May 15, 2013

Comparing au pair agencies: understanding au pair agency costs

3 minutes
Childcare options

This is the first article in our three-part series comparing au pair agencies. Not all au pair agencies are the same, and we hope to help you understand some of the primary differences between them so that you can choose the best au pair agency for your family. This article will cover differences in au pair agencies’ costs.


Au pair agencies—the basics

The U.S. Department of State officially recognizes 14 au pair agencies. According to their website, au pair agencies or sponsors are required to screen host families and au pairs, provide au pairs with training and orientation and ensure that au pairs do not work more than 45 hours a week and 10 hours per day. However, au pair agencies are not all the same.  Agencies can vary significantly on many aspects including costs, how au pairs are recruited, screened and trained and the level of support  they provide to host families.


Au pair agency costs

Au pair agencies charge fees to host families in exchange for recruiting, screening and  training au pairs as well as managing the matching process, visa process and travel arrangements for the au pair and host family.  Once the au pair arrives to the host family, au pair agencies provide year-round support to the au pair and host family, both locally and from the central office.


Au pair agencies do not all cost the same, however. Fees can vary significantly. Some of the fees au pair agencies generally charge are:

It’s important to note that some au pair agencies charge extra for different programs. For example, they may charge a higher fee for au pairs who are infant qualified or for au pairs who have professional childcare experience. Cultural Care Au Pair does not charge for additional qualifications.


Au pair weekly stipend


Additional costs


Au pair agency discounts

Au pair agencies may have discounts you can qualify for. For example, Cultural Care Au Pair offers the following au pair agency discounts to host families:


Most families find that the cost of hosting an au pair is competitive with hiring a nanny or babysitter and offers improved quality of life and great benefits! Learn more about the program cost on our website.