Host Family FAQs

/Host Family FAQs
Host Family FAQs2024-04-28T21:23:04+00:00
an au pair host family experience

Your Host Family application is seven online pages including one page for your “Dear Au Pair” letter. The application includes:
  • personal information
  • information about your home, family and neighborhood
  • your preferences for an Au Pair (if any)
  • your “Dear Au Pair” letter describing your family, your expectations, a typical workday and what the Au Pair can expect to experience living with your family
Your Host Family profile contains your application with your letter, your written agreement, and your family photos.
  • The written agreement is the contract between you and your Au Pair. Your Au Pair mutually agrees to the terms you set forth including work schedule, responsibilities and tasks, car, computer and phone access, curfew, house rules and more. This agreement manages your Au Pair’s expectations and has the flexibility to change.
  • The Host Family photo collage includes pictures of the kids, all adults living in the home, pets, and the Au Pair’s bedroom.
These items are reviewed by Au Pair candidates (per your request only) during the matching process.
Other documents are required before you can match with an Au Pair; however, they are not part of your profile and are not viewed by Au Pair applicants. These documents include:
  • The Host Family interview which is conducted in your home with your Local Area Representative. The interview is primarily a screening process; however, it is also a great time to ask questions, learn more about Au Pair child care in your local area and meet the person who supports you and your Au Pair during the experience.
  • Employment evidence such as a pay stub, W2 or letter from your employer.
  • Two non-family references which are submitted by your friends, coworkers, neighbors, etc
  • A signed Host Family agreement

The online Host Family application takes about 15 to 45 minutes to complete with most of that time spent on the “Dear Au Pair” letter. You can stop and save your progress after every page of the application if you need more time.

Your Host Family application must be reviewed and accepted before you can contact applicants.

The remaining portion of your Host Family profile is required shortly after you begin contacting and reviewing applicants. Completing the written agreement takes about 15 to 30 minutes and collecting photos varies from family to family.

Your Host Family application is your first opportunity to think about and specify your preferences for an Au Pair. Preferences are not required but in your application you may specify age, gender, languages spoken, nationality, cooking ability, driving ability, swimming ability and other qualifications you require.

Most families specify Au Pair preferences which pertain directly to child care responsibilities, for example a specific type of child care experience. Your Placement Coordinator can assist you with determining Au Pair preferences for your family and your preferences can change during the matching process.

The Host Family Interview is part of Host Family screening required by U.S. Department of State regulations. The main objective of the interview is to determine if your family can provide a suitable environment for a cultural exchange experience.

The interview occurs in person and in your home with your Local Area Representative and all adult family members residing in the home. During the interview you will discuss the regulations and requirements for the Au Pair program, your expectations for your Au Pair and what to expect during the experience. Additionally, your Local Area Representative will tour your home, specifically inspecting the Au Pair’s living arrangements. The Host Family Interview is not viewed by Au Pairs.

Host Family selection is regulated by the U.S. Department of State and includes at minimum:

  • Host parents are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
  • Host parents are fluent in spoken English
  • All adult members of the household are personally interviewed by organizational representative
  • All adult members of the household successfully pass a background check including employment verification and personal character references
  • Host Family has adequate financial resources to undertake hosting obligations
  • Understand the exchange program and parameters of Host Family and Au Pair duties, participation and obligations

Go Au Pair screens and selects potential Host Families through the following:

  • Host Family profile
  • Host Family Interview
  • Employment Verification
  • References
  • Host Family agreement

Your “Dear Au Pair” letter is a chance to tell your potential Au Pair everything not specifically asked for in the application and to reiterate to your potential Au Pair what’s most important to you. Suggested topics to write about include:

  • A typical week with your family, example schedule and responsibilities for Au Pair
  • Describe your neighborhood and local activities and/or attractions
  • Your family’s and especially your children’s hobbies and interests
  • Describe your home, specifically the Au Pair’s bedroom
  • Describe what you expect from your Au Pair

Your “Dear Au Pair” letter is completed as part of your online application and although you can save your progress at any time, Go Au Pair recommends you first draft your letter outside of the online application.

