As a participant on the InterExchange Au Pair New Zealand 5-and-up program, you will provide a set number of child care hours for a welcoming host family, who will provide a private room, meals, and a weekly stipend.
The program will support you with pre-departure guidance, comprehensive orientation in Auckland, help settling in, introductions to other au pairs, welcome pack and support materials, access to social activities and a lot more!
The best candidates are adaptable, energetic and prepared to commit to a placement of 6-12 months. 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. In addition to housing and meals, weekly stipends range between NZD $165 and $280 in exchange for 30-45 hours of child care. Weekly time off (two days/week), vacation time, and a completion bonus are also provided.
Programs begin with orientation at a hotel and conference center in Auckland. You'll meet other au pairs, learn what to expect living with a kiwi family, and receive training on caring for children including child first aid. The program also provides a bank account (opened on your behalf), as well as a SIM card with a local phone number.
We accept applications and organize placements throughout the year! Please apply at least three months prior to your desired start date.
To apply you'll create an online account and complete a few simple web forms. You will also need to upload documents including references, resume, and any relevant certifications. When you're ready, you will pay a $250 deposit towards your program fee (refundable in the unlikely event that we're unable to place you). The balance will not be due until we confirm your placement with a host family.
When we receive your deposit we'll unlock your application so you can review everything once more and submit it. Then, we'll contact you for an informal Skype interview before confirming your acceptance and sending your application overseas.
Once we've sent your application abroad, it typically takes 3-4 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 your all-inclusive orientation in Auckland and will help you get settled in your new environment. Throughout your program, our international cooperator will also 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. They are also available to answer questions and concerns over email, phone, or in person at your request.
Weekly stipends range between NZD $170 and $285 and you will receive a completion bonus equal to NZD $10 multiplied by the number of weeks of your program, all without the major living expenses of rent or food!
It comes down to personal preference!
The Au Pair New Zealand 5-and-Up program is designed for school-aged children or for those who live outside of our partner's licensed regions. An Au Pair on this program is much like a big brother or sister, and will often care for the children before and after school attending extracurricular activities together and helping with homework. They will often share hobbies with the children, like cultural, musical, arts or sporting interests. The Au Pair Buddy program does not include an educational element.
If you would instead prefer to care for children under the age of 5 and would like to improve your professional qualifications to care for young children, Au Pair New Zealand 5-and-Under may be a better fit. This program is for families who have at least one preschool child under the age of 5 and who live within the Ministry of Education licensed regions. The program is guided by Te Whariki - the official NZ early childhood education curriculum.
In addition to the standard offerings from the 5-and-Up program, the 5-and-Under program has educational components that include:
In January and February when New Zealand's school year begins, the demand for au pairs is highest, but we place au pairs throughout the year. We 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.
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.
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]
We have lots of host families who register throughout the year specifically looking for American au pairs (speakers of English are in high demand) so it would be very unlikely that you would not find a placement. In the unlikely event that a placement cannot be found, your deposit will be refunded.
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.
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.
Yes. We can usually accommodate specific preferences if you want to be placed near Auckland. We have fewer host family options in and around other major cities and in more rural areas. 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.
Most New Zealand families seek an au pair who can drive. Families usually have 2 cars and sometimes will have 1 car just for their au pair's use. If you can't drive it may take longer to find you the right host family.
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.
A typical New Zealand host family will have 2 or 3 children, most often aged between 1 and 12. Most host families live in detached 4- or 5-bedroom homes with a back garden where the children can play outdoors. It's typical for both mum and dad to go to work, though some au pairs will be in a parent help role where 1 parent is home much of the time. Families usually have 2 cars and will sometimes have a car just for their au pair's use. New Zealand families are often sporty and enjoy spending time outdoors. They will often spend time together as a family on the weekends, and like to eat varied international foods. Hot meals are eaten in the evenings, often with the whole family sitting together at the table. New Zealanders are well known as friendly and welcoming hosts.
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 honor all requests. We do not allow multiple placements in one host family home.
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.
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. The stipulations of our refund policy can be found here. If you are not comfortable with the first family presented, we will keep trying.
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.
During a long-term au pair program, it is not uncommon for communication challenges or misunderstandings to arise on occasion. If this happens you are encouraged to reach out to the New Zealand-base staff immediately for support. If things really are not working out, we will do our best to move you to another family in a timely manner, subject to availability.
You will apply for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa. We'll provide information after you are matched with a family. However, you will apply online and in most cases the visa process is pretty quick. Please note you cannot be in New Zealand when you apply.
The visa is currently free, and it allows you to live, work and travel in New Zealand for up to 12 months.
The Working 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.
In addition to our ongoing personal support, you will receive an InterExchange Child Care Guide, Activities Guide, and Home Orientation Guide before departing the U.S. to help you confidently start your work as an au pair.
Upon arrival into New Zealand, our international cooperator will provide an all-inclusive orientation. The Au Pair New Zealand program always begins with a 2-day orientation in Auckland. Orientation gives each Au Pair a chance to recover from jet lag, connect with new friends and prepare for their placement with your family. Some topics covered are: caring for children, understanding Kiwi culture, au pair guidelines, opening a bank account and applying for an income tax number, and social events for au pairs. Host families collect their Au Pair from the Orientation venue, near Auckland Airport on completion ready to start their placement with your family.
An Au Pair is entitled to four weeks of paid annual leave and all paid statutory days in a 12-month contract. Pro-rated annual leave applies to shorter contract lengths. Some families may choose to offer additional paid or unpaid leave.
Before you schedule your vacations, make sure to discuss directly with your host family if it's ok for you to take that time off. You technically can take your vacation all at once, but most au pairs space their vacation time out to accommodate the schedule their host family requires. If your host family is ok with you taking the full 4 weeks at once, then by all means, go for it! The most important thing is to discuss your plans with them directly.
Yes. The Working Holiday Visa 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.
We recommend you get 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.
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'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.
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.
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 a New Zealand SIM card purchased there. 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.
Although it is not legally necessary, it is always 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 New Zealand and then purchase your return ticket at a later date, this is totally acceptable as well.
Absolutely. We'll connect you with other au pairs in New Zealand at the time of your program and invite you to a Facebook group specifically for au pairs in New Zealand. Our in-country agents will also help you connect.
Don't hesitate to participate in this program. You will experience an adventure of a lifetime that you will keep with you for the rest of your life. It's fascinating alone to immerse yourself in a new culture and learn all that you can while living away from everything you know, but you should also take the time to make friends from other parts of the world as well. If your cooperating agency puts together events with other participants in your area and you can go to them, I would strongly suggest it. I only went to one event during my time there, but I made several instant friends… Get to know your classmates and go out with them on the weekends and whenever you can. Take advantage of your time with your host family; ask them questions, never be embarrassed if you do not understand something and you need clarification. You're learning every day, so take full advantage! Heather
The first time the little girl gave me a spontaneous silly wet kiss it stopped me in my tracks. I realized that I've been a steady figure in their little lives and they rely on me … they even love me. Monica
Experience the friendly culture of New Zealand and form a special bond with your host children!