Italian Sending Partner with Au Pair International (API)
Welcome to the Worldwide Network of Au Pair International
Au Pair International strives to provide the best quality service to our au pairs and
This can only be achieved through close cooperation with committed partners around the globe. We can guarantee well screened and committed host families, as well as close support for the au pairs during their program participation in America. The majority of our host families have been referred to us by current host families. By recruiting well qualified, thoroughly screened and committed au pairs, the number of host families will continue to grow. Quality in every part of the chain will allow our and your business to grow. Welcome to our global family.
PART I: BACKGROUND
1.1 About Au Pair International and the Au Pair Program
In 1986 the Department of State established the Au Pair Program as an educational and cultural exchange program with a strong childcare component.
Au Pair International is officially designated and regulated by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to be a sponsor of the Au Pair Program. You can check the website at www.exchanges.state.gov.
Every au pair is issued a J-1 cultural exchange visa allowing them to participate in the Au Pair Program and live with an American host family for 12 months with the option to apply for an one time extension of 6, 9, or 12 additional months.
"Au pair" means "on par" or equal. Au pairs become an "on par" member of an American family, sharing a cultural exchange experience. The au pair's work hours and responsibilities vary greatly depending on the family's child care needs and schedule. The au pair may provide personalized child care up to 45 hours per week, up to 10 hours per day.
These are families where we ourselves would be comfortable letting our own son or daughter live with for a year as an au pair. The safety and comfort of our au pairs is our highest priority. With the local Area Director living less than one hour away from any au pair, we are able to be of immediate assistance in case of an emergency or problems.
Our Au Pairs: By recruiting and screening the best au pair candidates to participate in the program, we can succeed in growing the program to include more exchange visitors every year. We rely on our international network to select and screen outstanding au pairs and, not least; to prepare the au pairs for a successful year. The majority of our host families are "repeat families" that have chosen this program as their ongoing childcare for their children and will often host au pairs for many years.
1.2 The au pair's duties
They may or may not include child care and light child care related housekeeping such as:
• Supervising and playing with the host family's children.
• Awakening the children, getting them ready for school.
• Preparing meals for the children.
• Playing games, doing art projects.
• Bathing, changing and dressing the children.
• Putting children to bed and being on watch while children are sleeping.
• Driving children to school and appointments
• Straightening children's rooms and picking up after children.
• Doing children's laundry.
1.3 Weekly stipend
In exchange, the au pair receives a weekly stipend of $195.75/week per week ($200 for Au Pair Professional) an education stipend of up to $500, room and board, training, monthly meetings,
supervision and the opportunity to experience American language, life and culture.
The minimum weekly stipend to the au pairs will increase due to an increase in the minimum wage in the US. Starting at these below mentioned dates, the au pair will receive an increased minimum stipend of:
The weekly stipend is normally tax free. The total value received from the program is $17,000 to
$22,000 when accounting for the value of everything that is provided to the au pair during the program.
1.4 Headquarters and Field Staff
Au Pair International maintains a staff at the corporate office in Boulder, Colorado. Our host families are located all over the U.S., with a concentration on the East and West Coasts. Our staff works closely with our International Sending Partners to ensure the U.S. Department of State Regulations are clearly understood and followed.
On the local level Au Pair International is represented by local Area Directors living less then one hour from any au pair and host family. The Area Directors serve as a support for both the au pair and the host family. The representative will contact the au pair within 48 hours of arrival, meet in person with the au pair and host family within two weeks of arrival, mediate in case of problems and difficult situations and organize activities each month for the au pairs.
At a minimum, the au pair must fulfill the U.S. Department of State regulated requirements of an au pair. If the candidate does not fulfill these requirements, they should not apply. The au pair must:
• Be 18 to 26 years old
• Have completed secondary school education
• Have at least 200 hours childcare experience
• Speak English with a rating of GOOD to EXCELLENT
• Be in good health
• Not have a criminal record
• Commit to 12 months living with an American family.
• Not previously have been an au pair in the USA
It is important to be sure the au pairs meet all the minimum requirements. If they do not fulfill the minimum requirements they will not be able to work as an au pair in the U.S. and, needless to say; they should not apply or fill out paperwork.
Factors that Limit the Chances of a Placement
1.6 Limiting factor
· No Driver's License
Au Pair International does not want to turn down a "perfect" candidate because she does not have a driver's license. However, most American families will require a licensed driver. It is very difficult to place an au pair without a driver's license. Please advise the candidate to try to get a driver's license before they apply or prepare them on that the wait time to find a suitable host family will be longer.
Last, but not least; as public transportation is not available in many areas in the US, having a driver's
license is also to their advantage and will allow them to get out and explore more.
· Male Au Pairs
Male au pairs will be accepted, but very few families choose male au pairs. Please prepare your male
au pair candidates (and your staff) on a long wait time.
· Au Pair's Restrictions
The more restrictions the au pair has, the more difficult it will be to place the person. For example, if an au pair only wants to go to one area, it might take a long time to place them. Remember that the "popular areas" have thousands of very well qualified au pairs to choose from. There are other fun places in the U.S. other than New York City and California. Being placed in San Francisco, NYC or Los Angeles is not the main factor for having a fun and exciting year.
Most of the host families have more than one child. Therefore an au pair who only wants to care for one child only is more difficult to place. The more flexible the au pair is, the easier it will be to find a family.
Smoking Au Pairs
Remember!! We cannot accept au pairs that are smokers. It is very difficult to place the au pairs and the wait time is frustrating for all parties. Please ask references provided if the potential au pair smokes.
PART II: AU PAIR APPLICATION
They must use a pen, not pencil to fill out application. They must print not write in cursive.
The complete application consists of:
Au pair application form, including the signed agreements
Two non-family childcare references (to be verified by Sending Agent)
One non-family personal character reference (to be verified by Sending Agent)
Medical checkup report
Criminal background check
Copy of driver's license and International Driver's License
Copy of passport (expiring no earlier than 18 months from the application date)
1 passport photo (au pair should prepare 4 photos as 2-3 will be needed for the visa application)
"Dear host family" letter
Copy of school diplomas/certificates
Photo collage (1-2 pages)
Interview report (to be completed by Sending Agent after in-person interview)
Application fee paid (fee must be between $50 minimum to $200 maximum.)
Flight Fee: depends country (usually totally paid by family)
32 hours of on line training; API office will provide username and password for online training;
distribute au pair handbook Assistance and Guidance
Visa is granted by Embassy
2.1 Au Pair Interview and Orientation
The Interview - Questions and English Skills
The au pair must be interviewed by a Sending Agent trained employee or representative who speaks English. The interviewer's English must be advanced enough to evaluate the au pair's
conversational English skills. They must be able to carry on a conversation during the interview in English.