How much does it cost to have an au pair?

July 30, 2013

In my video series, Au Pair Answer Mom, I answer  families’ frequently asked questions about au pair childcare such as, “How much does it cost to host an an au pair?”

A lot of people think that hosting an au pair is expensive or only for the wealthy.  It’s actually surprisingly affordable. Let’s take a look at the weekly cost of an au pair, since most people think of childcare in terms of what its costs per week.

First we’ll take the weekly stipend that’s paid to the au pair, and the Department of State sets that at $195.75.  And we’ll take that and multiply it by 51 weeks per year because one week is actually spent at the au pair training school.  Then we’ll add Cultural Care’s $75 application fee, the $175 selection fee, charged once you select your au pair, and the program fee that is paid directly to the agency.  At Cultural Care Au Pair, that’s $7,795. The program fee covers thing like the recruitment, screening, and orientation of the au pair.  It also covers things like their airfare and health insurance for the year.  And of course, all of the support your family and your au pair receive throughout the year. So we take all of that and divide it by the 51 weeks of childcare that you get and it comes out to be about $355 per week. Remember, that cost is per family, not per child!

  • $195.75 x 51 = $9983.25
  • $75 + $175 + $7795 = $8045
  • $9983.25 + $8045 = $18,028.25/51 = $353.49

Another cost that you have to consider are the educational component. Au pairs are required to take classes and, as a host family, you have to pay up to $500 of these costs.  You also have to think about the domestic transportation costs, which is basically getting your au pair from the training school in New York to the domestic gateway closest to you. Car insurance also needs to be considered and that’s going to vary based on what type of car she drives, how long she’s had her license, and the state that you live in. The last couple of things to think about are groceries and gifts. Of course you’ll include your au pair in family meals, and maybe give her a small gift on her birthday or special holidays or just to say thanks at some point in the year.

If you take the weekly cost of $355, and you look at these other costs, and look at au pair vs. nannies or au pair vs. daycare, the au pair program really is a very affordable option.



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