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Frequently Asked Questions for Host Families

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General

Q: I've heard of nanny services and child care service providers. Is EurAupair like a commercial nanny agency or for profit au pair service?

A: No, EurAupair is not a nanny agency or a child care service provider, but is a non-profit, public benefit organization. EurAupair is officially designated as an Exchange Visitor Program by the United States Department of State and is one of a handful of organizations granted authority to bring young people from other countries to the USA to assist parents in caring for their children, while participating in American family life.
 

Q: How is EurAupair different from a nanny service or agency?

A: Where a nanny or child care service provider may have many different families and children for which they provide services, an au pair is treated as a family member and becomes a ‘big sister' to your children. Unlike a nanny or child care service provider who considers her child care responsibilities a job and leaves at the end of a work day, your au pair lives with you and becomes a regular member of your family, bonding with your children and enriching their lives with her love and the language and culture from which she came.
 

Q: Does "au pair" mean nanny in another language?

A: No, the word "au pair," doesn't mean nanny at all. It is pronounced "o pair" in French, and means "on par" or equal, denoting living on an equal basis in a reciprocal, caring relationship between the host family and the young person. Like an older sibling, the au pair is included in all family activities, unlike an "employee" of a nanny agency who might be excluded from family meals, holiday celebrations, and other activities. In Europe today, tens of thousands of families and au pairs continue this practical and mutually valuable tradition and the custom is spreading around the world.
 

Q: What can I expect from my au pair during the program?

A: Different from a nanny or child care service provider, a EurAupair au pair is a "big sister" from an exciting faraway land. Your EurAupair au pair will live in your home as a family member, and will be available to assist with the care of your children for up to 45 hours per week. Although heavy housework is not permitted, au pairs can share in routine family chores and light housework such as making the kids' beds or helping them straighten their rooms. Quite simply, au pairs, although not trained professionally, can handle many aspects of child care - responsibly and efficiently. Whatever care and support you might ask of an older son or daughter, you may ask of an au pair - because we ask that you, as a EurAupair host family, include your au pair in your lives as you would a cherished family member. As a result, you will gain more than a trusted caregiver - your entire family will gain a new young friend and family member from abroad for life. Nannies or professional child care providers rarely have this desire to become a loving family member or 'big sister' to the children.
 

 

Financials

Q: What are the fees for the EurAupair Au Pair Program?

A: Please refer to the Fees & Costs page for details on current Host Family Fees.
 

Q: What does the Host Family Fee include?

A: The Host Family Fee includes application processing, family interview, au pair recruitment and screening (including criminal background check and psychometric evaluation) and selection, visa assistance, full au pair medical, travel, accidental death, and personal liability insurance, round trip airfare from home country (from some countries, Host Family fees do not fully cover costs for airfare), round trip domestic airfare, "SEVIS" (US Homeland Security student database system) fee, Host Family orientation, EurAupair au pair workshop in New York, au pair orientation, local Community Counselor assistance and support to Host Family and au pair throughout the year, regular au pair cultural and recreational get-togethers, the EurAupair Gazette (EurAupair's quarterly newsletter) and 12-Month au pair commitment.
 

Q: What does the Host Family Fee NOT include?

A: The Host Family Fee does not include room, meals, educational costs (up to $500), au pair weekly stipend and auto insurance (if required).
 

Q: How much do we pay our au pair?

A: The amount of the au pair weekly stipend is established by regulations promulgated by the U. S. Department of State in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and is subject to change. The au pair weekly stipend for the regular program is $195.75. The weekly stipend for the Par Expérience program is $250.

Q: If we have hosted an au pair before, do we get a discount?

A: Yes, EurAupair values the support of those returning families who have successfully hosted a EurAupair au pair for a year or more. Through their participation in the EurAupair Au Pair Program, our repeat families are working with EurAupair to contribute to improve intercultural understanding. EurAupair recognizes the commitment of these families to the EurAupair Au Pair Program, and offers them a $600 reduction in program fees. The same discount is also available to families who have hosted au pairs successfully with other U.S. Government designated au pair programs.

Q: Do we have to pay all fees upfront?

A: No, if you would like to spread the payment of your Program Fee over an extended period, EurAupair offers an easy Payment Plan.

 

Au Pair Applicants

Q: Where are the au pairs from?

A: Please refer to the Our Partners Abroad page.

Q: How are the au pairs screened?

