Entry Detail

    Au Pair in America

    Review and Rating

    Reviewed by
    On 09-Aug-2015
    Subject:  Re: AU PAIR agencies and experiences
    Comment:  We have an Au pair and could not be happier. I was originally skeptical because our daughter was 3 months and I thought, how could a young girl possibly care for my precious tiny baby with expertise? But my husband convinced me, and I'm so glad! Au pair: M is a true blessing. M loves our baby almost as much as (more than??) we do, and they get along great. Her judgment is impeccable, and she always puts our daughter's needs and interests first. We looked for someone who had a calming and sweet energy, despite limited formal childcare experience; she is pretty young (21), and doesn't drink or smoke. That didn't seem like the biggest issue at the time, but I'm quite grateful she doesn't, because it takes a lot of awkward situations off the table for us. Also, M has an amazing sense of humor, and we enjoy her as a friend. Some guidelines we have lived by are (1) she is a roommate, and should act like it -- she gets a reasonable say in what's for dinner, etc, and she should do her share of common household chores like dishes, etc; (2) share anything on your mind immediately, using judgment on what is important and what is trivial... (3) although she is an employee, the purpose of the visa is a student/live-work exchange, and we want to include her wherever possible on family trips and cultural activities, and we encourage her to make friends and develop a social life. The only downside at this point is that Au pairs are limited to a max of two years, so we will have to say goodbye and find a new one after a relatively short time, and that sucks. We were warned by friends who had had Au pairs to beware of "privileged girls" who expect more than you can offer (example is that their Au pair complained she had to drive a Volvo when her Au pair friend got to drive a Mercedes); also those who are not interested in extra work for reasonable compensation (the visa stipulates 45h max per week, and some girls live by this, whereas others are happy to pitch in extra hours for extra pay). Agency: We used Aupairinamerica.com based on a referral, and that has been fine. Note that there are tax implications with a domestic worker, and if you want to follow the law, you will probably need some expert help; we do... It's quite complicated. Maybe consult a tax accountant prior, and also understand what types of payment constructs will require you to report/pay employer taxes, etc. There may be some agencies that take this burden off the families by paying through the agency. If you have other questions, I'm happy to answer! Hope this helps.
    Reviewed by
    On 09-Aug-2015
    Subject:  Re: AU PAIR agencies and experiences
    Comment:  Also a big thumbs up for the entire au pair experience. We miss our S a lot -- she was with us from the time my son was 5 months, and they fell totally in love (my dog too!). There was a short adjustment period, but S quickly became a real part of our household, I trusted her judgment completely and enjoyed having her around. She's been gone almost 6 months. We still Skype once a week and are planning a visit in the fall.We used Au Pair in America, which was great (though they all seem fairly similar).
    Reviewed by Administrator
    On 30-Jul-2013
    Subject:  Re: Au pair
    Comment:  We just started with an au pair. In fact this is her first full week here in our house. We found her through an agency called Au Pair in America, which I believe is the largest agency in the US (though I am familiar with another big one – Cultural Care Au Pair). There are about 20-30 families in the Brownstone Brooklyn areas that use au pairs from this agency. Our au pair is from Columbia, and the other local au pairs are from all over the world. There are lots of positives and some detractions to having an au pair over a local nanny/babysitter.