The term “au pair” derives from the French words meaning “on par” or equal. In the context of international exchange programs, au pairs are young individuals who travel to the United States on a J-1 Visitor Exchange Visa to gain a better understanding and appreciation of American life. They achieve this by living with an American host family and providing childcare for their young children.
By participating in the Au Pair in America program, you have an incredible opportunity to discover the United States. You become an integral part of an American family carefully selected to ensure a mutually beneficial experience. As an au pair, you earn weekly pocket money while providing childcare services.
Au pairs are international visitors who, on a J-1 Visitor Exchange visa, have the chance to live with an American family of their choice for a minimum of 12 months while caring for their children. This program offers ample free time to explore, study, travel, and make new friends, all while receiving support throughout your stay.
The United States is a vast and diverse country with countless sights and experiences to offer. From bustling cities to scenic landscapes, there is something for everyone. Immerse yourself in American culture, develop lifelong connections, and create unforgettable memories.
If you meet all the program requirements, you can begin the registration process by clicking on the “Apply Now” button. If you currently do not meet all the requirements, Scotia Personnel is here to assist you in understanding what is needed to fulfill them.
Embark on an incredible journey as an au pair in America and open yourself up to a world of possibilities. Discover the richness of American life, grow personally and professionally, and make the most of your time in the United States.
As an au pair in America, you will have the opportunity to live with a carefully selected host family in one of 200 cluster areas across the United States. Each cluster has a community counselor who ensures the success of both you and your host family.
As part of your responsibilities, you will provide up to 45 hours of childcare assistance per week. In return, you will receive a weekly stipend, a private room, and full board, which includes three meals a day. Additionally, you may benefit from gifts and other perks provided by your host family, such as access to a home computer, telephone, internet, personal transportation, recreational activities, and use of household items.
Living as an equal member of your host family, you will have your own private room and all meals provided. Your role will encompass being a role model, friend, and companion to the host children, so a genuine love for children is important.
With two weeks of paid vacation, you will have ample free time to explore your local area and venture to exciting new places. You can plan trips with friends, join organized tours, or embark on solo adventures.
Living with an American host family as an au pair not only allows you to experience American culture and lifestyle but also introduces you to various other cultures through the friendships you form during your stay. You will be part of a diverse community, joining over 4,000 au pairs from more than 60 countries who travel to America each year with Au Pair in America. It truly is a rich cultural exchange experience.
During your one-year stay in the USA as an au pair, you can expect a comprehensive benefits package, which may include the following:
- Room and board provided
- Weekly pocket money (Note: The minimum stipend is determined by the U.S. Department of State, but host families and au pairs are free to agree on higher compensation.)
- Four-day orientation near New York City (including airfare, hotel, and meals)
- Tuition allowance of $500
- Flight included
- Medical insurance
To be eligible for the Au Pair in America program, applicants must meet the following qualifications:
Age requirement: Applicants must be between 18 and 26 years old.
Valid driver’s license: It is necessary to hold a valid driver’s license.
Childcare experience: Applicants should have at least 200 hours of recent childcare experience, which can include regular babysitting for non-family members, volunteering at a local school or youth group, and similar activities. If caring for children under 2 years old, the 200 hours of experience must be with children in that age range.
Education: Completion of secondary education (High School) is required.
English language proficiency: Applicants must have a good command of the English language.
Clean criminal record: It is important not to have a criminal record and be able to provide a police record check or certificate of good conduct.
Adherence to program rules: Applicants must agree to the program’s code of conduct and rules.
Full-year commitment: A commitment to participate in the program for a full year is required.
No previous participation: Applicants should not have previously participated in an au pair program to the USA.
***For individuals with qualifications such as an Early Childhood Education (ECE) or a Bachelor of Education degree, the Au Pair Extraordinaire program is available. This program is similar to the regular au pair program, with the exception of an increased weekly pocket money allowance.***
If you meet these qualifications, you can apply for the Au Pair in America program and embark on an exciting cultural exchange adventure in the United States.
As an au pair, your daily schedule will be unique and tailored to the specific needs of the children you are caring for and your host family. Each family is different, so your responsibilities and routines will vary accordingly.
Your primary focus as an au pair will be on the children, and you will not be expected to engage in heavy housework. The schedule will revolve around the children’s school hours if they are of school-going age, while the routine may be more fixed if you are caring for babies or younger children.
One of the exciting aspects of being an au pair is that no two days will be the same. You will have the opportunity to care for children while living in a remarkable country with numerous opportunities for travel and exploration.
A typical day as an au pair may involve:
- Waking the children up in the morning
- Assisting with dressing, bathing, and engaging in playtime with them
- Preparing meals for the children
- Making their beds and taking care of their laundry
- Driving the children to and from school, after-school activities, playdates, and other engagements
- Tidying up after the children
- Providing homework assistance
- Being a friend and having fun with the children
- Sharing your own culture through activities such as songs, games, stories, and cooking.
Embrace the diversity and joy of caring for children while immersing yourself in a new culture. Each day will present unique opportunities to create lasting memories and foster meaningful connections with the children and your host family.
Check that you meet our requirements and apply using the link above. You will then receive an email directing you to our online Application Site.
Create Your Online Profile
Log in to your online Application Site and start completing your:
- Application Form
- Childcare Experience Form
- Host Family Letter
You will also need to upload:
- A short video all about you
- Photographs of you, your friends and family and the children you care for
- A passport photo & passport copy
- 3 written references (including at least 1 Childcare Reference)
- Medical Form (completed by your doctor)
- Full Driving License
- Criminal Record Check
- Education Certificate
The aim of this is to build a personal online profile for host families to view during the selection process. The profile should be a true representation of who you are, demonstrating not just your experience with children but also your personality.
We provide lots of great resources on your online Application Site to help prepare you for the year ahead.
Once your application is complete, we will arrange a face-to-face interview. During the interview the interviewer will discuss your experience and expectations and help you decide which of our programs is best suited to you. You are also required to complete a personality questionnaire
Choose Your Host Family
When your profile is complete our host families will be able to view your application online and request a phone or video interview with you. You will be able to see which families are interested in you via your Application Site. Once you talk to them you will both be able to decide if you are a good match for each other. These conversations will give you a better indication of what is expected of you as their au pair, and you will be able to make an informed decision about which family is best for you. It may take one conversation, or it could take longer for you to choose the right family.
You are now ready for your amazing American adventure!