The InterExchange Au Pair Australia program connects you with a welcoming host family for six months in sunny Australia! You will provide a set number of child care hours and, in return, your host family will provide a private room, meals, and a weekly stipend.
The ideal au pair candidate is flexible, energetic, and prepared to actively participate in the host family's life. Your responsibilities may include keeping children engaged with games and activities, taking them to/from school, light housework, preparing meals for the children, tutoring, and more. Experienced candidates may have the option for additional hours and a higher stipend. In addition to housing and meals, the weekly stipend ranges between AUD $170-$340 in exchange for 30 to 40 hours of child care. Two full days off per week and a completion bonus of AUD $500 are also provided.
Your visa will be valid for 12 months, so after a six-month placement you'll have up to six more months more to explore Australia, travel, work, or maybe even extend your au pair experience!
Dates and Application Deadlines
We accept applications and organize placements throughout the year! Please apply at least three months prior to your desired start date.
With no obligation to move forward, you can get the ball rolling by signing up today. We’ll reach out to help you plan your adventure when you're ready!
Once we've sent your application abroad, it typically takes 3 to 4 weeks to receive a suitable host family file. It can take longer if you've applied more than three months in advance. We will notify you as soon as a placement has been found so you can connect with the family over email and/or video chat to make sure that you are both happy with the match. Once confirmed, we will provide all of the next steps on how to apply for your visa, when to book your flight, where to purchase insurance, and how to prepare to be an au pair and live abroad.
Your host family will pick you up from the airport or train station. Through the placement process and your program you'll have access to interviewing tips, packing checklist, meet and greet calendar, au pair training manual and more. Throughout your program, our international cooperator will be there to make sure your transition is smooth and fun. They host occasional social events where au pairs can gather, share experiences, and get to know one another.
Other Costs to Consider
Please be prepared to cover airfare to and from the U.S.
You must have insurance that covers repatriation and emergency medical evacuation.
- Personal spending money
For independent travel/trips, any optional extra classes, social time with friends, etc.
AUD $440; participants should also have personal support funds as required.
- Working With Children Check
Obtained in Australia (AUD $70 to $120).
You will be making a weekly stipend of AUD $170-340 plus a AUD $500 end of program bonus, without the expenses of rent or food. This means you can make at least AUD $4,920 for a six-month placement and double that if you stay for a year!
Frequently Asked Questions
When is the best time for me to submit my application?
The best time to start is January or February when Australia's school year begins and the demand for au pairs is high, making September or October the best time to submit your application. We do however place au pairs throughout the year and would prefer to receive your application about 3 months prior to when you'd like to start. Later applications may still be accepted, but opportunities for placement become limited the later you apply.
What kind of child care-related experience is needed to apply?
Your child care experience can include any kind of work where you have been responsible for children. This can include babysitting, tutoring, coaching, student/assistant teaching, classroom teaching, being a camp counselor or volunteering with kids, etc. and must add up to at least 200 hours in total. If you have additional child care related certificates or educational degrees, please be sure to highlight this in your application.
Do my references need to be sent directly to your organization?
Most applicants collect their own references and upload them directly to their online InterExchange accounts. However, if your referrer would prefer to email them directly to us, please have them scan and send the form to our general email at [email protected]
Does the $250 deposit secure the application?
While we can never 100% guarantee placement, placement is likely as long as you submit your application about 3-4 months in advance of when you'd like to start. We have lots of host families who register all throughout the year specifically looking for American au pairs (Americans are in high demand) so it would be very unlikely that you would not find a placement.
If I am not accepted into the program will I receive a refund?
In the unlikely event that we are unable to place you, we will refund your $250 deposit. We will keep you posted throughout the placement process.
How far in advance can I submit my application?
Most applicants submit their applications about 3-4 months in advance. Please feel free to submit your application up to 6 months in advance if you'd like, which will give us more time to find the most suitable match for you.
Can I make a location request?
Yes. We can usually accommodate specific preferences if you want to be placed near Sydney, along the east coast in general, or in an urban/suburban area. We generally have fewer host family options in Melbourne, Brisbane, or Perth. Please write in your location preferences anywhere on your Program Specific Application. We'll do our best, but location requests cannot be guaranteed. Actual placement location will depend on the families looking for au pairs at the time.
Do I need to be a driver?
Most Australian host families seek an au pair who can drive. If you are not able to drive, it may take a few weeks longer to find you a family match.
What are host families like?
Our international cooperator screens all of our host families for safety very similarly to how we screen our au pairs. Just as our applicants here in the U.S. must, all families submit applications and references, have an interview and pay a program fee.
We have many warm and caring Australian families looking for au pairs. Most families live in residential neighborhoods or suburbs of cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. They are typically middle class and have friendly kids excited to meet you. Here are some recent examples:
Family F. Resides in Mackay, Queensland, and loves music. This 2-parent family with 3 children between 1 and 8 years old is looking for an au pair who can drive and would be interested in working 35 hours or more per week. The proposed stipend is AUD $255-$400 each week.
Family T. Another 2-parent family with 3 children, all between the ages of 2 and 4. They live in Paddington, New South Wales, and don't need a driver, but are seeking an au pair who would be interested in working 35 hours or more weekly in exchange for a stipend between AUD $340-$400.
Can I be placed with or close to a friend?