A Placement Coordinator is your dedicated support representative at our headquarters office who assists you during your entire Au Pair child care experience, start to finish and everything in between. Every Host Family is assigned to a dedicated Placement Coordinator.

Your Placement Coordinator supports you in the following ways:

  • Accepting your application and advising you on your Host Family profile
  • Recommending Au Pair candidates during the matching process
  • Advising you during the matching process while reviewing candidates
  • Collecting, organizing and administering paperwork
  • Direct point of contact with headquarters office
  • Regular contacts, check-ins, and follow-ups
  • Support during your Au Pair child care experience, in addition to your Local Area Representative
  • Assistance if issues arise
  • Legal and financial point of contact

The Online Portal is your primary resource for searching and choosing your Au Pair. Your Online Portal has the following functionality:

  • Search Au Pairs – Enter your Au Pair preferences to see who in our pool of over 300 available Au Pairs match what you need.
  • Apply – Apply for Au Pair child care for the first time or update your existing profile in preparation for your next Au Pair.
  • Au Pair Files – Manage the list of Au Pair applicants you are considering with Au Pair files. Review detailed Au Pair information, record phone interview notes, track your progress, and ultimately narrow down your list to the Au Pair you choose.
  • Additional resources – Your Online Portal also contains contact information for key members of our staff and your Local Area Representative, a list of educational options for your local area, helpful forms and more.

Gaining access to your Online Portal is free and easy. Only basic contact information is needed to create a login for our Online Portal which gives you access to Search Au Pairs and Apply. After your application is accepted you have full access to all functionality.

The Summer Au Pair program is no longer offered in the United States.  The Summer Au Pair program was a 3-year pilot starting summer 2005 which extended for an additional year before being discontinued in 2009 by the U.S. Department of State.  Summer Au Pairs were exactly like standard Au Pairs except their visas were granted for only a few months instead of a full year.

The U. S. Department of State ended the program because of logistical complications with Form DS-2019 and visa approvals around the world.  Full year J-1 Visas are now the only option for Au Pairs coming to the U.S.

The application fee covers all of the costs associated with the Host Family application and profile and set up on the Online Portal.

The application fee is collected at the time of matching with an au pair. At times, Go Au Pair may waive the fee if the Host Family completes/submits their profile within a then defined number of days of registering (e.g. 7 days).

Yes, Au Pairs are allowed to care for special needs children, as identified by the Host Family, when the Au Pair has specifically identified their prior experience, skills or training in the care of special needs children and the Host Family has reviewed and acknowledged in writing the Au Pair’s prior experience, skills or training so identified.  Many of our available Au Pairs have broad experiences and are interested in caring for children with special needs.

Au Pairs can care for children between the ages of 3 months and 17 years. Au Pairs can assist parents with the care of a child younger than 3 months, but cannot take full responsibility for the child nor be the sole responsible adult.

An Au Pair’s profile contains:

  • Au Pair application with contact information, child care and employment experience, driving and personal information
  • “Dear Host Family” letter
  • Au Pair interview
  • Two non-family child care references
  • Character reference
  • Under 2 verification form (if the Au Pair is infant qualified)
  • Physician’s report
  • Personality profile descriptions
  • Au Pair’s photo collage

Only Host Families who have submitted their Host Family Application and are accepted into the program have access to Au Pair profiles.

All Au Pairs are pre-screened as part of the Au Pair selection process according to U.S. Department of State regulations. Host Families are responsible for screening and ultimately selecting the right Au Pair for their family.  Evaluation tasks you perform include:

  • Thoroughly review all components of the Au Pair’s profile
  • Interview the Au Pair at least twice by telephone
  • Optionally interview the Au Pair via Skype or another video conferencing system
  • Optionally interview the Au Pair via email
  • Send the Au Pair your Host Family profile
  • Use our helpful telephone tips to conduct interviews

Host Families are required (under U.S. Department of State regulations) to interview potential Au Pair applicants by telephone prior to the Au Pair’s departure.

