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 the Host Family. Most participants will have to drive the Host Children, so the car insurance will be provided by the Host Family, too.
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 communicate 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 should also have a signed letter of invitation from the Host Family, 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
In the program, health and driving insurance are provided by the Host Family to their new Au Pair. 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 a quality health and medical insurance to participants. This insurance is paid by the Host Family and provides treatment for participants if needed.
Car insurance and driver’s license
If you want to get around in the USA, you will need a car. Of course the Au Pair can go anywhere by bus or subway. But to be honest, this is only practical in large cities like New York or San Francisco. If the participant plans to go to the mall, they won’t want to take the bus. A meeting with others for a coffee? They should take the car!
Most American families require their Au Pair to drive a car anyway, since some of the tasks will be bringing the kids to school and picking them up, giving them a ride to playdates or other social activities.
In order to be an Au Pair in the USA the participant must have an international 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.