If you've made any special requests to be placed close to a friend, would like to be in a particular region, or have any host family/children preferences, we will take them into consideration but cannot guarantee we will be able to accommodate all requests. We do not allow multiple placements in one host family home.
Will I have options to choose from during the matching process?
You will definitely have the option to ask for other families if you feel the one(s) we've presented to you are not a good fit. Let us know and we'll be happy to continue looking for another family until you feel like we've found the right one! It's important to us that you feel comfortable with your host family match, and we'll do all we can to make sure that happens.
If I decide not want to work with a presented family, am I eligible for a refund?
In terms of receiving a refund of your deposit, you would only be eligible for a full refund if we were not able to find a family for you after three weeks to your latest indicated start date. The stipulations of our refund policy can be found here.
Is there Internet access at every household?
The majority of our families, even those in rural areas have access to the Internet in their homes. The basics like electricity, water, and heat go without saying. In a rural area, it may be more difficult to access public transportation to get into town, but you will always have the option to discuss with your host family how they get around and stay social in a non-urban environment.
If I am placed near a college am I allowed to take classes?
Legally, your visa will allow you to take classes for up to 4 months within a 12 month period. You can find this information on the Australian Immigration site.
Please keep in mind that your host family and their needs always come first. If you are certain you'd like to take classes, I would recommend having a chat about this with your host family so they are aware of your plans, and can make additional arrangements for their children if necessary.
How do I match with another family for the second part of my stay in Australia?
Just let our cooperator know via email, phone, or by stopping into their office if you'd like to sign up for a second placement. We suggest informing them about a month or two into your first placement. They'll simply re-activate your online profile and put you back into matching exactly how we found your first family.
What if issues arise with my host family after I am abroad?
If any issues arise, you will want to contact our international cooperator immediately so they can mediate the situation. If things really are not working out, we will do our best to move you to another family in a timely manner.
What does the visa process entail?
You will apply for the Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 462). We'll provide assistance after you are matched with a family. You'll apply online and in most cases, the visa process is pretty quick. Please note you cannot be in Australia when you apply.
You will pay for your own visa (currently AUD $440). It's a one-time fee that has to be paid at the same time you submit your online visa application. The visa will allow you to live, work and travel in Australia for up to 12 months.
The Work and Holiday Visa also allows you to hold multiple jobs if you'd like. However we highly recommend that you do not take on additional work, as being an au pair can feel like a full-time job. We want you to be free to prioritize your host family's needs and commit yourself fully to them, which can make having a second job challenging.
Does InterExchange help me with my visa?
We will provide instructions on how to apply for your Work and Holiday Visa; however, you will be the one to actually lodge the application. Keep in mind the application process is very easy because it is entirely conducted online.
Is there an orientation or resources to help start my program?
While there is no formal orientation, you will receive an InterExchange Child Care Guide, Activities Guide, and Home Orientation Guide before departing the U.S. Upon arrival into Australia, our international cooperator will provide a Welcome Pack with Australia-specific resources on how to approach au pairing and how to adjust to your new environment.
When/how do I get the international drivers license?
Although it is not absolutely required, we recommend you get something called an International Driver's License/Permit. You should apply for this at the time of host family placement as it can take a few days/weeks to have it ready.
What is the WWCC and how do I obtain it?
The Working with Children Check is required of all people in Australia (Australians and foreigners alike) who plan to work with children in any capacity. Each state has their own WWCC procedure, so you will apply for this in Australia after you know your host family's location.
Do all families pay in cash?
Most families pay cash, although if there is another way you'd prefer to receive your pay, please simply let your host family know. If you open up a bank account (which is usually free, you just need to provide some proof of identity like your passport), your host family can deposit your stipend directly into your account. If you'd like to change your money into U.S. dollars, you should be able to change your money at any large bank. Please remember to take into account exchange rates and transaction fees.
Is there a contract listing my hours and pay?
There is no intention to create a contractual, employment, or legal relationship between the host family and the au pair. However, you will receive what we call an Au Pair/Host Family Agreement and Invitation that lists your host family's contact information, your stipend, duration of program, and program stipulations. Both parties will be required to electronically sign this document upon successful matching.
Should I bring my U.S. phone with me?
Most people either purchase a cheap phone with a pay-as-you-go SIM card for national calls, or simply use their existing phone with an Australian SIM card purchased in Australia. However, if you're planning to contact people back at home, we recommend just using Skype or Whatsapp on your current phone with wifi. You can find more information here.
Do I need to buy a roundtrip flight?
Although it is not legally necessary, it is generally more cost efficient to book a roundtrip rather than two one-way tickets. However, if you'd simply like to purchase a one-way ticket going into Australia and then purchase your return ticket at a later date, this is totally acceptable as well.
Will I be able to connect with other au pairs in Australia?
Absolutely. We'll connect you with other au pairs in Australia at the time of your program and invite you to a Facebook group specifically for au pairs in Australia. Our in-country agents will also help you connect with their special Meet and Greet program held all around the country.
What our participants are saying
Whenever I need the help, I can count on Shadi to always answer my emails within 24 hours during the weekdays. She remembered me whenever I called and I truly felt like I was part of the InterExchange family. Especially when I received my InterExchange shirt and bag with a small postcard included. It felt personal and throughout my whole application experience, I felt completely assisted and never lost. I have emailed multiple times and I received much more help and happiness than I expected. I love InterExchange and soon I plan to use InterExchange again and travel the world with amazing assistance. Jennifer