Au pairs are international young people who travel to the United States to live with and provide child care for host families. This exchange program offers a cultural experience for exchange visitors and a rewarding opportunity for host families.
Au pairs care for children of all ages, from newborns to school-aged kids. They help with bathing, feeding, playing, and helping with naps and bedtimes.
Au Pair Skills
An au pair needs a variety of skills to perform their duties. These include good communication, problem-solving and flexibility.
An au pair can effectively communicate with the kids they watch over and their host families. They can also use them when trying to solve problems that arise in their work environment.
A good au pair from sites like Go Au Pair should be able to stay calm in stressful situations. This is important because it can help them to keep their cool and calm their charges down if they get frustrated.
Another skill that an au pair should have is patience. This is especially useful if they are working with children with special needs or who are very young and need guidance.
Patience is essential for an au pair because it can be challenging to understand their charges and know how to interact with them. However, it is also necessary for an au pair to be patient with themselves so they can learn from their mistakes and improve their skills over time.
An au pair is also responsible for keeping the home clean and tidy, which can be challenging if they need experience with housekeeping. This is why having strong housekeeping skills can help them do their job. It can also show that they are responsible and capable of caring for the household.
Au Pair Programs
A young person who is an au pair stays with a host family, looks after the kids, and is paid a weekly stipend in exchange for their services. In return, they help open the doors of their host families to new experiences and learn the language and culture of America.
A qualified candidate must have a high school diploma, proof of English proficiency and at least two years of childcare experience. In addition, the applicant must have a criminal background check or its equivalent and a personality profile developed by EurAupair based on psychometric testing.
The applicant must be in good shape and have a valid driver’s license. The candidate must also be available to work during regular business hours, weekdays, weekends, holidays, and emergencies.
Most au pairs stay with their host families for a year, but some choose to extend their stay by another 12 months. This is a great way to help a new au pair settle in and get accustomed to life in the United States, but it can be a challenge for a family to find a replacement once the au pair has completed her contract.
Au Pair Visa
An Au Pair Visa is a J-1 exchange visitor visa that allows foreign nationals to live with a U.S. host family and perform part-time childcare duties for a year. The program is regulated by the U.S. Department of State and is designed to create a mutually enriching cultural exchange experience.
A consular interview in the U.S. begins the visa application process for an au pair. The discussion lasts only a few minutes and is conducted by a consular officer who confirms the applicant’s eligibility and suitability for program participation. This includes a minimum amount of education, skills, abilities and training, a demonstration of program understanding and expectations for life in the United States, and clear ties with the applicant’s home country.
A valid passport is required for an Au Pair visa application. It should be suitable for the Au Pair’s stay and be free of any criminal record or other problems.
Applicants should also be in good health and fit for travel. This can be verified by an embassy medical examination certificate.
Currently, the Au Pair Program is available to persons under 26 from countries with which the United States maintains diplomatic relations. Participants who have successfully completed the program may seek repeat participation as long as they are still within the age requirement and have remained outside the United States for at least two years following completion of their first au pair program.
Au Pair Responsibilities
A young adult known as an au pair lives in a family’s home for a year while offering childcare and opportunities for cultural exchange. It’s an excellent way for an au pair to experience a new culture while helping a family with their childcare needs and receive a salary usually lower than what a nanny would receive.
Most au pairs work full-time, but some families will allow them to help out part-time if they want to. This can include taking children to and from school or after-school activities, cooking meals, ironing, tidying up and babysitting in the evenings when the parents go out.
Many host families expect their au pair to attend classes at a local university or educational institution. This can help the au pair to get a taste of university life and make friends abroad.
Au pairs may also be given a certain number of paid vacation days each week. This varies by country and is typically determined in the au pair contract.
In the United States, au pairs are required to register for under six credits of academic credit at an accredited post-secondary education institution during their 12-month program. They can be given up to $500 from their host family towards these credits.