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Au Pair in New York City

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Another way to establish yourself in NYC is by working as an au pair. An au pair is in charge of taking care of the children. He or she will get food and accommodation provided by the family free of charge, as well as a small allowance.

Au pairs are rarely professional child minders and will not be a qualified nanny. Although there are no set conditions to become an au pair in New York; American or European females between 19 and 30 are commonly preferred. Experience with children is likely to be demanded, as well as a conversational level of English. Spanish skills are often seen as a bonus.

Au Pair Responsibilities

Basic application criteria vary from agency to agency and families, but there are a few typical requirements to become an au pair in New York.

  • Speak the language, at least enough to understand and converse with kids,
  • Be willing to commit to 12 months in the U.S.
  • Agree to having a background check performed
  • Have at least 6 months childcare experience
  • Be able to provide 3 non-family local references regarding your experience and character
  • Possess a driver's license (or be ready to get one)
  • Be in good physical condition as evidenced by a Physician's Report
  • Pass a psycho-metric test given by the agency
  • Be sure they get up on time; dress them; make sure they get dressed themselves,
  • Take them to school/nursery/activity classes... and play with them or help them with their homework afterwards
  • Prepare meals
  • Tidy up rooms
  • Available for occasional evenings or weekends

In addition to these requirements, it is common for families to ask for non-smoking, responsible and non-drinkers females.

Family Responsibilities

The family has to welcome the au pair in thinking that she is not just an employee, but an important part of the family. They will make sure:

  • The au pair must have her own bedroom
  • The au pair will work a maximum of 25-30 hours per week and she should have minimum 2 days off during the week (ensuring the au-pair has her agreed free time and days off)
  • That they understand that having an au pair doesn't mean having someone who is going to do the housework, the dishes, etc. However au pairs may be asked to help with light housework, especially related to the children, as agreed upon in the contract
  • It may be of benefit to register the au pair at the family doctor
  • The family should pay an allowance, with the amount written into the contract (usually about $830 euros per month)

Where to look for a position...

If you want to register as an au pair or as a family, you can contact:

  • IAPA (International Au Pair Association)
  • IAPO (International Au Pair Organisation)

You can also consult:

Usually agencies will ask for registration fees from the family, the au pair or both.

Visa and Entry Requirements for au pairs in the USA

To become an au pair in the USA you are required to get a J-1 visa, which can only be obtained through one of the 16 designated US au pair agencies. The minimum length of an au pair stay as regulated by the J-1 VISA Exchange Visitor Program is 12 months.
When looking for an au pair position within the USA, this is the process you will need to follow:

  • Search for a family to "au pair": The au pair and host family make contact through an online platform, au pair agency or through networking.
  • Select an agency: The host family and au pair agree on choosing one of the 16 officially authorized US au pair agencies they will use.
  • Contact the agency: This agency will then be in charged for the subsequent legal and official bureaucracy involved in the au pair placement.
  • Preparation: The au pair will need to present at least three written references from non-family sources to obtain the J-1 visa, as well as a medical report showing that he/she can successfully participate in the au pair program and to undergo a criminal record check. In some cases, it might be necessary to take a psychometric test.
  • Apply for the J-1 visa
  • Orientation program organized by the agency (if needed)

Additional useful links and sources: U.S. Department of State regulations for the au pair program in the USA

Update 13/02/2020


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Au pair visas
USA has an official au pair program that is run by six government designated agencies. Agencies provide the documents that are needed for a J-1 visa. Au pair applies for a J-1 visa at the US embassy or consulate.
This visa is valid for 1 year.

If you need to find an au pair or an au pair job anywhere in the world or need more information, visit

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