Au Pair in America

For those seeking a perfect combination of childcare, study and travel

As an au pair in America you will live with your carefully selected host family in one of 180 cluster areas around the United States of America. A 'cluster' is the area where you live, and at the head of each cluster is a community counselor who is there to ensure that both you and your host family are having a successful time together. Au pairs provide up to 45 hours of childcare per week in return for a minimum of US$195.75 weekly pocket money in addition to room and board (or US$250 per week for Au Pair Extraordinaire). eduCare companions provide up to 30 hours per week in return for US$146.81 per week plus room and board.

As an equal member of your host family, you will have your own private room and all meals provided with your host family.  You will be a role model, friend and companion to your host children so a genuine love for children is important! With 2 weeks paid vacation and at least one full weekend off per month, you will have lots of free time to explore your local area and to travel to new and exciting places! You can go on trips with your friends, join an organized tour with Trek America, or just do it on your own!

One of the great things about being an au pair is the opportunity to study at an American college or University. Your host family will provide you with a maximum annual study allowance of up to US$500 to study a course of your choice. The course you select will depend on the educational opportunities in your community and your work schedule. To meet the educational requirement, it may mean that you will need to supplement the education allowance with your own money, so take the time to plan carefully.

Living with an American host family as an Au Pair in America not only introduces you to American culture and lifestyle. You will get to know so many other cultures through the friends you make during your stay. You will be one of over 4000 au pairs from more than 60 countries who travel to America each year with Au Pair in America. A real cultural exchange experience! Become an au pair in America - the meaningful way to experience a slice of life in the USA.

You can apply if you

  • Are between the ages of 18 - 26 years old
  • Have 200 hours of non-family childcare experience
  • Have gained your experience within the last 3 years
  • Have a valid driving license and clean driving record
  • Are a secondary school graduate or equivalent
  • Have a good standard of spoken English skills
  • Have never been convicted of a criminal offence
  • Are unmarried with no spouse or dependents
  • Want to spend a year living with an American family
  • If you are a returning au pair who has successfully completed a year in the USA we are happy to accept your application for a further experience

“Au Pair in America changed my life completely. It made me stronger and more independent!” Aroa Lopez Olmeda - Spain

Tammie Phillips

Tammie Phillips

Location: Leonardtown, MD
No of children: 5
Age: 22

Meet Tammie from South Africa

Tammie is an au pair for five children.  This is what she has to say about her experience.

Why did you choose to become an Au Pair in America?

I chose Au Pair in America because apart from it being something I've always wanted to do since I was in high school, I also chose to go ahead with doing something like this to gain independence and my own identity. I am an identical twin who was inseparable from my sister since birth, so the best way we thought to gain independence was to go ahead and fulfil our dream and au pair. She completed the program last year and now it's my turn!

Describe a typical day with your host family.

A typical day with my family would be to wake up and be ready for work at 7 am. I help the twin girls aged 4 get ready for school as well as care for the youngest daughter who is 16 months. The youngest daughter stays home with me until 12 which is when the twins get home from school. During my time caring, I do fun activities i.e. art, playing dress up (role plays), dance, prepare lunch and see to snacks when the children are hungry. My host boy gets home at 3 and I help him with homework if he needs help, and prepare his snack. When my host parents get home, we would talk about how our day went, joke (especially about our accents haha), have dinner and just relax together.

What do you enjoy the most about being an au pair?

I get to be part of an amazing family who is loving and supportive throughout my journey.

What is the best part of life in the US?

The food! I love the food... But I also like the places I've been to so far and the people I';ve met.

What do you do during your free time?

I go the gym, Skype with my family and friends, go to the mall, random short trips around the town with other au pairs, going to church and going for coffee at Starbucks!

What advice would you give future au pairs who are considering applying to be an au pair?

  • Be mentally prepared for the small challenges that you could and most likely will face eg home sickness, culture shock, etc. The positive side of it all is that you can do it!
  • Be motivated in what you do each day
  • Love and care for the children you will be caring for

Finally, be prepared to have tons of fun not only while caring for the children, but also travelling to your dream destinations! Nothing is impossible!

Caroline Berggren

Caroline Berggren

Location: Seattle, WA
No of children: 2
Age: 20

Introducing...Caroline from Sweden

Caroline lives with her host family in Seattle.  Find out more about her amazing au pair experience.

Why did you choose Au Pair in America?

I heard of "Au Pair in America" from some friends in Sweden, and decided to make some enquiries about it. Since the local agency met my expectations, I made my choice to go through them - A choice I do not regret!

Describe a typical day with your host family.

I usually wake up at 7am. I help out with the morning routine, such as helping the kids with breakfast, getting dressed, brushing teeth etc. and after that I drive my 3-year old to her preschool. Most days I will have a few hours off, until noon, when I pick the 3-year old up and then put her down for a nap. A couple of hours later, my 6-year old comes home with the school bus. We usually stay around the house and play (he loves Lego!). After some play time with the 6-year old, the 3-year old wakes up, and we play a little more - all of us, until dinner is ready. By that time I'm usually free to do what I want, either join my host family for dinner, or do my own thing.

What do you enjoy the most about being an au pair?

I'm not living my normal Swedish life here, I'm living with great people who appreciate the help I provide them - as a member of their family. I'm grateful for being an Au Pair, since I have really got to know myself better. I learn new things every day.

I also enjoy meeting new people from all around the world, and learning how the daily life of an American could look like. I'm also really enjoying to speak English all day. I know I have improved my verbal skills so much since I came here! Furthermore, being an Au Pair allows you travel to new places - at least that's the case with me.

Tell us about the sightseeing and travelling you have done.

In Seattle I've seen quite a few spots already, and have many plans for seeing more when the summer is here. The first months as an Au Pair I saw the "tourist" version of Seattle, like the Space Needle and Pike Place market. So far I've been to Hawaii (Kauai) for the Christmas break with my host family, and Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon with my family from Sweden. I'm planning to make a few more trips during my year.

What are you studying or planning on studying?

I am planning on doing a Creative Writing class next term.

What advice would you give future au pairs considering applying to be an au pair?

The matching process is a really interesting period, so to begin with, I just want to say that it is super important that you feel comfortable with your host family, since you are living with them for one year. You will have time to travel and visit the places you really want to see, so in my opinion you should start by considering if you and your host family are a good match, and if that's the case, you should start building a relationship with them, even before your arrival.

It's true that your life as an Au Pair will be like a roller coaster. You will have ups and downs, but the important thing to remember is that there are always people there to support you, and if you create a good relationship with your host family, that will not be a problem for you. I can guarantee that your year will be full of exciting moments, and you will learn a lot about yourself.