FAQs - Au Pair
Q. What are the requirements to be an Au Pair 4 Me au pair?
A. There are several requirements au pair candidates must meet before applying:
- be between the ages of 18 and 26;
- be proficient in spoken English;
- be secondary school graduate, or equivalent;
- be in good health;
- pass a background investigation that includes verification of school, references, criminal record check and personality profile (psychometric test);
- be able to provide 3 non-family related references, of which some must be related to childcare (at least 200 documented hours of childcare experience);
- be personally interviewed, in English, by Au Pair For Me representative in their home country;
- possess a valid driver's license;
- complete a detailed application;
- have passion for childcare;
- be able to commit to a 12-month position.
Q. How do I apply to be an au pair?
A. Register on our website and our representative will help you with a full application form and get you started in the process.
Q. How much does it cost to apply for the au pair program?
A. Program fees vary depending on your home country and international partner you choose to apply with. However, if you apply directly with Au Pair 4 Me, you only pay a $50 registration fee (non-refundable).
Q. How long is the Au Pair program?
A. The program lasts for 12 months. If both you and your host family want to continue your placement, an extension option is available. Under this option, you may stay with you host family an additional 6, 9, or 12 months. Extensions must also be approved by the U.S. Department of State.
Q. How long will I be able to stay in the United States after I complete the program with my host family?
A. Once you successfully complete the au pair program with your host family, you may stay in the United States on the J-1 Visa for an additional 30 days. You can use this time to travel around the U.S.; however, you are not permitted to work.
Q. What will my responsibilities be as an au pair?
A. You'll be required to provide up to 45 hours per week of child care. Part of your duties might include getting children ready for school, preparing meals and packing lunches, bathing children, cleaning play areas, doing children's laundry and making their beds. Because you'll be living as an extended member of the host family, you should also clean up after yourself and care for your living space. Learn more about Au Pair Responsibilities
Q: What are the academic requirements of the Au Pair program?
A: Au Pairs are required to attend an accredited, post-secondary institution, such as a Community College or University, to earn no less than 6 semester hours (or their equivalent) of academic credit. EduCare Au Pairs are required to complete 12 semester hours.
Q: As an Au Pair, am I required to pay taxes?
A: 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 with your tax advisor.
Q: Will I receive any additional training?
A: Yes! Au Pair 4 Me Au Pairs receive a total of about 45 hours of training as well as 2 certificates from the Red Cross; one in CPR and one in Advanced Child Care.
Q: Who is responsible for my airfare?
A: Au Pair 4 Me covers your airfare to and from your home country (once at the beginning and once at the end of the Au Pair program). The host family covers your airfare from your orientation in Phoenix, AZ to the HF city. If at any time during the program you need to travel back to your home country due to a family emergency, etc. you will be responsible for any travel expenses that occur.
Q: What if I have questions after the initial match is made, and who do I contact about any issues during the duration of the program?
A: You will be assisted by an Au Pair 4 Me representative throughout the entire application process and every Au Pair/Host Family is assigned a Local Coordinator in their area that is available for questions or concerns at any time during the program.
Q: Am I permitted to get another job while participating in the au pair program?
A: No, you are only allowed to perform your duties as an au pair while in the program and during your stay in the U.S.
Q: Do I need to speak perfect English to get approved for the program?
A: While English does not need to be your native tongue, you must be able to fluently speak and understand English to ensure proper communication and understanding between all parties in the program.
Q: Upon having a successful year in the program, how long must I wait to reapply if I wish to participate in the program a second time?
A: You must be back in your home country for 2 years before you can reapply for the au pair program again, and you must still be within the ages of 18-26.
Q: How long does the application process take?
How long the application process will take depends on how fast you complete the entire application and provide us with all required documentation. Once we receive it we will need few days to verify all information, conduct an interview with you, and then we will activate your online profile and begin the matching process.
Q: What kind of childcare experience do I need to be accepted into this program?
As the au pair program focuses mainly on the childcare, 200 hours of childcare experience are required to be accepted into this program. This childcare experience can include nanny jobs, babysitting, volunteering, being an au pair, camp counselor, teaching at school, etc. You will need to provide us with at least two childcare references from non-family related people filled out on the forms provided by our agency.
Q: Is a driver's license required to be accepted into this program?
A driver’s license is not required to apply for the au pair program. Some of our host families do not require their au pairs to drive as part of their duties. So you can still become an au pair even without a driver's license.
Q: What if I already found my host family?
Au Pair 4 Me accepts pre-matches so if you already found a host family you would like to match with, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org and our representative will assist you with the entire process.