Before the Au Pair stay can begin both parties need to sign the Au Pair contract.
Another important point is the Au Pair insurance. The participant will have health and medical insurance which will be paid by Agent Au Pair. Most participants will have to drive the Host Children, so the car insurance will be provided by the Host Family.
The Au Pair contract in the USA
All legal Au Pair programs in the USA follow US Government regulations which protect Au Pairs and Host Families. As a result of these regulations, programs in the USA have Au Pair and Host Family Agreements (contracts).
Both parties have to sign it. The contract is a legal document that enforces the rules of the Au Pair Program which all participants have to follow at any time.
The agreements ensure the family is following the rules, regarding:
The contract is important for everyone’s protection and helps to avoid any misunderstandings or problems during the stay. It also ensures that all sponsoring organizations follow the US Government rules.
Termination of the contract
If the Host Family and the Au Pair have issues and can’t find a solution, the contract can be terminated. The agency will try to place the participant with a different family. We always recommend to communicating with each other, though, and talk about any problem or misunderstanding that occurs! It is important to remember that there are two different cultures that have to learn something about each other. Patience is really important. In case the participant cannot be placed again, they will have to go back home.
The participant will also receive a signed letter of invitation from Agent Au Pair, including the information about the stay. After the plane has landed in the USA border control might ask some questions about the stay. With this invitation letter they can prove the reason for them being in the USA.
The Au Pair will also need all these documents for the visa application process at the US embassy. If they forget some of the documents, they will have to get a new appointment.
The Au Pair insurance in the USA
If the Au Pair and the Host Family choose Agent Au Pair as their designated sponsor for the US, Agent Au Pair will provide the applicant with health insurance. If the Au Pair needs to drive a car during their stay in the US, the Host Family can add them to their car insurance. Below you will find the details regarding each type of insurance.
Health insurance in the USA
The US Government requires all J-1 Visa sponsoring organizations like our partner Agent Au Pair to provide participants with quality health and medical insurance. This insurance is paid by Agent Au Pair and provides treatment for participants, if needed.
Car insurance and driver’s license
When in the US, you want to get to know the area, meet friends and go to your classes. Access to transportation will vary by Host Family and by the area you will be living in. In large cities like New York or San Francisco, public transport might be readily available and getting around by subway or bus might be the easiest and fastest way to get from point A to B. In other cities, public transport might not be as accessible but you could still get around by using e.g. Uber.
In some cases, the Host Family might require the Au Pair to drive a car to bring the kids to school and pick them up, give them a ride to playdates or other social activities. For this reason, some Host Families might also have a car which can be used by the Au Pair or they will allow the Au Pair to share the family’s car. However, having access to the family’s car for private use is not guaranteed, but a privilege. We suggest the Au Pair ask the Host Family about public transport options in the area and ask them if they will be allowed to use the family’s car for private purposes.
Note: Host Families will need to provide the Au Pair with transport to their monthly meetings and their classes. This may mean that they will allow the Au Pair to use their car or that they will provide them with a ticket for the bus or will cover the cost of the Uber.
In order to be an Au Pair in the USA the participant must have a driver’s license.
The more driving experience the applicant has, the better.
Participants with driving experience can find a Host Family much more easily. The family will also pay the driver’s insurance for their Au Pair, so Hosts prefer good drivers.
Some US states will require candidates to obtain a driver’s license from that state. Whether or not the Au Pair can get a US driver’s license without taking a test depends on the state the Host Family lives in. For example:
In Virginia, the Au Pair can simply go to the DMV and request a driver’s license of Virginia. This driver’s license is also their ID, in case someone asks for it.
In California, the Au Pair will have to take a test to get the California driver’s license.
So the procedures are very different. The Au Pair and Host Family should get some information about this issue once the participant has arrived.