• What is an Au Pair? How Do I Become a Host Family?

    Au pairs provide live-in, affordable child care services for U.S. host families. Au pairs are foreign nationals who enter legally, using J-1 cultural exchange visa, and stay for one year with an optional extension of up to one additional year. The term “au pair” means “on par”, and this reflects the ideals of the program. The best way to have the most valuable cultural experience is to treat your au pair as a member of your family.

    You will then have a chance to experience another culture in depth. Your children will have a chance to learn about people in other nations, and about how they view the world, and they will make a friend for life. All these things will prepare your children at an early age for a world in which cross-cultural competence is essential to success. You will give your children the gift of a global perspective.

Live-in Au Pair Childcare Services

How it Works:

Of course, your au pair will also be your employee. Your au pair’s immigration status will allow them to work for and provide childcare services only to you. Because of the nature of the au pair relationship, au pairs are generally more flexible than other childcare services — however, au pairs must be paid at least $195.75 per week, and must not work more than 45 hours per week.

Pre-screening is important to us. We verify that your au pair has no criminal record, that they are proficient in English, and that they are physically well. We also perform a psychometric test.

As the cost of childcare services and nannies continue to grow, the au pair option is becoming a good short-term financial decision as well. The total cost to a typical host family of our program is around $347 per week and in many cases part of this cost results in a tax credit for your family. If you are looking to become a host family, feel free to call us at (727) 388-3472, between 9am and 5pm Eastern. We’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

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Program Comparison

Item Cost Pay Per Week Educational Allowance Age of Children
REGULAR 45 $195.75 $500 per year Any age
* less than 2 years requires additional documentation
* less than 3 months, someone other than the au pair must be present in the home
EDUCARE 30 $146.81 $1,000 per year All children in the family must be in full-time childcare
Expert au pair

Why Us?

"When I founded Expert AuPair, eleven years ago, there were several things that I was hoping to achieve. The first was to make individual child care more accessible for American families, and to expose more American children to an international perspective. I wanted to help people who otherwise would not have had the chance to visit the U.S., to experience it for themselves, so that they could share their stories on their return - I wanted to see a real exchange of ideas. And I wanted to help families who wanted to move quickly, to hire their perfect au pair, and to have her arrive as quickly as possible." -- Mark Gaulter, PhD, Founder and CEO.

Training that works:

Orientation takes place in the walkable downtown of St Petersburg, Florida. Your au pair will immediately be exposed to life in the U.S. by visiting grocery stores and drug stores, for example. Our CPR training has saved several lives, as one of our au pairs writes, "I just want to let you know that I am glad the agency provided emergency training. Today my three year old host kid choked with a peppermint candy. The candy stuck in his throat and he could not breath anymore. I had to do the Heimlich on him to make him breathe again. It hurt and scared him but everything is fine, he is normal now."

More money in your pocket:

For most families, Expert AuPair is the most affordable of the designated au pair programs. We can offer these low prices because we aren't part of a large corporation, and there is no difference in our quality. Our low prices continue into your au pair's extension year, should you extend. Our extension fees are only $5,170 for the second year. We hope you will use some of your savings for the benefit of your au pair, because if au pairs are treated well, they will do a better job for your children.

We are efficient:

The matching process is important, and every family will take their own time to find the right au pair. We don't want to hurry you here. But once you make your decision, we send your au pair's visa forms by FedEx or DHL as soon as possible, and she normally will have her visa within a week and a half. In exceptional cases, your au pair will be in training within two weeks of your decision to hire her.

Excellent medical insurance:

We provide, for no extra charge, medical insurance plan with $0 deductible. Covered expenses on this standard plan are 100% paid by the insurance company. This means that if your au pair gets sick while here in the US, her visit to the doctor will normally be completely free.

Our families love that we are large enough to help, yet each family is valued

"We say this with almost 6 years of experience with a large au pair agency. Your speed of execution and your customer focus has been astounding. You committed to a 9/16 arrival for our au pair and achieved it while my previous au pair agency was committing to a month after that date (around mid-October). You, all worked hard to accomplish that with courtesy and professionalism. Expert Aupair feels like a small agency with big resources, the best of both worlds."

Hosting Qualifications

Families who are hoping to host au pairs must go through an application procedure.
We check each of the following:


Host parents must be US Citizens or Legal Permanent Residents. Demonstrating that you were born in the US is one way to show you qualify. All adult family members must be fluent in spoken English and able to demonstrate this ability at interview.

Financial Check:

We need you to demonstrate that you earn at least $60,000 per year, OR that you have at least $50,000 in liquid assets.

Living Space:

You must show us the private bedroom in your home, which you intend to be the au pair's room. She must have access to bathroom facilities (which may be shared)

Reference Check:

We also check references, and ask you to sign our standard contract, in which you commit to obey Federal laws and our program rules.

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All of the following are


Visa Forms
First Aid & CPR
Medical Insurance
Support Network


Fees paid to Expert AuPair
We charge


This amount is due once your au pair has had her visa approved. Our pricing is as simple as it gets.

Our fees cover the costs for home-country au pair screening, embassy fees, all airfare (international and domestic transfer, in-person orientation with 32 hours of childcare training in Saint Petersburg, Florida, local and regional representatives for the full year of your program, and health insurance for your au pair during his/her stay.

We do not charge a domestic transfer fee, and nothing is due until your au pair's visa is approved.

(*) A $300 surcharge applies to placements in Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Amount paid to your au pair

Note: The figures below are the minimum required. You can pay more to your au pairs, according to the terms of your contract with them.

These figures are based on one full year of full time childcare, and refer to the regular (45 hour per week) au pair program, and separately to the Educare (30 hour per week) options.

Item Cost Due
Pay $10,179 ($195.75 X 52 weeks) Due according to contract
Tuition allowance $500 Due at time of enrollment in accredited post-secondary institution
TOTAL $10,679

Item Cost Due
Pay $7,634.12 ($146.81 X 52 weeks) Due according to contract
Tuition allowance $1000 Due at time of enrollment in accredited post-secondary institution
TOTAL $8,634.12


Send a letter to us for your potential au pair about one page in length by email or fax.

Complete and sign the standard application or fill-in our secure online application..

Send three photos to us of your family by email or mail.

Sign the Family Service Agreement.

Turn in your financial verification by email, mail or fax.

Submit your personal reference and your employer reference by email, mail or fax.

Schedule an interview with Expert AuPair in your home to verify you have a private room for your au pair.

Complete and sign your employment contract (or Educare employment contract). This will be your initial employment offer to your au pair after you have matched with her or him. You may change the contract at any time before hire. You can send this form by email, mail or fax.

Expert AuPair will schedule your au pair's embassy interview.

Interview the au pairs we give you, over the phone or via skype, and make a match.

Pay the host family fees in full by check, or by credit card.

Expert AuPair will arrange your au pair's flight to Florida, train them for several days, and hold their orientation.

Your au pair arrives... to your door if you are located in Tampa Bay, or to your local airport if you are located elsewhere.

Apply Now!