The following information describes the InterExchange Au Pair USA program. Please read the following information before you sign any agreements or pay any non-refundable fees. If you have any questions, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1-917-305-5400.
Program Activities: Through InterExchange’s Au Pair USA program, participants and host families take part in a mutually rewarding, intercultural opportunity. Au pair participants can continue their education while experiencing everyday life with an American family, and host families receive reliable and responsible childcare from au pairs who become part of the family.
Employment Activities: Au pairs provide childcare and childcare related activities for host families. This could include active childcare that occurs while children are awake such as feeding, bathing, changing clothes/diapers, preparing meals for children, getting the children ready for school, assisting in play dates or schoolwork, driving children to school and/or activities, etc. Duties could also include passive forms of childcare such as being the responsible adult present while the children are sleeping or studying.
Job Duties: While the specifics of the au pair job will depend on the family you match with, the job duties will relate to the care of the children. The job duties will not include general housekeeping or cleaning beyond what is related to the children and what is acceptable as a contributing member of the host family.
Number of Hours: Au pairs can work a maximum of 45 hours per week. Au pairs cannot work more than 10 hours on any given day and must receive at least one (1) and one half (½) days off per week. A half-day off means working less than 5 hours that day. Au pairs must also receive at least one full weekend off each month, which means being off duty from Friday evening until the scheduled start time on Monday morning.
Wages and Compensation: Host families pay au pairs a weekly stipend determined by the U.S. Department of State of at least $195.75 USD per week. This amount is calculated based on 45 hours at the U.S. federal minimum wage of $7.25 USD per hour multiplied by 45 hours. This amount of $326.25 USD is then reduced by 40% as an allowance for the room and board provided by the host family. Au pairs are also entitled to two weeks (11 days) of paid vacation per 12-month program period.
Deductions for Room and Board: As mentioned above, the au pair stipend includes a U.S. Department of State determined deduction of 40% for room and board. That means that the au pairs effectively have their wages reduced by at $130.50 USD per week to cover room and board. As part of this arrangement, the host family shall provide the au pair with a suitable private bedroom that has been inspected by an InterExchange Au Pair USA representative. The au pair should also have access to enough food for each day, regardless of the au pair being on or off duty that day.
Transportation: Once the au pair has matched with a family and secured a J-1 Visa, InterExchange Au Pair USA will arrange the transportation from InterExchange designated airport in the au pair’s home country to New York City. InterExchange will pay the cost of this airfare. If the au pair successfully completes her/his exchange program, InterExchange will provide a return flight to the au pair’s original departure airport from the Host Family’s nearest gateway airport.
The following transportation costs are the responsibility of the au pair:
- The cost of travel to the gateway airport in the au pair’s home country
- Baggage fees on any and all flights
- The cost of transportation from the New York City airport to the Au Pair USA Orientation location in Manhattan ($25 - $60 USD).
- If traveling by air to the host family, the cost of transportation from the Au Pair USA Orientation location in Manhattan to the New York City airport ($25 - $60 USD).
- The cost of a flight home if the au pair fails to complete the program.
Participant Costs: The following is a general overview of costs you may incur.
- Local agency fees, as described on Fee Disclosure Form
- Travel to and from your local agency for your in-person interview and English Evaluation (varies)
- Cost of obtaining your Police Report/Criminal Background Check (varies)
- Cost of Medical Exam with physician for your InterExchange Au Pair USA Medical Report (varies)
- J-1 Visa Application Fee ($160 USD, subject to change)
- Travel to and from the local American Embassy or Consulate (varies)
- Travel to international gateway airport for your flight to New York City (varies)
- International Driver’s License
- Baggage fees on flights (Varies by airline and number of bags)
- Optional insurance plan upgrade (see below)
- Fees associated with changes to travel as outlined on https://programs.interexchange.org/travel-abroad/au-pair-usa/resources/flights/
- Travel to and from the New York Orientation and Training location ($25 - $70 USD)
- Lunch and dinner during the Orientation and Training Program ($30 - $100 USD)
- Recommended personal funds ($500 - $1000 USD)
Fees Paid to Employer: None
Fees for Additional Insurance: InterExchange provides accident and sickness insurance for all au pairs who are active on the Au Pair USA program. Au pairs have the option of purchasing expanded accident and sickness insurance before their arrival in the United States for $235 USD. Au pairs are unable to purchase expanded insurance from InterExchange after their arrival.
Au pairs who complete their program are entitled to a 30-day travel period. InterExchange does not provide insurance for this time period after the program completion date. However, we do offer 30 days of extra coverage for an additional $65. Au pairs who wish to take advantage of this travel period after the program ends are highly encouraged to purchase this insurance coverage through InterExchange.
SEVIS Fees: The $35 USD SEVIS fee is paid for by the au pair’s host family. Au pairs who wish to extend their program beyond the original 12-month program with a new host family have to pay a U.S. Department of State Extension Application Fee of $367 USD.
Need for Personal Funds: Because au pairs arrive to the U.S. and take part in an unpaid Orientation and Training program, the au pairs will have to use their own funds to cover expenses for this period. Au pairs should also be aware that the $500 USD educational stipend might not be sufficient to cover the costs of the educational requirements. Therefore, au pairs should expect to have to contribute part of their stipend and/or personal funds to complete this aspect of the program. Furthermore, as mentioned above, au pairs who do not complete their program will have to pay for their flight home so all au pairs should set aside money from their stipend or personal funds for this situation. We suggest bringing at least $1000 USD of personal funds with you to cover any unforeseen expenses.
Conditions and Restrictions of Program: Au pair applicants must meet the following conditions of participation upon arrival to the US:
- They are proficient in spoken English enough to successfully participate in the program and function on a day-to-day basis.
- They are a secondary school graduate or its recognized equivalent.
- They are between 18 and 26 years old.
- They are capable of fully participating in the program as evidenced by the satisfactory completion of a physical exam by a physician.
- They have been interviewed in person, in English, by an InterExchange cooperating agency representative.
- They have successfully in passed a background investigation that includes verification of school, three, non-family related personal and employment references, a criminal background check or its recognized equivalent and a personality profile.
- Au pairs cannot be matched with a host family with children less than 2 years of age unless they have at least 200 hours of verified experience with children under 2 years of age.
- Au pairs cannot be matched with a host family with a child with special needs (as indicated by the host family) unless they have relevant experience providing care to individuals with special needs.
- Au pairs cannot be the sole responsible adult left in care of any infants less than 3 months of age.
Type, duration and nature of cultural components: The Au Pair USA program provides many opportunities for cross-cultural engagement. Au pairs will take part in educational requirements at a local post-secondary institution thereby providing opportunity to meet other similarly aged individuals. Au pairs may also take part in monthly cluster events with Local Coordinators. These events can be educational, cultural, or social in nature. During a typical program year, au pairs can expect to engage in cultural events on a regular basis.