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Orientation and Training

At Au Pair in America, we take pride in exceeding the U.S. Government training standards.

While orientation became a government regulation in 1995, group orientations on arrival have been routinely provided by Au Pair in America since our first group arrived in 1986.

Au Pair in America provides child development and child safety training before arrival and throughout the exchange.

The orientation program includes eight hours of child safety and 24 hours of child development training before the au pair/companion arrives in your home. During the course of the exchange, child safety and age-appropriate activities are discussed during cluster meetings.

Included American Red Cross training

After settling into their host community, all participants are encouraged to complete an Infant/Child CPR and First Aid certification program. Child/Adult CPR is recommended for EduCare in America Companions. Au Pair in America will pay for this training through the American Red Cross.

Au Pair Orientation goals

The goals of the orientation program are to:

  • provide an opportunity for each participant to acclimate to the United States in a supportive environment before joining her host family
  • reinforce information about program regulations and policies
  • provide an opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills that will help her adjust to American culture and lifestyles
  • provide an opportunity to acquire basic knowledge and skills about child development and behavior that will help her to safely and effectively care for your children

Orientation includes seminars by American Red Cross instructors who provide hands-on demonstrations in infant/child CPR and safety.


In addition, the program includes:

  • a discussion of adaptation to different cultures
  • an explanation of host family expectations
  • role-playing related to communication and problem-solving
  • discussion of child care practices in the United States

This orientation program provides the foundation upon which your training with your au pair/companion can begin.

Host Family Orientation

First year families in our program will participate in an orientation session conducted by their community counselor. This session will review important aspects of your au pair/companion’s orientation that you will need to reinforce, explore cultural adaptation issues, and provide tips for living with a young adult and how to prepare for her arrival. We provide Guidelines for a Successful Year, a publication that offers important suggestions on matters you will need to consider and discuss with your au pair/companion.

Transportation from Au Pair Orientation

You provide a one-way refundable ticket from the orientation site to your host community. Driving to the orientation site to meet your au pair / companion is recommended if feasible. Orientations are held in Tarrytown, New York.

During the year

Personal growth opportunities and child care pointers don't stop here. Throughout the program au pairs gather for instructional sessions organized by their community counselors. They share ideas in their newsletter and are encouraged toward other personal and child care improvement.

Support doesn't stop here. Other on-going support systems are built in.

Meet Some of Our Staff

Once you’ve applied and have met all of the au pair host family requirements, our experienced staff will continue to assist you during the application process and beyond. Our support team is always on call to help you throughout the process.

Ruth Ferry

Ruth Ferry, Senior Vice President & Director of Au Pair in America

Ruth has over 35 years of international cultural exchange experience.
Read more about Ruth >>

Jean Quinn

Jean Quinn, Deputy Director Au Pair in America

Jean started working in the field because of the way it tied together her career passions of Cultural Exchange and Education.
Read more about Jean >>

Lorraine Somma-Mates

Lorraine Somma-Mates, Placement Manager

Lorraine works closely with families and au pairs and understands their needs and concerns.
Read more about Lorraine >>

Lynn Gilbert

Lynn Gilbert, Program Services Manager

Lynn manages a team of staff who monitor the community counselors and handle problem-solving for participants on our program.
Read more about Lynn >>

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