Careers & Education

The Cost of Being an Au Pair in the U.S.

One of the main concerns most people have about working as an au pair is what it will cost them. This is because of the many fees and other expenses that are involved. Luckily, a few things are easy to do to ensure you stay undercharged.


Several fees are associated when you become an au pair in the U.S. These include an upfront placement fee, a matching fee, and program costs. However, these are only some of the fees an Au Pair must know about.

The Upfront Placement Fee, or placement fee, is a one-time fee charged by the au pair agency to help offset the cost of bringing an au pair to the U.S. This fee may range from $7,000 to $8,500 and is not refundable if the au pair leaves the program.

Au Pair Program Fees are subject to change, and these changes are based on updates to federal and State au pair program regulations. In addition to the fee, additional fees may apply, such as the Match Processing Fee, which covers the processing of documents such as employment verifications and criminal background checks.

Other Program Costs are based on the federal minimum wage and may be subject to changes based on state and local wage and hour laws. Typically, the au pair has to complete a minimum of six credit hours at an accredited post-secondary institution.


Transportation costs are an important expense for host families. These expenses vary depending on the type of vehicle the au pair uses. If the au pair drives, they will need to pay for extra insurance and auto repairs. Likewise, if they use public transportation, they will need to set aside money for this.

Host families often provide a basic cell phone plan, although costs vary by provider. Au pairs also need data for GPS navigation and sending and receiving pictures. They may also need help with bank fees and fines.

Host families usually cover the cost of a private room, meals, and transportation to and from classes. Families can also provide the au pair with a car. In addition, they can encourage their au pair to take more classes.

The minimum stipend for an au pair varies from agency to agency. It is typically based on the federal minimum wage. Other program costs, however, are subject to change based on updates to federal and State au pair program regulations.

An upfront placement fee ranges from $7,000 to $8,500. Although the fee is not refundable if the au pair leaves, it covers the cost of travel to the United States. Many agencies offer discounts to applicants who are early to sign up. Applicants who have previously hosted a pair can receive a $500 to $1,000 discount.

Education Component

If you are considering becoming an au pair, you should know the education requirements before leaving your home country. The Department of State requires that you complete six semester hours of credit at an accredited post-secondary institution in the United States during your program year. You can also apply for an extension if you are close to completing your requirements. However, you cannot carry extra credits from your first year in the program to your extension.

To fulfill the education requirement, you must register for classes that InterExchange will approve. Each class must be at least three hours per week for 15 weeks. All courses must be taken at an accredited post-secondary institution.

As part of your initial placement, you must also have completed 200 hours of childcare experience working with infants under two years old. You may not be placed with a family with a child under three months unless a parent or other adult caregiver is in the house with the infant.


The costs involved in becoming an Au Pair in the United States vary from State to State and from family to family. You are required to pay a placement fee to your chosen agency. Other costs may include travel, childcare expenses, and more. Sometimes, you can also get a discount on your fee by switching to a different au pair agency or by joining the program as an active military member.

Most agencies also offer pre-match discounts of $500 to $700. There are even payment plans for au pairs. It’s an international au pair agency with experienced staff members who go to great lengths to match you with your ideal host family.

An au pair is a childcare provider who helps with light household duties, such as vacuuming, washing dishes, and cleaning up after meals. They are not expected to do heavy housework or take care of pets. However, they do have the ability to make the home more comfortable for you and your children.


In the U.S., the Au Pair program is a federal government initiative. The program offers flexible work hours and pays competitive salaries. It also provides health care benefits and offers a range of benefits for au pairs.

The total cash compensation averages $27,195, including annual incentives. However, the cost can vary. For example, the upfront placement fee is between $7,000 and $8,500. This is not refundable if the au pair leaves the U.S. Before accepting a position, the host family must pay a Match Processing Fee. This covers the costs of the in-home interview, document processing, employment verifications, SEVIS fees, and criminal background checks.

There is also a minimum weekly stipend. This amount is based on the federal minimum wage. Other program costs are subject to change, including room and board, which is based on the federal minimum wage and the State or local minimum wage. Depending on updates to the federal and State au pair program regulations, the costs may be increased or decreased.