Jump to Navigation

Read All Au Pair Agency Reviews & Ratings NOW!


Read All Au Pair Agency Reviews Now

Host Family Tip:  Research each au pair agency before you sign up - know which agencies are the best in the industry and which agencies to avoid.  

Remember, not all agencies are the same!  

We collect Host Family Satisfaction Surveys for 12 months and then tally all the ratings and deliver them to you, the consumer.  Parents need to ensure their au pair will be safe with children.  

Finally, a better way to match with a great au pair!

Included in Our Au Pair Agency Reviews:

  • Major Agency Strengths - agencies with low fees; good au pair health insurance, quality au pairs, parent recommendations, customer service, local support, etc.
  • Major Agency Weaknesses - most expensive fees, poor screening methods, au pairs who don't drive or speak English, poor customer service, etc.
  • Agencies that have Quality au pairs - which agencies shine and which agencies to avoid!
  • Cost-effective au pair agencies - we outline all costs for each agency
  • Specific Programs -  we identify agencies that have unique programs for special needs children, infants and half-time childcare.
  • Agency Websites -  which sites are user friendly, offer great host parent resources, ease of navigation so you can easily find what you need, easily found program fees, etc.
  • Phone Service -  how agency staff handle calls, which agencies depend on answering machines, emergency coverage, helpfulness, etc.  We call agencies on a regular basis and keep our ratings up to date.  
  • New Trends - we identify new trends in the au pair industry and share them with you - we reported in 2011 that Irish au pairs would be coming to America and they are here now.  They make great au pairs because they speak proficient English and they assimilate well into our culture.
  • New Programs - know all the newest programs that are introduced by each agency.  We reported on the industry's push for child safety led first by Au Pair in America and then followed by Au Pair Care.  
  • Special Needs Families:  We identify which agencies are best for Special Needs families and parents with a new infant, and more....
  • Host Family Ratings - how did host parents like yourself rate each agency? 
  • Customer Service - most of your $$ spent on an au pair goes to the agency for servicing you.  How well do the agencies measure up?  We tell you which agencies to avoid and which agencies get high marks for overall customer service!  

 Not all au pair agencies are the same - know more and choose better! 

An Educated Parent Makes the Best Childcare Choices

Read All Au Pair Agency Reviews Now


All About Au Pairs

Au Pairs in America - What You Need to Know about Au Pairs!

If you are reading this, you may be thinking about hosting an au pair to care for your children.  Many parents are not really sure what an au pair is.  Most think an au pair is a young nanny - not so!

Let's explain what an au pair is (and what she is not):  Au Pair is a French phrase that translates, loosely, "as an equal" or "on par."  She is not considered a nanny, she is not even considered an "employee" - an au pair is a young foreign woman, who desires to come abroad for a year, live with an American family, experience a new culture, travel and make American friends. 

Note: young foreign men are also au pairs, but to facilitate ease of writing and reading, when we refer to "she" we mean both sexes.  Male au pairs are usually referred to as "Mannies."
In "exchange" for living with an American family, au pairs understand that they are required to give you up to 45 hours of childcare a week, but no more than 10 hours a day.  You will "host" the au pair by providing a room, food, a car, cell phone and a weekly stipend of approximately $190 a week.
This arrangement is referred to as the Cultural Exchange Program that began in 1986 and is under the supervision and guidance of the United States Department of State. The U.S. government makes clear that au pairs are not employees:
  • When you sign a contract with an agency, you are not "hiring" an au pair,  you are "hosting" her for 12 months.
  • You are not required to pay childcare taxes; her stipend is not "pay" and she is therefore not required to pay taxes.
  • Your au pair's J1Visa will expire in a year. You will have to start your search again for another au pair for the new year. 

Eiffel Tower

The Cultural Exchange Program started with 300 au pairs, most of them coming from 2 or 3 countries (England and Ireland were the two most popular countries in the 80's). 

Since the 1990's, 30,000 au pairs in any single year.  In addition, au pairs are now recruited from over 60 countries!  The majority of au pairs no longer come from England and Ireland - most are arriving from Western Europe, parts of Asia and Eastern Europe.  

