general information

USAuPair melds cultural exchange, education and child care into one rewarding program for young adults seeking to spend time abroad. Au pairs provide a valuable service to host families, learn about a foreign culture, further their education, and have the opportunity to travel.

USAuPair is designated by the U.S. Department of State to be a sponsor for an au pair cultural program.

Currently, we are only accepting applicants from Washington and Oregon.

Why Use an Agency?

USAuPair provides the following advantages and benefits:

  • Host family screened by local representatives.
  • Information about international visas, labor laws, and residential permits.
  • Ongoing local support.
  • 24 hours hotline in case of emergency.
  • Social events for au pairs.
  • Phone numbers of au pairs in your area.

What You Should Know About Au Pair Programs in Other Countries

Au pair programs in Europe, Central and South America and Asia are managed quite differently than the U.S. program. Many countries do not regulate au pair agencies. The International Au Pair Association lists member agencies who agree to work within some general guidelines. However, this is not a substitute for due diligence regarding an agency’s reputation. Using a reputable agency is recommended.

Host Family Screening

Host family screening may be done over the phone with no in-home visits. Agencies may receive photos of an au pair’s room. Agency personnel often do not meet the children or other persons living in the home. Criminal background checks for adults are not required. References may or may not be verified if they are requested. Evidence of host family financial stability is not required.

Wages and Work Hours

Reputable agencies prepare host family/au pair contracts regarding wages, work hours, time off, vacation and other duties. However, work hours and wages are not regulated. Wages may be lower to avoid taxation. Wages, vacation and work hours vary by country.

Medical Insurance

Some countries do not require host families provide au pair medical insurance. Medical insurance varies greatly among host families and countries. It may be necessary to purchase separate medical insurance while working as an au pair in another country. Some agency programs include medical insurance. However, insurance benefits vary and some plans have low coverage.

Local Transportation

Unlike the U.S., public transportation is more widely used in Europe, Asia and Central/South America. Often host families do not have vehicles for au pair use. Transit passes may or may not be provided by host families. Policies vary by country and host family.


American au pairs pay for airfare and other transportation expenses to host families. Some agencies negotiate full or partial airfare reimbursement based on length of stay. Others do not. This also varies by country and agency.

Program Length

Au pair programs in other countries vary from three months to twelve months. Host families prefer a minimum of six months. Other programs may offer shorter terms. Many countries do not have long summer school breaks. Instead, school breaks are year round and range from one week to six weeks.

Visa Requirements

Au pair visas vary among countries and the process can be quite complicated. Some countries require a pre-intermediate knowledge of their language. Domestic travel for Visa interviews at foreign Embassies located in the U.S. may be required.

Use an Agency

If an offer is too good to be true, use caution. Never wire money for a visa or airfare. A promise of high wages, travel and other benefits may be a scam. Reputable agencies won’t ask you to send money.