In most countries, an au pair will receive a monthly stipend of $18,000 to $20,000.
Hiring an au pair can be a wonderful solution for families needing childcare. An au pair is a young person, typically from another country, who lives with a host family and provides childcare in exchange for room, board, and a weekly stipend. The benefits of having an au pair include cultural exchange, personalized childcare, and assistance with light household chores. This guide will help families understand the factors that can impact the cost of hiring an au pair and how to budget for this childcare option accurately.
Factors Impacting the Cost of Hiring an Au Pair
Several factors can affect the cost of hiring an au pair, including:
- Agency fees: Most families work with an agency to find and screen potential au pairs. These agencies typically charge a one-time match processing fee or program fee, ranging from $500 to $1,000.
- Visa expenses: Au pairs typically need a J-1 visa to work in the United States. The cost of obtaining this visa can be around $200, usually covered by the host family.
- Room and board: Host families are required to provide their au pair with a private bedroom and meals. The cost of providing room and board can vary depending on the family's location and lifestyle.
Typical Fees Associated with Working with an Au Pair Agency
When working with an au pair agency, families can expect to pay the following fees:
- A one-time match processing fee or program fee covers the agency's services in finding, screening, and matching the family with an au pair. It typically ranges from $500 to $1,000.
- Weekly stipend: The U.S. State Department requires host families to pay their au pair a weekly stipend, which is currently set at a minimum of $195.75 per week. This amount is paid directly to the au pair.
Tips for Saving Money When Hiring an Au Pair
Families can save money when hiring an au pair by:
- Looking for discounts on agency fees: Some agencies may offer discounts for military families, repeat customers, or families who refer others to the agency.
- Providing additional benefits: Offering benefits like transportation or language lessons to your au pair can make your family more attractive to potential candidates, potentially reducing the time and effort spent finding the right match.
Total Cost of Hiring an Au Pair
The total cost of hiring an au pair includes the agency fees, visa expenses, room and board, and the weekly stipend. While these costs can be significant, many families find that the benefits of having an au pair outweigh the expenses. It is important for families to carefully consider their budget and the value of investing in this childcare option before making a decision.
In conclusion, hiring an au pair can be a valuable investment in your family's childcare needs. By understanding the factors that impact the cost of hiring an au pair and accurately budgeting for these expenses, families can decide whether this childcare option is the right fit for them.
What Does An Au Pair Do Daily?
The au pair's responsibilities will shift as the children grow older and the family dynamic changes. Communicating your requirements and developing a routine that works for everyone is critical. The au pair should spend more than 80% of her time caring for the household's children, while the remaining 20% is spent on light housework.
Although each family has its rhythm, the following general outline of what an au pair's day might entail.
- Their help is needed to get the kids ready for school or childcare.
- Assist the children by making their beds and cleaning up their rooms.
- Make a filling breakfast for the kids.
- Make lunches for children and transport them to and from school or childcare.
- While the kids are at school, complete some minor chores such as laundry or weekly vacuuming.
- Organize the students
- Make a nutritious snack.
- Transport the kids to and from their after-school activities.
- Assist the students with their homework.
- Prepare the kids for bed.
Every au pair requires daily time to unwind, recharge, and pursue their interests. They should be guaranteed a certain amount of vacation time each week. Au pairs in Australia work 30 to 35 hours per week and have weekends off.
If a family requires their au pair to work on a Saturday, they should compensate the au pair with an extra day off during the week.
Interacting with an au pair is similar to welcoming a new family member. If you take the time to get to know your au pair, she will become a valuable member of your family and your children's lives.
Au pairs become immersed in their host culture, learning the language and traditions.
Sharing housing with someone from a different country is a natural way to provide this for your children (and maybe with a foreign language skill level). Having an au pair assist you in this way is a fantastic perk.