So since I’m back in the job hunt and looking for an au pair to welcome into our family for a year so we can hopefully get into “after” care at school, I’m looking at the various agencies and finding that they each have different rules above and beyond the requirements, and the costs can vary by upwards of 25%. So, with the varying prices, do you get better service or more vetting of an au pair? Au pair fees include everything from the SEVIS fee for entry to the down payment to the interview. Some allow you to view au pairs with out paying, others require an application fee before you can look at the options they have.
Au Pair Fees – Agencies and more
Au Pairs come to the US on a J-1, cultural exchange visa. This means this isn’t JUST child care, this is also someone coming to the US to hopefully learn about the US, its culture and be welcomed as maybe a college-aged aunt.
As hosts, we’re entrusted to help these young adults learn and develop, too. Having dealt with MAJOR culture shock in India, I feel I’m in an even better situation to host now than when we did before.
When choosing an au pair consider the needs of your family and whether the person you are choosing to welcome for a year would mesh well with you. Many au pairs are signed up with multiple agencies. Some au pairs you “prematch” and have them sign up with an agency. If that is the case, you can have them work with the agency of your choice. Price is one thing – additional changes to the contract above and beyond the DOS restrictions are also something families consider.
|Dept of State Approved Agencies
||Au pair type
||Yearly Au pair Fees, including agencies & Education Allowance||
|Pro AuPair||Special Needs/Under 2||$16,314||$250|
|Au Pair in America||Regular||$9180||$195.75|
|Au Pair in America||Extraordinaire||$10,310||$250|
|Au Pair in America||Educare||$7600||$146.81|
|APF Global exchange||Regular||$8270||$195.75|
|APF Global exchange||Educare||$8270||$146.81|
|Au Pair Intl||Regular||$7190||$195.75|
|Au Pair in America||Professional||$7990||$225|
|Au Pair Care||Regular||$8565||$195.75|
|Au Pair Care||Infant||$9515||$195.75|
|Cultural Homestay Intl||Regular||$8100||$195.75|
|Cultural Homestay Intl||Educare||$7742||$146.81|
|InterExchange, Inc.||Extension Au Pair||$6827||$195.75|
Current as of 6/12/15, doesn’t include discounts, which often are available.
As you can see the agency fees do vary. Many will have additional transportation fees from training (New York, DC, San Francisco, etc) to your home. Many charge a surcharge if you choose a non European/Central American Au pair for the additional air fare.
Some have training on site in the US, others train at home on a self- study. Some features are some have actual CPR certification. Others are trained by Red Cross (but not certifified). It is important to consider not only price, but local service. When hosting an au pair, it is important they are able to network with other au pairs as well as with people their age. So this wouldn’t include wear and tear on a car (most families do charge au pairs for car use, some per mile, others give some ‘free’ miles each week, and then charge additional. Most families reimburse or pay for a phone line. Of course, the additional bedroom, room and board also adds in.
In the end, if you have more than one child, often it is cost efficient to host an au pair for child care, especially when it comes to summer break and other holidays. But, it isn’t JUST child care. Another family is sending their young adult to you to help you show them the world.
Resources for Host Families:
There is a lot to consider in child care – in the past we were happy with our choice to host an au pair. Now, we’re back to figuring out what will work now, especially since both kids will be in school full time in the fall.