A: Our au pairs are carefully recruited and screened by our partner organizations abroad. Au pair applicants go through a personal interview to ensure of their motivation to become an au pair, submit references and a health certificate, take a psychometric test, and complete a criminal background check. You will be able to review all these documents as part of their application.

Q: Can my au pair drive?

A: All EurAupair au pairs have a foreign driver's license. In most states, your au pair will need to get a U.S. driver's license. Au pairs can be more or less comfortable with driving, however, we recommend you discuss your personal driving needs when interviewing candidates.

Q: What child care experience do the au pairs have?

A: All EurAupair au pairs are experienced, though not extensively or professionally, in caring for children. Some au pairs have more experience than others, and you will be able to review their child care experience on their application and during your interview. If you would like a more experienced au pair, we go an extra step by offering the Au Pair Par Expérience program. Par Expérience au pairs have at least two years of full time child care experience or are certified child care providers, kindergarten, or elementary school teachers.

Q: Can au pairs care for children with special needs?

A: Yes, some au pairs can be considered for children with special needs. Please contact us for more information.

Q: What are in-country and extension au pairs?

A: Some au pairs may currently be in the U.S. looking for a new host family. This can occur when a placement did not work out (i.e. family could not host any longer, the personalities of the au pair and previous host family did not match, etc.); they are in-country au pairs. Some au pairs may be approaching the end of their program year and would like to extend for another 6, 9, or 12 months, but their current host family cannot or does not want to continue hosting; they are extension au pairs.

Q: What if I have an au pair I want to bring to the U.S.?

A: We would be happy to assist you in bringing your au pair to the U.S. The au pair will need to go through the same interview process as any other candidate; therefore, she must apply through one of our partner organizations abroad. We are happy to offer you a discount on your program fees if you have a pre-matched au pair. Per U.S. Department of State regulation, an au pair cannot be sponsored without being screened and without receiving local support once in the U.S.

 

Selection & Matching Process

Q: How soon can I have an au pair join our family?

A: It varies mostly on the time a host family takes to complete the application, schedule a home visit, submit references, and select an au pair. We have au pairs arriving each month (except in December). If you need someone as soon as possible, you may consider in-country au pairs or au pairs looking for an extension.

Q: Can I start interviewing au pairs once I complete the online application?

A: After submitting your online application a local EurAupair representative will be in touch with you. Once this contact is made you will be granted access to our online selection of au pairs so you can start reviewing candidates right away. This process usually takes from a few hours up to a business day.

Q: What is the process like after being registered?

A: Once you have been given access to our online selection of au pairs, you are welcome to start reviewing their profiles and interviewing them. In the meantime, your local community counselor will contact you to schedule a visit of your home. Once you have found your au pair and she has agreed to join your family, you can confirm placement with her and pay your deposit (see Fees & Costs) online. We will give you a call to confirm the arrival date and homestay airport for your new au pair.

 

The Year with your Au Pair

Q: Can my au pair do housework?

A: Although heavy housework is not permitted, au pairs can share in routine family chores and light housework such as making the kids' bed or helping them straighten their rooms.

Q: Can my au pair work more hours if I pay her extra?

A: No, you may not ask your au pair to work more than 10 hours per day and 45 hours per week. Whether you pay her extra, or she has worked less hours in previous weeks, you may not ask her to exceed this limit, per U.S. Department of State regulation.

Q: Can I freely choose and modify the au pair work schedule?

A: Yes, as long as all program rules are respected and enough notice is given to the au pair. Remember that your au pair may not work over the daily and weekly hour limit, must have one complete free weekend per month, and a minimum of 1 1/2 consecutive days per week free for the remainder of the month. You and your au pair must also find a convenient time for her to attend her classes as part of the required educational component.

Q: What happens if things are not going well with my au pair?

A: Some adjustment issues or cultural differences may arise during the year. Most of them can be simply resolved with proper communication (explaining the rules and lifestyle of your family, asking your au pair if anything makes her uncomfortable, etc.). Should you have any persisting issue or concern, your local community counselor is available to provide you and your au pair with support and advice, and will be a mediator should there be need for one. If things do not improve, a rematch with another au pair can be considered after the local counselor has met with you and your au pair.

Q: Our year is almost over, is there a way to keep our au pair longer?

A: Yes! You have the possibility to extend for 6, 9, or 12 months. Your au pair must have completed her educational requirement (and submit evidence) and send in her folio signed by the community counselor in order to be eligible for an extension. All extensions must be requested to the U.S. Department of State at least one month prior to the initial program end date - and all paperwork & payment must be received prior to requesting the extension - so please contact us early to start the process.

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