural exchange program established in 1986 – we were the very first au pair program sponsor to be designated by the US government – So you know your child is in safe hands.
We are part of a larger, global organisation called the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS). Au Pair in America has offices in Germany, Poland and Australia with Head Offices in London (UK) and Stamford, CT (USA). In Australia we have a stree front centre in Sydney near Hyde park which is our head office in Australia. This centre admisiters the program and also is used for the many au pairs, student and other treavellers who come to Australia under an AIFS program. We are open 9.30 - 5.30pm (Mon - Fri) and welcome parents and applicants to drop by and have your questions answered in person.
Au Pairs are international visitors who travel to the USA on a J1 exchange visitor Visa for one year, living with an American host family and caring for their children.
Being an au pair is much more than being a nanny. The time our participants spend in the USA has many positive effects. Our au pairs tell us their confidence and communication skills improve, they become more responsible and independent and learn valuable life lessons. By the time our au pairs return home they have gained a wonderful level of English, a better understanding of other cultures and have developed as individuals. Not least, being an au pair in America is a wonderful boost to a CV/ Resume!
Au pair actually means en par or equal to in French, so it makes perfect sense that our au pairs are considered equal members of their US families.
Au pairs receive room and board with their host family as well as weekly pocket money. In return they provide 45 hours of childcare per week.
This varies depending on how old the children are and the needs of each family. As an example, the au pair wakes the children and gets them ready for the day including preparing meals and bathing them. If they are attending school the au pair will drive them and be there for after-school activities and dinner and bedtime. If the children are infants the au pair will care for them during the day.
Duties are children centred and au pairs are not expected to do heavy domestic work. They will however need to be prepared to do some laundry for the children and to keep their bedrooms and play areas tidy.
The au pair schedule is a maximum of 10 hours per day and up to 45 hours per week. They are allowed at least one full weekend off per month and 2 weeks paid vacation. Once the au pair year is completed, they can take advantage of a "Travel Month" to explore the USA before returning home.
Part of the visa requirement involves au pairs studying at a local college or choosing an online course. The host family contributes to the cost of the classes and will help them with any transport needed.
The first step is completing our online application and creating a personal profile. They will then attend an interview with one of our local interviewers. Interviews normally take place in a cafe, library or other quiet location. We encourage interviews in Sydnet to be held at our office.
The interviewer will begin with an overview of the program, a review of the application and then proceed to an informal interview. At least 30 minutes of the interview will be conducted in English. The interviewer is responsible for ensuring that anyone applying on our program has the adequate skills, experience, maturity and motivation to participate successfully.
When the interview is over the applicant will be asked to complete a personality questionnaire. Any relevant medical history will be discussed and the applicant must provide a recent medical form and criminal record check.
As a legal visa sponsor, Au Pair in America will provide the necessary paperworr to apply for a J-1 visa. Additional forms will be supplied by the local US Embassy.
The applicant will be required to attend an interview at their local US Embassy (Sydney for QLD, NSW and the ACT applicants, Melbourne for VIC,SA, NT applicants and Perth for WA applicants), it should be noted that it will generally take a few hours to attend and costs of travel to and from the embassy are the responsibility of the applicant.
As a legal visa sponsor, we provide medical insurance which will cover your child for the duration of the program.
It should be noted that the insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions and any applicants who have an existing condition will be required to obtain their own personal cover for this. Baggage insurance is optional and can be provided for an addtional fee. For more detialed information about our insurance click here.
For the breakdown of our current fees, please click here.
Au Pair in America charges a fee both to the applicant and to the host family.
Our fees cover the costs of running a fully-supportive program, the provision of insurance, flights, staffing, provision of an orientation, arrival hotel accommodaiton/meals, and the work incurred in providing a placement with a family.
A return flight is included as part of Au Pair in America*. When the au pairs arrive in New York, they are met by an Au Pair in America representative who will assist in their transfer to the arrival hotel in preparation for their Orientation the following day. We know that the first few days can be challenging however our staff are on hand to answer questions and support every au pair as they settle into life in the USA.
Please note: Any participant who does not successfully complete their 12 month placement will be required to pay for their own return flight to Australia
Before applying, applicants are asked to read and confirm they have understood the Au Pair in America Terms & Conditions. For a full copy of these terms and conditions please click here.