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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What is an au pair?

An au pair is a young person aged 18-26 who travels abroad to another country to live with a host family and to provide live-in childcare for that family.

Where are AuPairCare au pairs from?

AuPairCare au pairs are recruited from over 40 countries all over the world. Learn more about many of the countries we recruit from, or search our au pairs by language today.

How many au pairs do you welcome to the program annually?

We welcome approximately 3,000 au pairs to the AuPairCare program annually.

Why are these au pairs motivated to participate in the AuPairCare program?

There are a few reasons young people choose to participate in the program. The first is the desire to live and work as a caregiver in the United States for a year or two. This offers au pairs an enriching experience that is important both personally and professionally. These au pairs are also motivated to improve their English, which is an important skill to have in the global marketplace, and they also relish the opportunity to live with an American family.

What is a Department of State Designated Au Pair Program?

Only a few au pair agencies are qualified to call themselves U.S. Department of State Designated. To earn this qualifaction the au pair agency adheres to strict government guidelines for compliance including ensuring that all program participants meet certain elgiblity criteria.

Do au pairs have to pay application fees? How are they determined?

Yes, au pairs usually pay a small application fee, just like host families. Once they have matched, the au pair will pay the remainder of their fees. 

Individual program fees are determined by market pricing in each country. Supply and demand, as well as competitor pricing, are a factors in the program fee amount as is the case for any goods or services in the marketplace. Despite the fluctuations in cost however, the au pair program is generally one of the more affordable cultural exchange programs available. Please find more information by visiting our section on program costs and fees for au pairs.

Becoming A Host Family

How does the process work?

After you register and apply to the program, you will gain full access to our database of pre-screened au pairs. From this point, you can select them for interviews, speak with them over the phone or Skype, and you can decide which au pair you would like to welcome to your home. Learn more about how our program works and watch a video about how to become a host family.

Can we get an au pair anytime?

Yes. AuPairCare places au pairs year round. Au pairs are scheduled to arrive to the U.S. approximately every two weeks, and more often during the summer months.

How soon after we apply can we expect an au pair to arrive at our home?

The process typically takes 6 to 10 weeks from the time you apply to the program to the time the au pair arrives in your home. Once we receive your application and references, an AuPairCare representative (Area Director) will schedule an in-home interview with you. You will be able to review au pair profiles in Family Room right after you apply. The variable in the timeline is the matching process. If you have very specific criteria for your au pair, your match and arrival may take a bit longer.

What if my au pair placement doesn’t work out?

Your local Area Director will work with you to resolve any issues that may arise. They will start by identifying the issue and attempt to solve the problem through mediation and guidance. If this approach is unsuccessful and you decide to part ways, you have the option of choosing a new au pair. That being said, the rate of au pair placements not working out is very low, for a number of reasons. First, we put our au pair candidates through an extensive screening process, making sure our candidate pool is of the highest quality. Next, our matching process is geared towards making sure that you have everything you need to make an informed decision. Lastly, the personalized support that both host families and au pairs receive from their local Area Director helps to facilitate a successful placement.

What is Family Room?

Family Room is AuPairCare’s online portal for host families. After you register and apply to the program you will receive access to Family Room where you can easily access all the program information you need. You can search au pairs, reserve au pairs for interviews, and find local representative contact information. Once you’ve started your program year, Family Room will be your resource for au pair insurance information, tax information, Department of State regulations and details about extending and renewing your program.

Why is there a difference in cost between the AuPairCare Infant Specialized program and the standard au pair program?

The additional $950 cost for an AuPairCare Infant Specialized au pair covers the overseas recruitment of au pairs with specific interest and experience in caring for infants as well as the additional specialized training AuPairCare provides to these au pairs. All other costs remain the same between programs including the $195.75 weekly stipend.

What if I find an au pair I really like in the standard au pair pool, but I have an infant?

If you find a candidate who is not designated as an Infant Specialized au pair, you can opt to have that au pair attend the Infant Specialized au pair training at the time you request your match. AuPairCare host families will pay an additional $950 at the time of match with an Infant Specialized au pair or a standard au pair that you would like to attend the Infant Specialized training.

What if I find an au pair in the Infant Specialized au pair pool, but I do not want to pay extra for the au pair to go to Infant Specialized au pair training?

There is an additional $950 fee due upon matching with an Infant Specialized au pair. Within our online matching system, EasyMatch™, you can see our entire pool of au pairs, including Infant Specialized au pairs and standard au pairs. Families with infants are not required to match with an Infant Specialized au pair.

I am an expectant mom, can my au pair begin caring for my baby right away?

According to Department of State guidelines, an au pair cannot be the sole care provider of any infant until after the child is 3 months old.

Can an AuPairCare Infant Specialized au pair care for my child during the night to help with a sleeping schedule

Yes. Your infant specialized au pair’s training in infant soothing techniques, establishing a routine and infant care basics could prove invaluable to your first few months with your child. As long as you adhere to the maximum 10 hours per day and 45 hours per week guidelines, you can communicate to your au pair the schedule that works for your family.

Can my Infant Specialized au pair share the same room as my infant to help with sleeping and feeding schedules?

AuPairCare is a Department of State designated agency and regulations indicate that all au pairs must have a private bedroom for their own use meaning your baby cannot share a bedroom with your au pair.

Current Host Families

What is AuPairCare’s Tax ID?

The AuPairCare Tax ID is 94-3382054.

What is the SEVIS fee?

SEVIS stands for The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, which is maintained by the US Department of State. The SEVIS fee is charged by the Department of State for processing the DS-2019 form needed for the au pair’s J-1 Visa. To learn more about SEVIS, please refer to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Page.

What is the extension deadline for my au pair?