Au Pair selection is regulated by the U.S. Department of State and includes at minimum:

  • The Au Pair is between the ages of 18 and 26
  • Secondary school graduate, or equivalent
  • Proficient in spoken English
  • Capable of fully participating as evidenced by satisfactory completion of a physical exam
  • Personally interviewed, in English, by organizational representative
  • Successfully passed a background investigation which includes verification of school, three non-family personal and employment references, criminal background check and successfully pass a psychometric test

Go Au Pair screens and selects potential Au Pairs through the following:

  • Au Pair profile
  • Photo copies of official documents such as passport, school diploma, driver’s license, certificates, etc.
  • Au Pair agreement

Au Pair selection is performed primarily by our International Representatives in the Au Pair’s home country.

A Pre-Match Au Pair is an Au Pair candidate already chosen by a Host Family who is not currently available with Go Au Pair. Pre-match Au Pairs are no different from any other Au Pair. Pre-match Au Pairs come from the same countries, must pass the same screening, must be sponsored by a designated agency and must place with a Host Family who also meets requirements. We advise families who choose a pre-match Au Pair to contact our office as soon as possible so the candidate can begin the application process.

Au Pairs participate in the Au Pair program for professional and personal reasons. While each Au Pair has reasons specific to their situation, common reasons Au Pairs want to become Au Pairs include:

  • Opportunity to improve English skills
  • Great experience for professional career when they return home
  • Ability to make a difference in local community when they return home
  • Fulfill dream of living the U.S. and experiencing American culture
  • Desire to attend school
  • Love of children
  • Performing a job relating to child care training, education and experience
  • Desire to share culture with others
  • Wanting to have a great life experience
  • Valuable experience for professional career in child care related field

Most Au Pairs describe their motives for being an Au Pair in their “Dear Host Family” letter which is part of the Au Pair profile. Additionally, we encourage Host Families to ask each Au Pair they interview why the applicants wants to be an Au Pair.

Yes, any Au Pair can work a part time schedule but Educare Au Pairs were designed for it. The Department of State created the Educare program for families with school aged children or families looking for part-time care. Educare Au Pairs need to complete a minimum of 12 hours of academic credit and Host Families must provide up to $1,000 toward the cost of their academic course work. Educare Au Pairs can work a maximum of 30 hours per week and receive a smaller weekly stipend. Educare Au Pairs cannot care for children who require full-time attention unless other child care arrangements are in place during the time the Au Pair will not work.

The arrival timeline for out of country Au Pairs varies depending on the following factors:

  • Host Family speed of completing profile
  • Host Family speed of reviewing and interviewing candidates
  • Host Family speed of selecting candidate
  • Host Family and Au Pair speed of submitting final paperwork
  • Au Pair speed of scheduling embassy appointment and visa interview
  • Flight availability from Au Pairs country to your local airport
  • Au Pair attendance of the New York Introductory Workshop

Typically, an out of country Au Pair arrives 4 to 8 weeks after the match is finalized. The most variable factor affecting the timeline is the embassy appointment and visa interview.

The arrival timeline for in country Au Pairs is dependent on when the Au Pair leaves the current Host Family. Transition Au Pairs are typically available in 2 weeks. Extension Transfer Au Pairs are typically available in 2 to 3 months.

No, Go Au Pair cannot guarantee your Au Pair’s arrival date. Although we do everything possible to accommodate an Au Pair’s arrival date, certain things out of our control may cause delays, such as (but not limited to):

  • Embassy delays
  • Embassy returning stamped passport to Au Pair after visa approval (typically 5 to 7 business days) for international travel
  • Time of year, specifically summer months when many people travel
  • International conventions and sporting events, make travel to/from hosting countries difficult

The objectives of the Introductory Workshop are to reduce culture shock, teach first aid and CPR skills and experience New York City. Some topics covered during the three day workshop include:

  • Review of driving in the U.S. such as signs, rules, policies
  • Movies, TV and music ratings
  • American holidays
  • American food
  • Cell Phone billing and international calls
  • Personal space
  • Punctuality
  • Educational requirements review
  • Insurance coverage review
  • CPR and First Aid Classes

The Introductory Workshop is an optional training in addition to the required 32 hours of training which is received in the Au Pair’s home country.

The Form DS-2019 or “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status” is the basic document used in the administration of the exchange visitor program. This form permits a prospective exchange visitor to seek an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in order to obtain a J-1 visa to enter the United States.

