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Au Pair Agencies
There's so much to learn you when you begin your search for the best au pair for your family! Aupairclearinghouse.com provides consumer reviews of the top au pair agencies in America - we also give you tips and advice how to avoid costly mistakes before signing a contract.
Our mission is to give you the best information you need to make the best decision when you host an au pair! Au pair agencies are not all alike and we identify their differences: fees, screening and matching features and cutting edge, innovative programs!
We use host family surveys to rate and review all 14 au pair agencies in the United States. We also provide forums, articles, interviews with agency CEOs and Directors, tips from experts in the field and we share Complaints and Testimonials from both au pairs and host parents! All the information on au pairs you need to succeed is at your fingertips.
The Top Three Industry Leaders for 2011 & 2012!
This is a newly revised list for 2012! Since 1984, more than 175,000 au pairs have taken part in the U.S. State Department's highly popular au pair program. The main reason is for their continued popularity and success is cost - the childcare provided by an au pair is extremely affordable! Most agencies charge from $250 - $350 for the application fee and then once your au pair arrives, you can expect to pay anywhere from $250 - $400 a week for 45 hours of childcare. Critics of the programs state that young girls (ages ranging from 18-25) lack the maturity and judgment to take care of children. Yet, these programs have prospered during the last 24 years and continue to do so.
Finally, there is a better way to find the best au pair from the best au pair agencies - AuPairClearinghouse conducts customer surveys that rate all 14 au pair agencies in the U.S.! Don't get Stuck with a mediocre au pair agency. Don't Gamble with your child's safety. Give your children the au pair they deserve!
We Compare the 2011 & 2012 Top Au Pair Programs across costs, discounts, strengths and weaknesses, and more.
Complete List of 14 U.S. Department of State Regulated Au Pair Agencies
The au pair program is a cultural and educational exchange program with a childcare component. Au pairs provide up to 45 hours of childcare per week for their host family while attending college or university studies. Au pairs can participate in the program from 12 months - 24 months.
The 14 sponsoring agencies in the U.S. have the responsibility to administer the au pair programs according to the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of State (US-DOS).
U.S. Department of State Regulations for Au Pairs
(a) Introduction. This section governs Department of State-designated exchange visitor programs under which foreign nationals are afforded the opportunity to live with an American host family and participate directly in the home life of the host family. All au pair participants provide child care services to the host family and attend a U.S. post-secondary educational institution. Au pair participants provide up to forty-five hours of child care services per week and pursue not less than six semester hours of academic credit or its equivalent during their year of program participation. Au pairs participating in the EduCare program provide up to thirty hours of child care services per week and pursue not less than twelve semester hours of academic credit or its equivalent during their year of program participation.
Au Pair of the Year Awards
This article presents the winners of the International of Au Pair Awards and the au pair agencies that sponsored them.
Honoring the Best Au Pairs
Every year thousands of young people from all over the world embark on a special journey by becoming au pairs. Leaving behind the familiarity of their homeland for as long as one year, au pairs travel to distant countries, where they are welcomed into different cultures and become part of a new family.
For most of these young women, this is their first experience away from home and their first opportunity to experience a new culture. Read about the best of au pairs worldwide.
Infant Specialized Care Program By Au Pair Care Agency
Au Pair Care (aupaircare.com), a leading au pair agency, has a new program that should be of interest to parents of infants! Data from the Census Bureau show that over half of mothers' with infants are employed outside the home - these working moms have to arrange for childcare, but the first year of a baby's life is a critical developmental period that requires a consistent, reliable and nurturing caretaker. As most working mothers know, maternity leaves are relatively short and they must entrust their precious infants in the care of someone else. A new au pair program, sponsored by Au Pair Care, might be the answer! Infant Specialized Care is a program that provides families with a trained, live-in au pair who specializes in infant care and child development. Au Pair Care's program allows working mothers to provide their babies with consistent care in the comfort and safety of their homes.
