Hello and welcome! My name is Kristen and I am a Staff Member for GreatAuPair. I support both host families and au pairs to help them have a successful and memorable cultural exchange year. I can help introduce you to vetted and qualified au pairs. I know how extremely critical it is for parents to find loving, compassionate childcare for their precious little ones, not just for their peace of mind but also for the safety and well-being of their children. I look forward to helping you with your childcare needs and making new friends as more Host Families across the country join our life-changing au pair program! Please let me know how I can assist you. Sincerely, Kristen
See how host mom Antionia's life was impacted by hosting an au pair.
For as little as $778 per month*, you get experienced live-in childcare 45 hours per week. Plus, you could qualify for a childcare tax credit up to $5,000.
Au pairs participating in the U.S. Au Pair Program are young adults between the ages of 18 and 26 who come to the United States and live as an extended member of their host family while also completing 6 credit hours of school. An au pair provides up to 45 hours per week of live-in childcare in exchange for a private room, board and a minimum weekly stipend. Au pairs expose families to other cultures, languages and customs, offering valuable cross-cultural experience.
Because au pairs are visiting the U.S. as an exchange visitor on a federal exchange program that allows them to provide childcare, they represent one of the most affordable childcare and cultural exchange programs available, especially for families with more than one child.
A nanny is strictly a domestic employee whereby an au pair is a participant in a federally sponsored cultural exchange program. An au pair is welcomed and treated as a member of your extended family. Children receive an enriching cultural experience that is not always available from a nanny.
An au pair must meet specific criteria to participate in a government-sponsored Au Pair Program. In the United States, au pairs must be between the ages of 18-26 with demonstrable childcare experience, who come to the U.S. to stay with a family for a cultural exchange experience for one year. Au pairs typically don't make a career out of childcare work as nannies more often do.
Many families and au pairs participate in government authorized au pair exchange programs where there are defined rules and requirements. See Family Requirements or Au Pair Requirements for more information. The relationship between a nanny and family is that of employer and employee, not governed by the regulations of a federal exchange program.
Nannies are not required to meet the strict vetting, experience and training requirements of the Au Pair Program. Nannies are not necessarily seeking a cultural exchange experience, rather, it may be more of a career-building experience in childcare they are seeking.
In exchange for room, board, and a weekly stipend, your au pair will work for up to 45 hours a week helping you calm temper tantrums, conquering your kid's laundry, assisting with morning and bedtime routines, whipping up kids' meals and school lunches, solving burning math questions, transporting kids to school and activities, playing and having fun, and most importantly providing you with the satisfaction of knowing you can count on the best childcare possible.
For most parents, there simply aren't enough hours in the day to cross everything off the continuous 'to do' list, let alone have fun with your children, and find free time for yourself. It's a different story with an au pair. Not only will an au pair play with and supervise the kids, she will also help you with all child-related tasks:
You might notice that au pairs are not responsible for heavy housework, yardwork, pet care, laundry, or meals for the entire family. However, they are also members of the family, as such you may ask them to participate in general household responsibilities that are shared among family members.
An au pair cannot be left as the sole-caregiver in charge of the children and household while host parents are out of town. Au pairs cannot work more than 10 hours a day which includes sleeping hours if they are responsible for the children. You should have another responsible adult available to relieve the au pair and assist with the overall management of the household in your absence.
Most au pairs are interested in getting out and socializing and going to school in their free time. Our experience is that placements are most successful if night shifts are avoided.
GreatAuPair does not determine au pair compensation. Au pair compensation is negotiated and decided upon between the au pair (the employee) and the host family (the Employer). The U.S. Department of State, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor has set the legally applicable federal minimum weekly au pair stipend at $195.75, subject to the FLSA, however, au pairs and host families are free to agree upon au pair compensation that may be higher than the legally applicable federal minimum au pair stipend.
The minimum weekly au pair stipend for the U.S. Au Pair Program is directly connected to the U.S. federal minimum wage. The minimum Au Pair stipend is based on the U.S. Department of Labor's formula that includes credit for the room and board Host Families provide for their Au Pairs. The room and board credit currently is 40% of an au pair's credited compensation.
If an au pair was to work 45 hours per week for 51 weeks at the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour that would result in $16,638.75. If you subtract the 40% room and board credit from that amount, then the result is $9,983.25, which is then divided by 51 weeks, which results in $195.75.
Department of State regulations strictly prohibit an au pair from working more than 45 hours a week and 10 hours a day. Even if your au pair would like to earn the extra money for extra hours, it is strictly prohibited.
No, an au pair can only live with and work for one family.
No, au pairs are not permitted to work for other families.
Many families find that having their au pair accompany them on vacation is a great way to gain some extra free time and enjoy a second set of hands. Plus, your au pair benefits by having a rewarding and fun experience with your family. If an au pair accompanies you on a family vacation, the hours worked are counted and she continues to earn her stipend. An au pair should not be held responsible for costs associated with the family vacation other than special purchases/entertainment, etc. that the au pair chooses.
If you are traveling outside of the United States, it is your responsibility to check with that country's embassy to find out any visa regulations that might apply to your au pair. Your au pair will also need to submit her DS-2019 form to GreatAuPair for signature well in advance of the travel dates. The signature by a Responsible Officer at GreatAuPair demonstrates the au pair is in good standing on the au pair program and is necessary for re-entry to the United States.
Au pairs in their extension year may not be able to leave the country, as their original 12-month visa may have expired. Please be sure to check with GreatAuPair before leaving the country with an au pair on her extension year.
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