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Program introduction
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Au Pair USA-Program introduction

The au pair exchange program of America was established in 1986 as an educational and cultural exchange program with a strong child care component. Program participants enter the United States for 12 months to care for children of the American family in whose home they live. At the same time, au pairs are required to complete an educational component of six semester hours of academic credit or its equivalent. At the end of one year, au pairs return to their home country. 

Au pairs is to be treated like a member of the family.

The rules are clear: au pairs are provided a private bedroom, meals, remuneration tied to the minimum wage, one and one-half days off weekly plus a full weekend off each month, two weeks’ paid vacation, and $500 toward the cost of required course work to be completed at an accredited U.S. institution of higher education in order to satisfy the requirements of the educational component of the program. Au pairs are responsible for the host families’ child(ren) entrusted to their care. Au pairs are not to work more than 10 hours a day/45 hours a week. They are not to serve as general housekeepers or assume responsibility for household management. 

Sponsoring organizations in the U.S. have the responsibility for administering the program, within the regulations set by the Department of State. Although the Department designates organizations to conduct au pair programs, the responsibility for choosing the right organization rests solely with the host family and the au pair.

In order to host an exchange visitor for an American family under the Au Pair Program they must agree to

(1) facilitate the enrollment and attendance of the au pair in a U.S. "post-secondary" educational institution;

(2) ensure that the au pair has adequate transportation to attend; 

(3) pay up to $500 toward the cost of required academic course work. 

Any additional costs associated with acquiring the required six academic credits are to be absorbed by the au pair. The au pair program will make au pair experience possible. The program is a cultural exchange experience through child care and is regulated by the U.S. Department of State. Designated agencies, offer the only legal way for Au Pairs to travel to the U.S. All designated agencies enforce the rules and regulations set forth by the Department of State.   

Living with an American family is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. While being an au pair in the U.S. is a rewarding and fun job, it comes with important responsibilities. Every host family and au pair relationship is different and au pairs will need to adapt to own new situation by getting a good understanding of their host parents' preferences, schedules and children needs. Au pairs are not like typical nannies or daycare employees; they're part of a vibrant cultural and educational exchange program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Au pairs' host family may become like a second family to you.









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