The Exchange Visitor (J-1) non-immigrant visa category is for individuals approved to participate in work and study based exchange visitor programs, which enable foreign nationals to visit the United States in order to experience life in the U.S.

This means that before you can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for a J-1 visa, you must first apply, meet the requirements and be accepted to an exchange visitor program through a designated sponsor organization. If you are accepted as a participant in an exchange program, the sponsor will provide you with information and documents necessary to apply for the J-1 visa to enter the U.S.

(from the U.S. Department of State website, visit for most up to date information and to learn more)

No, Go Au Pair cannot guarantee a visa for any Au Pair. Go Au Pair provides the Form DS-2019 and coaching/training to Au Pairs to best prepare them for their Embassy visit and interview.

Issuance of the J-1 Visa, like all non-immigrant visas, is at the discretion of Consular Officers viewing visa applications at U.S. embassies and consulates. This means even if you are accepted to an exchange visitor program and have received your Form DS-2019, the Consular Officers decide if you receive the J-1 Visa.

(from the U.S. Department of State website, visit for most up to date information and to learn more)

Program fees cover a variety of services administered around the world including:

  • Au Pair recruitment, pre-screening, training and selection
  • Host Family recruitment, pre-screening and selection (including interview)
  • Matching services and tools
  • Embassy and visa assistance
  • Roundtrip airfare base amount (additional fees possible)
  • Dedicated travel coordinator and flexible arrival options
  • Au Pair medical insurance during stay in U.S.
  • 32 hours of child development and safety training
  • Host Family and Au Pair Orientation
  • Placement long support from Local Area Representative and headquarters
  • Payment plan option and placement-long protection program

See our fees page for program fee amounts by Au Pair type.

International air travel fees are specific to the airport the Au Pair is departing from and is in addition to domestic air travel fees (if applicable). International air travel fees (like domestic air travel) cover the Au Pair’s round trip airfare. Only 18% of our international airports have an international travel fee. Learn more about specific international air travel fees.

In order to provide the lowest possible program fee to all Host Families, Go Au Pair builds into the program fees the lowest possible base air fare which applies to any international departure airport and any domestic arrival airport. Using the lowest possible base air fare means families are not overcharged for international flights which do not apply to them.

Instead, Go Au Pair adds on a domestic air travel fee which is specific to the airport the Au Pair arrives into (the airport nearest you) and the international region the Au Pair departs from. Domestic air travel fees are priced based on:
Three international regions of the Au Pair departure

  • Europe and Africa
  • Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands
  • Mexico, Central America and South America
  • Difference between Au Pair arriving into U.S. major point of entry and your preferred arrival airport (the airport nearest you)
  • Au Pair’s round trip
  • Seasonal charges (if applicable) from October to April

Go Au Pair currently has 47 routes (international departure regions to U.S. arrival airports) without any additional domestic air travel fee. Contact our office to learn your specific domestic air travel fee for your U.S. location and your chosen Au Pair’s departure country.

To best accommodate Host Families, Go Au Pair automatically and without additional charge, separates total program fees into two payments. The first program fee installment is due when you match with your Au Pair. The second program fee installment is due 30 days before your Au Pair arrives. The time difference in between payments varies depending on the visa process and when you want your Au Pair to arrive. In country Au Pairs sometimes follow a different structure, contact our office for details.

Families who need program fees separated into more than two installments and allocated across a greater time frame take advantage of our flexible payment plan. Visit payment options for more details.

Officially, Au Pairs can come from any country which has positive diplomatic relations with the United States. However, Go Au Pair does not grant the J-1 visa for your Au Pair and constantly monitors and tracks visa denials across the world. Sometimes certain countries experience an unusually high volume of J-1 visa denials. This high denial volume could be temporary or long standing depending on the country and situation.

As a result of high visa denial rates, Go Au Pair sometimes recommends families do not match with Au Pairs from certain countries or charges a non-refundable visa fee for families who want Au Pairs from these high denial countries. We know from our 20+ years of experience it is easier on families and their children to not consider an Au Pair from a certain country than to experience a disappointing visa denial.

Visa denial rates are constantly changing. Contact our office for the most recent information on high denial countries and learn what options you may have.

