How to become an au pair in United States of America?

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prerequisites for au pairs

Au pair



An applicant is eligible for Au Pair program as long as she/he is still 26 on the first day of her/his Au Pair program 

 J-1 visa au pair program 

language skills

The au pair must be proficient in English.

A J-1 visa applicant will be considered proficient in English if:

  • He or she provides certified documentation (no more than 5 years old) of or equivalent to a Common European Framework (CERF) of B1.
  • Requirement: [22 CFR 62.10 (a) (2)]: (U.S standard)


The au pair must be a secondary school graduate or equivalent.

Professional Training: Receive a minimum of 32 hours of childcare training before the au pair starts.

Au pairs are required to enroll for not less than 6 semester hours of classes at a post-secondary educational institution; but may audit the classes for no credit if they wish.

If a host family has a child under the age or two, the au pair has to have at least 200 hours of experience. 

marital status




prerequisites for families

Au pair

definition of family

Family may only require the au pair to care for children aged 3 months to 18 years. There must be an adult in the home at all times for infants under 3 months old.

  • Family must be US citizens or legal permanent residents (holding a green card)

languages of family

Family must be fluent in spoken English

citizenship of family

Host Family must be US citizens or legal permanent residents (holding a green card)

prerequisites for agencies

Au pair

agency support

Foreign nationals must be sponsored by one of the State Department-designated sponsors. The addresses listed at the link below are the official locations of the designated sponsor organizations. Many sponsors can place participants anywhere in the United States, regardless of their official location.

Designated sponsor organizations

cAP Agency list

other restrictions

Au pair

other restrictions

Limitations/Exceptions for au pair work

Au pairs cannot be placed:

  • With a family that has an infant less than three months old unless a parent or other responsible adult is at home;
  • In homes with children under two years of age unless the au pair has at least 200 hours of documented infant childcare experience;
  • In families with a special needs child(ren), as identified by the family, unless the au pair has identified his/her prior experience, skills or training in the care of special needs children and the host family has reviewed and acknowledged the au pair’s prior experience, skills, or training in writing; and
  • In the homes of relatives.

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Hi, my name is Taina Karttunen

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