The J-1 Visa for au pairs specifies a minimum period of stay of 12 months. This can be extended to a maximum stay of 24 months in increments of 6, 9 or 12 months.
As an au pair, your primary responsibility is to look after the children. Alongside childcare you may be asked to help out with light housework. Clarify with your host family what your exact duties as an au pair will include. Your rights and duties will be defined in the au pair contract.
In the USA, au pairs receive pocket money to the value of 195.75 US dollars per week.
Besides pocket money, you will receive free board and lodging. You are still entitled to free board and lodging in cases of illness and during your holiday.
In the USA, au pairs normally work 45 hours per week. They must not work more than 10 hours per day.
You are entitled to 1.5 free days per week, as well as 1 free weekend per month. Your free weekend starts on Friday evening and ends on Monday morning.
You are entitled to 2 weeks holiday (= 10 working days) provided that you stay with the host family for 12 months.
In the US, there are no official regulations with regard to public holidays for au pairs. We recommend that au pairs have a day off on public holidays. Only in exceptional cases au pairs should work on public holidays. The host family should discuss this with their au pair beforehand.
Before you finally join your host family, you will need to attend special workshops and trainings on child safety and child development. For further details, please contact one of the designated agencies.
Some agencies offer language courses for au pairs. Taking part in these courses is compulsory in some cases.
You receive up to $500 toward the cost of academic course work.
The US Department of State offers some information on the au pair programme in the USA online.
We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.