Pocket money, working hours and holiday scheduling for legal international Au Pairs in the US are determined by the US Department of State Au Pair program regulations. In this article, we will give you insight on:
All legal Au Pair programs in the USA must follow the US Government rules regarding salary, working hours and holiday scheduling. All agencies make sure their participants and Host Families are in compliance.
The US Government rules help to ensure that the program is an educational work and travel experience for the participant.
US Government program rules require the Au Pairs to look after the children up to 45 hours per week and not more than 10 hours per day - including babysitting!
45 hours is a lot, so the participant should check with the Host Family when exactly they are needed to take care of the children so they can plan when they can take a class at the local college.
The Host Family should always be their priority though and the schedule will be based on their needs. But remember: the Au Pair’s time off is exactly that - the Au Pair’s time off.
If the Host Family requires additional care beyond what the participant can legally provide, we encourage them to obtain supplemental child care resources or consider getting a full time nanny.
The program regulations require Host Families to allow their new family members 1,5 free days in a week, and at least one weekend off a month.
The participant will also have 2 weeks of paid vacation during their stay. If the Host Family takes the Au Pair with them on vacation, they should discuss whether it is part of the participant’s paid vacation or not.
Make sure to include this in the contract as well!
The current salarystipend that Host Familys need to provide their new family member with is at least $195.75 per week.
This rate applies to all participants, but some organizations may also offer professional or educational program options.
The professional Au Pairs will generally receive a higher pocket money than $195.75, but they will need to have a high level of experience to qualify for these positions.
The educational program allows participants to work with families with older children, whereby the youngest child in the home is in school full time. Participants work up to 30 hours per week, but will receive less than $195.75.
The US Government requires Au Pairs to complete an educational course at a post-secondary institution while the participants are in the USA. The Host Family has to pay up to $500 for the course. The agency must ensure all participants complete this educational requirement.
It’s possible to take English classes or more diverse classes such as history, political science, literature or anything similar. Taking a class is a great opportunity to meet other international people and find new friends.
Please do NOT answer families that ask you to become their Au Pair with a tourist visa for 6 months or only with an ESTA form for up to 3 months! This is illegal! The border control in the US might catch you the minute you set foot on American ground and send you back home.
Au Pair in the USA: information about the Au Pair program
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Au Pair USA: requirements and regulations for participants
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