Currently Go Au Pair recommends against Au Pairs from the following countries due to high J-1 visa denial rates:

  • India
  • Philippines
  • Nepal

Yes, you can use dependant care flex spending, third party child care vouchers or related financing to pay Go Au Pair fees. However, you cannot use these finance options to pay the Au Pair stipend, educational contribution, or other Au Pair specific fees.

Host Families are responsible for providing room and board, a weekly stipend and educational contribution to the Au Pair as part of program regulations. In addition to these required fees there may be additional expenses related to your Au Pair child care experience such as:

  • Drivers license and auto insurance if your Au Pair drives your vehicle
  • Related travel expenses such as gas, tolls, parking, bus / train tickets, etc.
  • Cell phone and corresponding voice / data plan
  • Gifts or tokens of appreciation such as birthday presents, holiday gifts, etc.
  • Vacation expenses
  • Home phone and / or internet use
  • Computer and / or television use
  • Medical insurance upgrades
  • Other expenses related to the cultural experience

These expenses may be due to work or personal reasons and are often discussed and negotiated between the Host Family and Au Pair directly.

Go Au Pair offers flexible customizable payment plans to Host Families who want to split their program fees into more than two installments and allocate payments across a greater time frame.

Visit our payment options page to learn more.

The U.S. Department of Labor calculates 40% of minimum wage as the amount contributed to the Au Pair through room and board expenses. At minimum Go Au Pair requires the following:

  • Au Pair’s room has a door which closes and which is not used for any other household purpose outside of housing the Au Pair (i.e. cannot also be used as an office, den, access to laundry room or porch, etc)
  • Au Pair’s room be furnished with basic necessities such as a bed, dresser, closet and have basic amenities such as windows and pleasant decoration
  • Au Pair have access to private bathroom or share a bathroom with the children only. It is recommended that Au Pairs not share bathrooms with the Host Parent(s).
  • Au Pair’s board includes food which the family normally buys and consumes including eating out in restaurants when the Au Pair is invited
  • Au Pair’s board includes basic toiletries such as toilet paper, tissues, shampoo, soap, etc.

As a general rule Go Au Pair recommends providing your Au Pair with the same basic supplies you would provide a friend or family member who was staying in your home. Au Pairs are financially responsible for any special furnishings, food, toiletries or any other accommodation which you normally would not purchase for your family or use in your home.

Your Local Area Representative (LAR) supports you and your Au Pair during the entire Au Pair child care experience. Local Area Representatives are your personal connection to Go Au Pair, your local area experts for Au Pair related items, and part of your dedicated support team.

Your Local Area Representative supports you primarily in the following ways:

  • Conducts the Host Family interview with you and your family before your Au Pair arrives
  • Contacts you and your Au Pair within 48 hours of your Au Pair arriving to your home
  • Conducts the Host Family and Au Pair Orientation with you and your Au Pair shortly after your Au Pair arrives
  • Contacts you and your Au Pair monthly
  • Holds a Family Day Event for you, your family, your Au Pair and all other families and Au Pairs in the local area
  • Holds cultural/social events for your Au Pair and all the other Au Pairs in the local area
  • Assists you and your Au Pair if issues arise

All Au Pairs receive a basic traveler’s health insurance. All Au Pairs receive the most basic plan with the option to upgrade the policy for an additional fee. Traveler’s insurance is not a comprehensive health insurance and is designed to cover emergencies only.

Au Pairs and Host Families working with Go Au Pair are provided extensive details about the health insurance plans, coverage, doctor options and other specifics.

The Au Pair stipend is the term for the amount you as the Host Family pay to your Au Pair, as agreed upon by you and your Au Pair. The stipend provided to your Au Pair is a minimum and must conform with minimum wage law and adjustments. The Department of State in conjunction with the Department of Labor have provided the following guideline for this wage and the credit for room and board which is applied against the weekly stipend.

The calculation for the minimum Au Pair stipend is as follows:
(Federal Minimum Wage) x (Number Hours worked per week) – (40% credit for room and board) = (Au Pair stipend)

($7.25) x (45 hours) – (40% credit) = $195.75 per week

This is to be the minimum for a standard Au Pair (Educare is $146.81), but Au Pairs and Families are free to agree to compensation higher than this minimum.

