This is your opportunity to live as an au pair in America for a full year and earn over $10,000 while doing it. Not only that, but you will be experiencing life as part of a fun and caring family, who will cover your essential living costs while you help take care of the children. Not so shabby eh? This is the perfect way to spend a gap year, career break or to develop your experience working with children and families.
Smaller Earth works with the International Au Pairs Association, who regulate the world of Au Pairing. This means that we work to the very highest standard when vetting, processing and matching you to a family who suits you best. We're not bragging or anything, but we're well good.
Au Pairs typically work around 10 hours a day for 6 days a week. It's not the easiest job in the world, but as Thomas Edison once said, "There's no substitute for hard work." (Yes, we Googled that, and what?). Having said that, you'll also get two weeks' paid holiday a year and a full weekend off a month. Plus you'll get $195 per week. Kerching.
Roles and Responsibilities
As an au pair in America, you'll become an important part of the family and will be involved in all aspects of family events and occasions. Your main focus is working with the children, which means you can stop worrying about doing any serious house work - you're an Au Pair, not a maid.
Your general tasks will be things like waking the children up, dressing and bathing them, playing games with them, doing school runs, prepping meals and helping put them to bed. It's everything you'd expect really...
What You Get
- International flights
- Full Orientation in the family home
- Food and Accommodation
- $500 contributed to an educational course
- Direct weekly payments from your host family
- One full weekend off per month
- Two weeks' paid vacation per year
- Medical insurance
- Visa paperwork
- Assistance and advice on the visa process
- In-country 24 hour support
As part of Au Pairing with Smaller Earth, we make sure that you are fully supported throughout your time in the States, because we're a lovely bunch and we want to make sure that you're doing well. We will provide you with a welcome orientation and you will check in with your Au Pair Coordinator once a month, just to make sure things are running smoothly.
What's Not Included?
- Criminal background check (£45)
- Visa and Embassy charges (£145)
Need to Know
- Be between 18-26 years of age (inclusive)
- Be able to commit to a minimum of 12 months
- Possess a full driving license, with at least 6 months' driving experience
- Have a clean criminal background
- Have a minimum of 200 hours' childcare experience, which can be verified by the parent/supervisor of the child or children
- Be a non-smoker
- Have completed high school/secondary school
- Be physically and emotionally healthy, as verified by a doctor
- Be fluent in English
Location & Accommodation
Families are located right across the United States, we don't just work in one particular region. Most families live in houses where the Au Pair will have their own private room. You'll get to experience life as a local as many families are situated in rural areas, outside of major cities.
Au Pair Study
You'll be heading out on your Au Pair programme on an American Cultural Exchange visa. As part of that visa, you'll need to study or develop a skill for up to 60 hours in a local American college. Whether it's learning a language or doing a photography course, there are a number of options. Education in the States can be expensive, but there are a number of free classes and your host family will put $500 towards your studies. American college life? Yeah, boy.
We want everyone's trip to be fun, enriching and most of all safe. Heading on an Au Pair programme with Smaller Earth you can rest assured that you'll be going in to a loving family that has been thoroughly vetted and interviewed.
We ask each Au Pair to provide a minimum of two childcare references, a police background check issued within the last 6 months and a declaration of full health. We also ask all of our families to do the same. Our placement team also visit the family homes to ensure they are suitable, comfortable and safe to host international Au Pairs.
Smaller Earth along with our international Au Pair placement teams, provide 24/7 support for all of our Au Pairs. We ensure everyone is fully prepared for their trip with a comprehensive pre-departure guide, advice and orientation where applicable.
Do I have to go for the whole year?
Yes, it's a visa requirement that you stay for the entire 12 months. But that's okay because it means you'll have plenty of time to get to know your Host Family and discover America!
Do I get to choose where I go?
You can let us know if you have a location preference, but please note that this isn't guaranteed. We prefer to avoid matching Au Pairs and Host Families purely based on location; instead we try to match your interests, hobbies and experience. Remember that you will have plenty of time to socialise on your time off and explore your local area. From Georgia to Utah and Maine to Florida, our families are located right across the USA.
Is it necessary to have a driving licence?
Yes, this is because many families live in rural or suburban areas and it won't be as easy to get around via public transport. You'll also be driving the kids to and from school or other activities so it's important that you're a confident driver with at least 6 months driving experience on highways, country roads at night and in all weather conditions.
How does the matching process work?
You'll go in to matching once you've completed all of the required documents for us and these include things like a background check, medical check and references. Please allow a minimum of 8 weeks to be matched, we like to have as long as possible to ensure we match you to the right family. Smaller Earth will notify you each time a family has requested to interview you. Interviews with families will take a place over Skype and it's advisable you chat to them at least twice to ensure you feel comfortable and have asked them any questions you may have. You might only Skype with one family before the match is confirmed, or it may be several families - it's all perfectly normal and is different per Au Pair.
Do I get to speak to the family before I depart?
Absolutely! In fact we can't encourage this enough. Once you have been matched, it's a good idea to email the family regularly in the run up to your arrival.
Does the fee include flights?
Yes, roundtrip transatlantic flights are included in your programme fee.
How does the payment work?
Once you're ready to commit, simply pay the £100 deposit to start work on your programme documents. The balance of your fees is due only once your match with a Host Family has been confirmed.
How will I get paid?
The Host Family will pay you on the same day of the week throughout the year. We encourage all Au Pairs to open a bank account because of the flexibility it permits for making purchases. Your Host Family will discuss banking options with you during your first few days with them.
This programme runs year round and there are no specific departure dates. When completing your application, give us an indication of the earliest date you'd be available to depart and we'll use that to get started. Your flights will only be booked once a match has been confirmed with a Host Family and you have both mutually agreed on the arrival date.