What Au Pair Agencies Don't Tell Au Pairs
Many au pairs sign up for their cultural exchange year abroad with very different expectations compared to American host family's expectations. This difference
between host family and au pair expectations can lead to rematchs, au pairs leaving families in the middle of the night, financial loss to host parents and general dissatisfaction and disappointment with the entire au pair industry.
Au pairs are courted by the au pair agencies by glossy, colorful brochures depicting exciting travel opportunities and a fun-filled adventure. The material skims over the childcare components. Many au pairs arrive imagining an easy life "helping" laid back host parents with their well-behaved children and in their free time exploring the country and making lots of American friends. They dream of visiting the exciting cities and sights of America illustrated in the glossy brochures and look forward with excitement to trips to NYC, Washington, DC and the Grand Canyon.
Review of the 14 U.S. Au Pair Agencies
We review the all of the au pair agencies governed by the U.S. Department of State. There are 14 designated Au Pair Agencies in America that fall under the Department of State's supervision. There are many other au pair agencies out there, some good, some fair, some bad, and most of them are cheaper than others, but the following agencies reviewed here are the only au pair agencies that are required to abide by the laws and regulations set up by the Department of State.
These 14 agencies are also monitored and audited once a year to make sure the agencies are abiding by the laws/regulations. They are sanctioned if they are found to be negligent in their services to either the au pairs or host families that contract with them.
We list all 14 agencies here for your review so you can make the best childcare decision.
Costs of Hosting An Au Pair
How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Au Pair?
As childcare costs soar, au pair agencies are capitalizing on the international young womens' dreams of a year abroad! Au pairs come to America to improve their English and enjoy a new cultural experience.
Au Pair agencies are quite affordable and much cheaper than daycare centers and nannies. Agencies promise to provide quality, live-in care up to 10 hours a day and for 45 hours a week.
But, not all au pair agencies are the same - find out which ones have hidden fees and which ones charge considerably more yearly for no other reason than they can! It is important to understand your overall cost if you plan to hire your aupair through an agency.
Here are a few tips and some advice regarding costs associated with au pairs:
Industry Changes You Need to Know About!
As the economy forces parents to spend less on childcare, au pair agencies are getting hit hard - this has forced the industry to "rethink" their marketing strategy and how they operate overall. As a result, innovative programming and marketing plans have been rolled; out - allowing any parent to view their au pair data base is a major change for au pair agencies!
This is good news for the consumer - you can view what kinds of young women are attracted to each agency and you get a "feel" for the quality and level of screening the agency is doing.
What are the other big industry changes and the benefits for you that you need to know?
Top 3 Most Popular Childcare Choices Today
Working parents are responsible for choosing the best childcare for their children. Today, with 2 paycheck families, we cannot get by with the help of family and friends - parents need reliable, cost-effective and convenient childcare. Most of us today need full-time childcare.
What are the Top 3 most popular childcare choices today? How expensive are they? Which ones fit your family's needs?
In this article we identify the three most popular childcare choices available to today's families and tell you which ones work and which ones don't!
Every Year Au Pair Clearinghouse Publishes Their
Top Three Au Pair Agency Picks
Host parents rate their agencies on our Host Family Satisfaction Surveys across different categories: cost, matching services, customer service, refund policies, application process, quality of au pairs (i.e., driving, English skills, childcare experience, etc.) and au pair screening methods.
Find out which agencies made the Top Agency Picks list, which ones didn't and why!
Not all au pair agencies are the same...
What Your Au Pair Agency Will Never Tell... Do Au Pairs Lie?
TOP 6 TIPS - HOW TO AVOID AU PAIRS THAT LIE
Cynthia Jele's book, So You Wanna be an Au Pair in the USA, deals with this extremely problematic question. Ms. Jele, a former au pair who worked for an American family in Chicago, is very honest about the lies au pairs will tell to get into an au pair program. Her chapter on When Au Pairs Act Naughty is an inside look at how au pairs, in order to come to America, will twist the truth about such things as: smoking, drinking habits, driving skills, speaking English, and boyfriends. What can a host parent do??
Read our expert advice on how to spot dishonest au pairs and how to deal with them! Don't match with an au pair before you read this article!