USA

USA

Application and requirements

To the USA with Au Pair New ZealandIn order to participate in our Au Pair programme in America, you shall be minimum 18 years and maximum 26 years old, enjoy caring for children, have a minimum of 200 hours practical childcare experience, have completed secondary school education, have a clear criminal record, be in good health, commit to 12 months living with an American family and not previously have been an au pair in the USA. Important factors for a successful placement is that you have a driving licence and do not smoke. Host families will always look first at how much childcare experience you have. It is highly valued if you have been working in a kindergarten or day care or have completed parts of a childcare, training, nursing or medical education or are planning a career in those fields. Good candidates are also au pairs who have skills and hobbies and have high family values.

Before you register to become an au pair in America, Au Pair New Zealand will give you an orientation and explain to you the application procedure and what to expect. We will then ask you to send us all your documents. These exist of an application form, 2 childcare references (non filled out by friends or family),  1 character reference (not filled out by a family member), a medical report, a police clearance, a copy of your New Zealand and international driving licence, a  copy of your passport (which shall be valid for at least another 18 months when you apply as an au pair), 4 passport photos, a letter to your host family, a photo collage or video. We will also do an interview with you as well as a psychometric test.  

Once you file is complete and you have paid your application fee, deposit and flight fee, we will send your file to our partner agency and discuss it with them. They will make sure that you are matched with a suitable host family. Once in the USA, our representatives will be less than one hour drive away from where you live. They will contact you within 48 hours of arrival, meet in person with you and your host family within two weeks of arrival, mediate in case of problems and difficult situations and organize activities each month. After you have been matched and before you make an appointment at the embassy, you will need to start a 32 hour online training course. You will receive a login and password from us and also an au pair handbook. During your year abroad you will also complete 6 credits or the equivalent of education. We will also provide guidance in regards to your embassy appointment and help with the process of paying fees. Once your visa is granted and you have finished the online course, we will look for flights with you and let our partner agency know when you arrive.  

Your host family will pick you up from the airport and an information pack will be ready for you upon arrival.

Tasks

Go to the USA with Au Pair New Zealand 6Your duties may or may not include childcare and light child care related housekeeping such as supervising and playing with the host family’s children, awakening the children, getting them ready for school,  preparing meals for the children, playing games, doing art projects, bathing, changing and dressing the children, putting the children to bed and being on watch while they are sleeping, driving the children to school and appointments, straightening the children’s rooms and picking up after them and doing their laundry.

It is important that you understand the responsibility that caring for young children involves. The hours can be long and caring for children can be tiring.

Rights and Responsibilities 

Work and free time

Your working hours and responsibilities will vary greatly depending on the family’s childcare needs and schedule. You may provide personalized childcare up to 45 hours per week, up to 10 hours per day.

Holidays

The au pair has 2 weeks paid holiday per year.

Accommodation and meals

The family will provide you with your own private room and is also responsible for all food and drinks.

Pocket money, travel costs and insurance

You will receive a weekly stipend of USD 195.75 (ca. 295 NZD per week) or USD 225  (ca. 335 NZD) for Au Pair Professional – i.e. if you are trained to work with special needs children for example, an education stipend of up to USD 500 (ca. 750 NZD), training, monthly meetings, supervision and the opportunity to experience American life and culture.

Go to the USA with Au Pair New ZealandThe weekly stipend is normally tax free. The total value received from the program is USD 17,000 to  USD 22,000 when accounting for the value of everything that is provided to you during the program.

Change of families

If the relationship with the family does not work out and you are not in any violation of laws or regulations, our partner agency will attempt to find you a new family. You should continue to stay with your current host family until a new host family is found. If this is not possible, our partner agency will make reasonable attempts to assist you with temporary housing for a temporary period of time.  

Visa

You will be issued a J-1 cultural exchange visa allowing you to participate in the Au Pair Programme and live with an American host family for 12 months with the option to apply for an one time extension of 6, 9, or 12 additional months. The US Embassy has always the latest updates.

Fees

The cost to participate in the Au Pair USA programme is 350 NZD and covers the preparation of your stay. This also includes an interview, assistance to find you a host family and local support when you have arrived and for the duration of your stay. There is also a deposit of USD 400 (ca. 600 NZD) towards your flight ticket. If you stay for the full 12 months, your host family will pay your ticket and reimburse you.