The Au Pair and Host Family Orientation is an in person meeting with you, your Au Pair and your Local Area Representative which occurs shortly after your Au Pair arrives to your home. The main objective of the Au Pair and Host Family Orientation is to lay the foundation for a successful experience.

Some of the topics in the Host Family and Au Pair Orientation include the Au Pair’s responsibilities, schedules, stipend and education as well as the Host Family’s specific child care requirements and house rules. Insurance, local area information and problem resolution are also covered.

Department of State regulations require a Local Area Representative live within one hour’s driving time of the Host Family. Distances covered by one hour’s driving time vary across locations in the U.S. Contact our office to determine if your local area is serviced by Go Au Pair.

Yes, your Au Pair may drive in the U.S. for a variety of reasons including (but not limited to) as part of child care responsibilities, to attend school, to attend events hosted by your Local Area Representative and/or for personal/social reasons. Host Families are responsible for reviewing and screening an Au Pair’s driving experience during the matching process and for helping the Au Pair adjust to driving in the U.S. after arrival.

Au Pairs do not have cars. If driving is part of the Au Pair’s child care responsibilities then a car must be provided. All other car access is coordinated between the Au Pair and Host Family. Any Au Pair driving in the U.S. must have auto insurance coverage and a driver’s license (either international license or state license depending on state law).

No, an Au Pair cannot be shared between multiple families. Department of State regulations restrict Au Pair placement to one family at a time and the Au Pair’s Form DS-2019 and visa reflect this restriction.

No, your Au Pair cannot work in any capacity outside of the duties specified in the Au Pair program regulations while residing in the U.S. on the J-1 visitor exchange visa under Go Au Pair sponsorship.

No, your Au Pair cannot provide any non-child care related services nor can your Au Pair work additional hours regardless of compensation provided. Au Pairs can only provide services detailed in the Au Pair program regulations.

Yes, with proper advance notice you can change your Au Pair’s work schedule whenever you need. Typically, Host Families record and discuss work schedules a week in advance and most Au Pairs are flexible to accommodate snow days, sick days and unexpected emergencies.

Your Au Pair’s work schedule must adhere to program regulations and consider your Au Pair’s personal time for attending classes and organized Local Area Representative events. Remember, your Au Pair is here to experience life in the United States in addition to caring for your children.

Yes, your Au Pair can supervise your children overnight as long as the Au Pair’s work hours remain within the regulations. Remember, Au Pairs are working whenever they are the primary responsible adult for your children, even if the Au Pair and/or children are sleeping. Contact our office to further discuss your overnight child care needs.

The Au Pair stipend is the term for the amount paid to an Au Pair by the Host Family, as agreed upon by you and your Au Pair. The stipend provided to your Au Pair is a minimum and must conform with minimum wage law and adjustments. The Department of State in conjunction with the Department of Labor have provided the following guideline for this wage and the credit for room and board which is applied against the minimum weekly stipend.

The calculation for the minimum Au Pair stipend is as follows:
(Federal Minimum Wage) x (Number Hours worked per week) – (40% credit for room and board) = (Au Pair minimum stipend)

($7.25) x (45 hours) – (40% credit) = $195.75 per week

This is to be the minimum for a standard Au Pair (Educare is $146.81). Host families are always welcome to pay their Au Pairs any amount above the minimum stipend.

Driving experiences vary widely between individual Au Pair applicants. Driving experience is detailed on the Au Pair’s application and typically is specific to driving in the Au Pair’s home country and not specific to driving the United States.

Some factors which may affect your Au Pair adjusting to diving in the U.S. include:

  • Transmission type – Manual transmissions are common outside the U.S. while most cars in the U.S. have automatic transmissions.
  • Car size – Vehicles are typically much larger in the U.S. than in other countries. Au Pairs driving SUVs who only have experience in smaller vehicles may need more time adjusting.
  • Bi-directional traffic rules – Although most Au Pairs live in right-hand traffic countries there are still some Au Pairs who have experience only driving on the left-hand side of the road. Au Pairs from left-hand traffic countries may need more time adjusting.
  • Driving rules and laws – Driving rules and laws can widely differ between an Au Pair’s home country and the U.S. Au Pairs who have experience driving in countries with few rules and regulations may need more time adjusting to the laws of the U.S.

