FAQs - Host Family
Q. What is an au pair?
A. Au pairs 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. Au pairs provide up to 45 hours per week of live-in child care in exchange for room, board, and a small weekly stipend. Au pairs expose families to other cultures, languages, and customs, offering valuable cross-cultural experience. Au pairs are also one of the most affordable child care options available, especially for families with more than one child.
Q. What is the difference between an au pair and a nanny?
A. A nanny is strictly a domestic employee. An au pair is a participant in a cultural exchange program. While you “hire” a nanny, you “host” an au pair, and welcome her or him as a member of your extended family. Children receive an enriching cultural experience that isn’t always available from a nanny. Learn more about the differences between au pairs and nannies.
Q. Are all au pairs female?
A. No. While the majority of au pairs are women, both men and women serve as au pairs.
Q. How long can an au pair stay with my family?
A. An au pair's original program runs 12 months. Many host families are so pleased with their au pairs that they want them to stay beyond the first year. An extension option is available to extend an au pair's original term by 6, 9 or 12 months.
Q: Who will we contact for questions or concerns once the au pair has arrived in our home?
A: All Au Pair/Host Family matches are assigned a Local Coordinator in their area that will be your main point of contact for any questions or concerns.
Q: Is the au pair allowed to get another job while participating in the program?
A: No. The au pair agrees to perform only their au pair duties for your specific family as permitted per the guidelines of the program and is not permitted to obtain employment from any other source while enrolled in the au pair program.
Q: What are my financial obligations towards the au pair’s academic requirements?
A: The Host Family is required to pay an educational stipend of up to $500 for a Standard au pair and up to $1000 for an EduCare au pair.
Q: How many hours can the au pair work per day?
A: 10 hour per day is the maximum number allowed for the program.
Q: Do you offer au pairs that can assist with taking care of special needs children?
A: Yes, however you must indicate this clearly on your application that you have a child with special needs, so that we can suggest a match for you that has the proper experience.
Q: How much time off am I required to give the au pair?
A: The au pair is entitled to 1.5 days off each week and one complete weekend off per month.
Q: Does the au pair go through any special screening or background checks so I know my children are in the best hands?
A: Absolutely! Au Pair 4 Me follows all rules and regulations as required by the U.S. Dept. of State which requires them to pass a background investigation, criminal record check, and personality profile (psychometric test). We also verify their schooling and references.
Q: Will the au pair receive any additional training while enrolled in the program?
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. They learn about basic child care as well as child development and safety.
Q: Who is responsible for the au pair’s airfare?
A: Au Pair 4 Me covers the airfare for the au pair to travel to and from their home country (once at the beginning and once at the end of the Au Pair program). If at any time during the program the au pair needs to travel back to their home country due to a family emergency, they will be responsible for any travel expenses that occur.
Q: Do you provide au pairs that can care for infants?
A: Yes, if you have children under the age of two, your au pair needs to be infant qualified. That means she/he has at least 200 hours of documented childcare experience with children under the age of 2. However, if you have an infant that is younger than 3 months old, you must have a parent or responsible adult in the home and the au pair will not be the primary care provider for that particular child for any amount of time.