What is an Au Pair?
- Posted: Feb 6th, 2023
Au pairs — maybe you’ve met one at the playground or in the pick-up line at your child’s school, or maybe the concept is still new in your community. But what is an au pair?
Let’s start with the basics – au pairs are young people, typically women, between the ages of 18 and 26, from all over the world. For example, Au Pair in America has the largest global recruitment network, spanning nearly 60 countries on six continents.
Au pairs with Au Pair in America come to the United States to have a cultural exchange experience by living with a host family and helping out with child care. They typically live with their host family for one year, but have the option to extend for up to an additional 12 months.
What’s in a Name?
“Au pair” is French for “on par” or “equal to”– meaning the relationship between the host family and au pairs is designed to be an equal one. The au pair is truly a member of the family, with both parties committed to sharing their cultures with one another.
It’s also important to note that the program is regulated by the United States Department of State. We are incredibly proud of our compliance track record and the fact that we meet or exceed all program requirements.
What Does an Au Pair Do?
Au pairs can provide up to 45 hours per week of child care assistance, up to 10 hours per day (over the course of 5.5 days per week). The program is designed to be flexible so your child care fits your family’s schedule and needs.
In addition to child care assistance, they can also help with household duties related to the children – laundry, dishes, meal prep, tidying up.
One reason current our host families tell us they love hosting? Driving help! Au pairs can assist with things like school drop off, soccer practice, and all the other places your children need to go.
And don’t forget homework! Helping their host children with at-home or virtual schoolwork is no problem. If your child or children are not in school just yet, they can provide opportunities for language learning, reading together, crafts, and other fun educational activities.
Curious about screening? Au Pair in America applicants pass through our stringent 3-step screening process and receive child development and safety training before arrival and throughout the exchange.
Cultural Exchange – The Heart of the Program
With a program like this, cultural exchange truly is the name of the game. When you host, you’re introducing your family to another culture, another corner of the world, all without leaving your home. From food, to language, to holidays, sharing cultures is the beating heart of the au pair program.