The Cultural Exchange Program is a highly innovative and very cost-effective way for busy parents to provide safe and reliable childcare for their young families.  There are 15 U.S.A. au pair agencies operating in America at this time. 
  • The 15 Agencies are also referred to as the "legal" au pair programs because they operate within the government regulations of the Dept. of State and they must adhere to their rules and requirements. 
  • In exchange for joining the Dept. of State list, the au pair agencies agree to provide au pairs with medical insurance; basic training; legal services (if required); local support during the year; crisis intervention and mediation and air fare. 
  • Au pair agencies also agree to provide host parents with well-screened au pairs (including criminal background checks, psychometric testing, medical clearance and references); assistance with finding and matching with an appropriate au pair; local support during the year; crisis intervention and mediation and 24 hour emergency 800 number.
  • There are other ways to hire an au pair, and in order to avoid paying "program fees" parents can search online and find an au pair through non-government regulated programs. If you choose this route, you are basically on your own for the flight, care and management of the au pair. 
  • If something goes wrong with the au pair, or the relationship between you and the au pair turns sour, you are now the responsible party and you must solve the problem(s) than can and do arise when you have a young, often inexperienced, childcare giver living in your home.  When using these kinds of companies, do beware of Internet au pair scams. 

Not all au pair agencies are the same!  

AuPairClearinghouse is the first and only National Consumer Website for Parents that offers practical and much-needed information on all legal agencies - parents need to know which agencies are program leaders; which agencies offers new and innovative programs with the best matching services; find out which agency recruits the best drivers; and what agency websites have all the technology "bells & whistles!" 
AuPairClearinghouse reviews and rates all U.S.A au pair agencies and lets parents choose which agency best fits their childcare needs.  Until now, no parent had access to this kind of program comparison and ratings!  
  • Need to know which au pair agency receives high ratings for overall customer service?  Or best quality au pairs?  Best drivers, au pairs that speak good, clear English?  We give you that information by collecting host parents' reviews and ratings on our yearly Host Family Au Pair Agency Satisfaction Survey!
AuPairClearinghouse compare costs and post daily discounts, alerts you to hikes in program fees; prints all au pair news stories and agency press releases and offers an interactive blog and Family Forum where host parents share their advice, complaints, testimonials and au pair expertise!
Our Mission is to provide the best professional tips and advice on how to navigate the Cultural Exchange Program so you can make the best au pair choice for your children.  
  • We have more ratings and reviews on all au pair agencies than any other website available today.  
  • We are growing to serve you better with a wealth of information on hosting au pairs! 
Our information pages below provide agency information; au pair resources and cultural information on the most popular countries au pairs are recruited from. 

An Educated Parent Makes the Best Childcare Consumer!

Read More About Au Pairs:

Let's Talk Au Pairs - All the Au Pair Articles!

Hosting An Au Pair - How to Get Started!

Do's & Don'ts When Considering Au Pairs

Au Pairs And Not Nannies

Most Popular Childcare Options

Au Pair Agency Reviews and Ratings

Dear Moms - Happy Mother's Day!  We are giving away 2 free reports in our May newsletter to celebrate your special day and to help you find the best agency for your childcare needs! If you haven't received your copy of the newsletter be sure to sign up and then send me an email to let me know that you didn't get our May newsletter and I'll see that you receive all the information that was included in it.

But in the meantime check out our latest ratings and reviews of all the au pair agencies.  Just follow the link below to get started. Click Here



Interview with Nancy Felix, Author & Expert Host Mom

Nancy Felix, Author and Expert Host Mom

We are very excited about our exclusive interview with Cornell graduate, Nancy Felix, and author of a new guide to hosting an au pair, Oh My, Au Pair, A Complete Guide to Hiring and Hosting an Au Pair.

Au Pair Clearinghouse - Members Only

 Welcome Au Pair Clearinghouse Member!

Mom With Laptop


At the Clearinghouse, we have the information & tools you need to make sound, safe and reliable decisions about hosting au pairs. 

What Does A Good Au Pair Counselor Do?

Best Counselor Ratings for 2013

Host Parents Rate Satisfaction with Agency's Local Support - 2013

Counselors, LCCs or Regional Representatives are very important to the overall success of the match between host families and their au pairs.


Subscribe to aupairclearinghouse.com RSS

Main menu 2

by Dr. Radut