How far ahead should I apply?
We recommend that you apply as soon as you have made the decision to participate. A minimum would be to apply 3 months before you wish to depart.
Can I apply if I do not have a full driving license?
No. You cannot attend an interview without a full driving license. This is because most American families require an au pair who is a qualified driver.
Is it possible to au pair in America for less than 12 months?
The Au Pair in America program is a 12 month commitment. Our sister program Camp America offers a 9-10 week summer program for anyone aged 18 or over. They offer the opportunity to work on American summer camps and in resorts. Roles vary from teaching sports and arts to cooking, cleaning or helping with the camp's administration. After camp you can travel for up to 6 weeks.
Do I have to care for babies?
Many host families do have a child under 2 years old, so if you have the experience and willingness to care for them this will greatly increase your chances of being placed. (You must have 200 hours recent, practical childcare experience with them.) Not all applicants are fully experienced or feel comfortable in looking after newborns or very young babies, and if this is the case, we would not place you with such a young age group.
How long will it take once I have had my interview?
This will depend on when you apply, when you are available to depart to the US and the overall strength of your application. Many au pairs receive calls shortly after they are accepted onto the program and typically au pairs are placed within 3 months.
What are my chances of being placed with a family?
Au Pair in America places 4 out of 5 applicants who pass the interview. Make sure you list all your childcare experience in your application and that it is clearly presented. American families are also looking for au pairs who have good driving experience and spoken English. Any extra skills you have, such as music, dance, first aid, swimming or a hobby which can be used to entertain or educate the children will also help your application.
What if I already know the family I would like to au pair for?
Yes, this is possible - we call it a "pre-match". Both you and the family must meet the requirements for the program. You should contact your local interviewer with information on the family. The family will need to apply through our US office and go through the normal screening process. You will still need to submit a full application and be interviewed in your home country.
Can I choose where I will live?
Au Pair in America places au pairs in 180 cluster areas across 37 states. Our aim is to find the family that best suits you. Our experience has shown that in order to have a successful year, the family you join is more important than their location. So, you will need to be flexible about location.
Can I talk to au pairs who have been to America?
Yes! One of our interviewers will be able to put you in touch with returned au pairs from your country. They will be happy to tell you all about their experiences. You could also consider attending an Au Pair in America event – check to see if there are any near you.
Can I come home if I am homesick?
You should think carefully before you apply and take into consideration that you will be away from family and friends for 12 months. When you arrive in America, it is natural to feel a little homesick, but with the help of your host family, Community Counselor and au pair friends you should quickly overcome this. If for any reason you do not complete the program you will forfeit your holiday allowance and your flight home.
What if I am not compatible with my family?
Our aim is that both the au pair and host family have a happy, successful year. Should a conflict occur, the Community Counselor would assist. If it is an extreme situation then Au Pair in America may make a transfer to another family. Transfers are not normally made in the first or last 3 months of a placement.
Are there any other costs?
You pay a Program Fee once you place with a host family. There are some other costs to consider: Application/interview fee (if your local agency charges one), a visa processing free, a criminal record check fee, medical form fee. Your local interviewer will be able to provide full details.
If I’ve already participated on a 12 months J-1 au pair program, can I re-apply for a second time?
Yes, providing that you:
• have successfully completed your first stay in America
• have completed the educational component of the program
• are able to provide a copy of your completion certificate or a copy of your J-a Visa if you participated with a different au pair organisation
• have lived outside of the US for a t least 2 years
Can I return to the same family?
Yes, you certainly can as long as you qualify for the Return Program