Extending with your au pair for another 6, 9, or 12 months is recommended by the 8th month of your program year. Extension applications must be submitted 40 days prior to your program end date, which can be found in your Family Room Portal. Unfortunately, AuPairCare can’t accommodate late applications. Host families receive renew and extend reminders via the primary email address listed in Family Room at several intervals throughout the year, specific to their program timeline. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to customercare@aupaircare.com.

I would like to make a change to my au pair’s flight date? Is this possible?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate flight changes. As with all airline tickets, additional fees and penalties are incurred with such changes. Please feel free to reach out to customercare@aupaircare.com with any specific questions.

How do I access the Host Family Agreement?

You can access your Host Family Agreement at any time. Log into your Family Room portal and select “Account Settings” in the upper right corner. 

Becoming An Au Pair

How do I apply to the AuPairCare program? / How does the application process work?

Applying to the au pair program begins by registering and then filling out a short application form to confirm that you meet initial program eligibility requirements. You will then start to create a profile, which includes information about your past childcare expereince and references, and you will be put in touch with a local representative who can answer and questions and will meet with you in person for an interview. The application process usually takes several weeks and can take longer depending on how quickly you submit your essays and paperwork, and conduct your interviews with AuPairCare representatives.

How long does it take to find a host family after my application is complete?

Once your application is complete your profile will be available to view by prospective host families. How long it takes for an au pair to match is dependent on many factors including your hours of childcare experience, date of availability, experience driving and more. AuPairCare representatives are available to help you improve your online profile and help you practice interviewing so that you can find a compatible match.

Is a 26-year-old au pair able to apply to the program?

The Department of State requires that all au pair applicants be between the ages of 18 and 26 when they arrive to the United States on program. As long as the au pair arrives prior to turning 27 they are also eligible to extend their program.

Where can I meet AuPairCare?

AuPairCare has a network of qualified and fully trained representatives within every country we recruit from. You could either meet us at events taking place in your city, during online events or simply via phone or email. We will also conduct a personal interview with you to chat about your childcare skills and your desire to become an au pair abroad.

How do I become a part of the Infant Specialized Program?

AuPairCare hand selects au pairs for the Infant Specialized Program based on their level of experience with babies and on their completion of an additional infant specialized interview. While au pairs cannot opt into the program on their own, they are free to decline admission and remain part of the Standard Au Pair Program.

Do I need to have a driving license in order to become an au pair?

Yes. Many host families depend on their au pair's ability to drive when considering her as a match for their family. You can still apply to the program if you have started your driver’s license application already, but you will only progress to the next stage of the au pair application when you have gained your driving license.

Do I have to say yes to a host family that offers me a placement?

No. At AuPairCare we emphasize a mutual match process. We want to be sure that both you and your host family will be happy during your placement year, so if you feel like specific family is not going to be a good fit for you, you are able to say no and continue interviewing with other families.

What is Au Pair Room?

Au Pair Room is AuPairCare’s online portal for au pairs. After you register and apply to the program you will receive access to Au Pair Room which is designed to guide you through the application and matching process and provide you with resources during your year as an au pair.

Will AuPairCare help me with my visa?

Yes, we will. Visa applications are due after you have matched with a host family. AuPairCare is an official au pair agency designated by the U.S. Department of State to sponsor your J-1 Visa (the required visa for an au pair in the USA). After you have matched and transferred the program fee, you will receive the official documents needed for your USA J-1 Visa application.

Current Au Pairs

Do I have to pay taxes as an au pair?

Yes, au pairs need to pay taxes. Please find more information on the IRS website.

If you would like professional help with filing your check out sites like Taxback, RT Tax or Turbo Tax.

Can au pairs travel outside the US during their extension year without a visa?

Au pairs can only travel to some parts of Canada, Mexico, and U.S. Adjacent Islands without a visa during their extension year, with a valid DS-2019.  Please note au pairs from certain countries may be required to obtain a tourist visa to enter a foreign country. The J-1 Visa for the United States does not automatically grant entry into other countries. The au pair is responsible for checking the requirements for their home country.

What is my extension deadline?

Extending with your host family for another 6, 9, or 12 months is recommended in the 8th month of your program year. Extension applications must be submitted 40 days prior to your program end date. Additional information about how to extend will be available in your Au Pair Room account six months prior to your program end date. Late applications cannot be accepted by AuPairCare. Au Pairs receive renew and extend reminders via the primary email address listed in Au Pair Room at several intervals throughout the year, specific to their program timeline. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to customercare@aupaircare.com or your area director.

How do I meet my educational requirement?

The U.S. Department of State requires that all au pairs complete six semester hours of academic credit at an accredited post-secondary institution. AuPairCare host families will contribute up to $500 towards their au pair’s academic course work. Once you’ve completed your education you must provide one of the following proof of completions; a signed “Completed Coursework” form, a transcript listing the dates of the course and the completed hours/credits, or a signed letter from the professor on school letterhead stating that you completed the required number of hours or credits.

I would like to make a change to my flight date? Is this possible?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate flight changes. As with all airline tickets, additional fees and penalties are incurred with such changes. Please feel free to reach out to customercare@aupaircare.com with any specific questions.

My AuPairCare dental / medical coverage is different than what I am used to. Why is this?

AuPairCare provides United Healthcare insurance which is emergency travel insurance covering illness and emergencies. To learn more about our coverage visit the au pair travel and accident insurance information page or simply log in to your Au Pair Room Account.

Where do I find my Au Pair ID?

If you are a current au pair in the United States and need your au pair ID number you can request it from your area director.

How do I access the Au Pair Agreement?

You can access your Au Pair Agreement at any time! Log into your Au Pair Room account where both the Au Pair Handbook and the Au Pair Agreement will be accessible frinside your portal.