Au pairs. Tips

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What is expected from an au pair?

Families expectations for an American au pair

An American au pair's primary job is to take care of the children of the family. This may or may not include taking them to appointments, dropping them off at school or other activities. An au pair may also be expected to help with homework when the can and do child related housekeeping chores. The American au-pair is also expected to pay for any telephone calls and respect the families' wishes with regard to curfew and visitors. It is customary to give at least two week's notice before leaving their position. The difference from an European au pair is that an American does not have to pay for travel expenses to the host countries and for English classes like their European counterparts.

Where can I find au pair information?

Information on au pairs

To find information on becoming an au pair check out your local book store or library. Topics will include training, necessary experience and how to find a job. A potential au-pair will find a wealth of information including country-by-country guides, regulation information and health insurance. They will even find information on the advantages and disadvantages of working in different countries on various web sites. Consider an au pair agency. They will assist you in finding a job while guiding you with informative choices.

What is the usual arrangements for an au pair?

Au-pair arrangements

An au-pair placement is where a single person around 17 to 27 years of age. An au-pair will live up to two years as a member of a family. The au-pair helps in the home for a number of hours per day, 5 days a week. In return au-pairs receive an allowance and a bedroom or sometimes a small apartment within the family home. It provides a wonderful opportunity for both the young person and the family as they share their cultures and languages. The relationships that families and au-pairs develop often endure into the future.

How does someone become an au pair in America?

Becoming an American au pair

To be an American au pair you must be between 18 and 26, own a valid American driving license, have graduated from high school and speak fluent English. An American au-pair can not have a criminal record and must produce a police record. You must agree to an au pair agency's code of conduct/rules and agree to a full year's commitment to your host family.

What choices do I have if I am not happy with the arrangements?

Dissatisfaction with the au pair arrangement

Both the family and the American au pair have options if they are not happy with the arrangement. Since the terms of the au pair agreement may vary from one American au-pair organization to another, check your contract with the organization for information on cancellation or talk with your American sponsoring organization directly. Please remember you should read your contract immediately for time limits and specific conditions. In some cases, the situation can be resolved without termination of the relationship.

Can just Americans be an American au pair?

Countries eligible for becoming an American au pair

An American au pair can come from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, The Netherlands, and Denmark. People from Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, South Africa and South Korea can also qualify as an American au-pair. These are just a few countries. Additionally, an American family can host an au-pair from another part of the United States.

What does an American au pair expect from the family?

Au pairs expectations

The expectations that an American au-pair has for his or her new job can vary based on the person. Generally, an American au pair expects the same things that an American nany does. They expect to have her/his own room, with appropriate heating and air conditioning. There is also an expectation to have two days off and to be paid extra money if they have to baby sit for more than 2 nights per week. An American au-pair can expect when the position is completed to be given at least two week's notice.

Are au pair permits limited?

Au pair permits

Au pair permits are limited to unmarried people who have no dependants and do not plan to stay in the United States for more than two years. Au-pairs must leave the United States after completing their period of employment and/or educational pursuits. Au pairs may work for another family but the arrangements must meet the requirements of Immigration Rules.

How do I apply to become a foreign au pair?

Becoming a foreign au-pair

To become a foreign au-pair is complicated undertaking and the process should be started at least four months before leaving the United States. You should contact an au- pair agency first for the application forms and for information about what your responsibilities will be. From the information that they give you, you can decide if this is the right kind of employment for you to pursue. When you are assigned as a families' au-pair, contact and apply for the appropriate visa at the country's consulate nearest to your work place.

What about income tax filing for an au pair?

Income tax filing for an au pair

An American au pair will almost always a nonresident alien and will be required to file Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ to report au pair wages. As a alien they are ineligible for the American Earned Income Tax Credit, the Hope Credit and the Lifetime Learning Credit. An au pair is not really a student in the United States and therefore is not eligible to exclude their American au pair wages from gross income under the student article of any U.S. income tax.

Are there classes for being an au pair?

Au pair classes

Many colleges have educational courses available to au pairs and some schools offer au pair courses at discounted rates. These classes are generally taught in English. This is a benefit as the host family must often cover the fees associates with au pair education. For information on these types of colleges, go to any of the au pair informational web sites or try an au pair agency. An au pair can also contact the university closest to his or her host families' residence.

What is an au-pair?


"Au pair" is a French term for governess. An au-pair usually is a young woman or man from a foreign country who looks after the children and does light housekeeping. The au-pair usually works with a family in the United States for at least one year and is contracted through an agency or placement company. Oftentimes an au pair will also attend classes or school while they are in the United States and will use the opportunity to improve their English.

What are the cost for au pair classes

Class fees for au pairs

Au pair colleges offer both non-credit and credit courses. Affordable non credit au-pair courses are mostly offered through continuing education sections with the cost ranging from $50-$500 per course. Credit courses are $355 or more per credit. An au pair agency might have information on local classes. You can also contact other au pairs in your area, if you are placed by an agency, to find out where they are going to school. If your host family has had other au pairs, they may even know the best places to go for these types of classes.

May an au pair stay longer than the contact specifies?

Contract extensions

A contract extension will depend on if the au pair is from US or a foreign country. American au-pairs have more ability to extend their contract then their counterparts does. Foreign au pairs may stay with the American family in the US for up to one year. After that time they are required to return to their home country. The au pair arrangement cannot be extended.

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