When is the best time for me to submit my application?
We can place applicants throughout the year! 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.
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]
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. Please let us know if you have preferences, though 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:
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.
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?
We can usually place two succesful applicants in the same metro area. 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.
Is there Internet access at every household?
The majority of our families have access to the Internet in their homes.
If I am placed near a college am I allowed to take classes?
Your visa will allow you to take classes for up to 4 months within a 12 month period. If you are certain you'd like to take classes, we 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 I only want to stay for one six-month placement?
That's totally fine! A lot of people do this and if you like, you can travel afterwards on your own. Your visa is good for a full year so there's plenty of time to explore. Your visa also allows you to take on seasonal jobs, in case you wanted to try something a little different after your au pair stay has finished.
What if issues arise with my host family after I am abroad?
You have an organization to call in Australia. 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 information 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 (with a second-year visa option possible under certain circumstances).
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. The visa process is typically very straightforward and can be done online but we're available if you have any doubts.
Are there resources to help start my program?
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 may be able to 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.
Is there a contract listing my hours and pay?
You will receive a host family invitation listing their 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. If you're planning to contact people back at home, you might want to use 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 sometimes 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.
Ready to get started? You can create an application with no obligation to move forward! If you have any other questions, simply give us a call at 1.800.597.3675 or email email@example.com and we'll be happy to help!