Our International Agencies do everything possible to best prepare Au Pairs for driving in the U.S. from reviewing basic signs and rules to providing state DMV manuals to actual behind-the-wheel courses. Driving basics are also reviewed as part of our New York Introductory Workshop. Regardless of your Au Pair’s experience and preparation you can expect some sort of adjustment period while your Au Pair learns to drive in your local area.

The educational contribution is primarily the maximum amount of money Host Families are required to pay towards the educational component of Au Pair child care. The educational contribution is set by U.S. Department of State regulations and may be paid directly to the Au Pair or to the institution. If the full maximum amount is not required for the Au Pair to complete the educational component the remaining money is not owed to the Au Pair. See our fees page for the dollar amounts by Au Pair type.

In addition to the financial contribution, Host Families must agree to facilitate the enrollment and attendance of Au Pairs in institutions to satisfy the educational component of Au Pair child care. This often includes altering work schedules and providing transportation for the Au Pair.

To facilitate cultural exchange, all Au Pair participants are required to complete semester hours (or their equivalent) of academic credit in formal educational settings at accredited U.S. post-secondary institutions during their participation in the Au Pair program. EduCare Au Pairs must complete at least 12 semester hours and all other Au Pair types must complete at least 6 semester hours. Host Families assist in satisfying this requirement through the educational contribution.

Au Pair wages are not usually subject to social security and Medicare taxes because of the Au Pair’s status as a J-1 non-immigrant nonresident alien. Because most Au Pairs are nonresident aliens Host Families are exempt from paying federal unemployment taxes on the Au Pair’s wages. Because Au Pair wages are paid for domestic service in a private home, they are not subject to mandatory U.S. income tax withholding.

Au Pairs are required to file U.S. individual income tax returns.

For the most recent and only official information about Au Pairs and taxes, please see the IRS website and consult your tax advisor.

No, Au Pairs cannot have pet care responsibilities. Au Pairs can only provide child care related services and cannot be required to care for a pet.

Au Pairs can however, assist with pet care when it pertains to child care. For example, your Au Pair can assist your children who have pet care responsibilities. Some Au Pairs become so embedded into your family’s life that they voluntarily care for your pet(s) in addition to your children. Au Pairs can willingly assist with pet care, but it cannot be a formal responsibility or duty.

Au Pair applications contain information about pet restrictions the candidate may (or may not) have.

As part of the cultural exchange experience, the family day conferences are typically organized by your local area representative as a way to bring local Host Families and Au Pairs together to collectively participate in the activity and establish new friendships. Host Families will get the opportunity to meet and interact with other Host Families and Au Pairs in the area. Host Parents can share their experiences and what does and does not work for them. Host Families can get to know the local area representative on a more personal level making it easier to ask for help should any problems arise.

Typically, a variety of cultures from around the world are represented. This gives parents and children the chance to meet and interact with Au Pairs from other countries that they may not have had the opportunity without attending the event. Families interested in repeating the Au Pair experience can use this opportunity to consider other cultures when selecting a future Au Pair. Au Pairs get the opportunity to meet other Host Families.

Past examples of these activities include BBQs, excursions, historical landmarks, holiday parties, March of Dimes walk, St. Jude’s charitable events, water parks, and many more.

The family day conference is required by the Department of State and Host Families are obligated to attend at least one while hosting an Au Pair. Attendance is a condition of program participation and failure to attend will be grounds for possible termination of continued or future program participation.

Go Au Pair offers Host Families and Au Pairs the opportunity to extend the stay for an additional six, nine or twelve months. Families have the opportunity to host the same Au Pair for up to 24 months but you may only apply for one extension. Some of the extension benefits include continuing to receive child care from someone you know and trust, reduced program fees in the extension year, and eliminating the time of orientating a new Au Pair to your home and schedule.

You also have the option of matching with a new Au Pair. It is recommended to start the renewal process about three months before the end of your current Au Pair’s stay. A renewal discount will be applied to program fees for the renewal year.

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