Freebie: 100 Au Pair Interview Questions & Tips

Hosting an au pair can be a great way to provide your family with affordable, in-home child care while also giving a young person the opportunity to experience life in a new country.

So what is an au pair exactly?

An au pair is a person who lives with a family and helps with childcare (and sometimes household tasks) in exchange for room, board, and a small amount of money. They are usually young people who want to learn about a new culture and language while working and living abroad.

All that to say – it’s a big investment of your time and energy.

All the more reason to think about the potential costs associated with hosting an au pair.

There are a number of hidden expenses that you may not have considered…

Now, if you’re not even sure what the difference is between an au pair and a nanny, check out our article, 18 Differences Between An Au Pair And A Nanny.

Here are 15 hidden expenses you should keep in mind when hosting an au pair:

Agency fees:

Many families choose to work with an agency to find and screen potential au pairs.

These agencies charge a fee for their services, which can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.

Take some time to research different agencies and find one that’s a good fit for your need – and has the type of au pair you’re looking for.

Not sure what kind of au pair you want, check out our post What Makes A Good Au Pair?

Travel costs:

If you want to travel with your au pair, you will probably want to pay for their trip.

It’s not required, but a lot of families do. So even if you don’t plan to, it’s good to know about your competition when trying to recruit an au pair.

Travel costs can include their plane ticket and any other transportation costs. You will also likely need to pay for their food and a place to stay while you are traveling.

If you want to do any fun activities or visit any places while you are away, you may want to pay for those too.

It’s a good idea to talk about your travel plans and the money it will cost with your au pair before you book anything.

Traveling with your au pair can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to remember to budget for all the costs.

Car insurance:

If they are driving your car, your au pair will need to have car insurance while they are in the United States.

This insurance would most likely be provided by your family and will be an additional cost.

At a minimum, most host families offer this. Some even go further, offering to have a dedicated car for their au pair to drive. We didn’t do this, but a lot of families do.

Room and board:

Your au pair will need a place to live and meals while they are with your family.

If you don’t have an extra room in your home, you may need to create one by getting creative and having your kids share a room or renovating a space to add a bedroom.

Additionally, you will be responsible for providing all their meals while they are living and working with you.

Activities with your family:

The cost of au pair activities with the host family can vary depending on the specific arrangements made between the au pair and the host family.

Some au pairs may be given a set allowance for leisure activities or personal expenses, while others may have these expenses covered by the host family.

It’s important to discuss the details of any allowances or expenses with the au pair before they arrive to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Host families may also choose to include the au pair in family vacations or outings, in which case the cost of these activities would be covered by the host family.

Overall, the cost of au pair activities with the host family will depend on the specific arrangements made between the au pair and the host family.

Entertainment expenses:

As a host family, it is up to you to decide whether or not you want to pay for some of your au pair’s entertainment expenses.

This can be a nice way to show your appreciation for the au pair’s hard work and to help them have a positive experience during their time with your family.

Some host families choose to cover the cost of movie tickets, museum admissions, or other leisure activities for their au pair.

Other host families may provide a set allowance for the au pair to use for personal expenses such as entertainment.

It’s important to discuss the details of any allowances or expenses with the au pair before they arrive to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Ultimately, the decision to pay for some of your au pair’s entertainment expenses is up to you and will depend on your budget and your relationship with the au pair.

Phone and internet:

Your au pair will need a way to communicate with their family back home, as well as access to the internet for things like language classes and cultural activities.

These costs can add up quickly if you don’t have a plan in place.

Au Pair learning English

Language classes:

Many au pairs take language classes while they are in the United States to improve their English skills. These classes can be expensive, and you may need to provide some financial assistance to your au pair.

Extra childcare:

While your au pair is responsible for providing some of your family’s childcare needs, you may still need to hire additional childcare for things like date nights or special events.

Vehicle expenses:

If your au pair will be driving your children, you will need to provide them with a vehicle and cover the cost of gas, insurance, and maintenance.

Stipend:

The au pair’s stipend is a weekly or monthly payment provided by the host family to the au pair in exchange for their childcare and household duties. The cost of the au pair’s stipend will depend on the country where the au pair will be living. For example, au pairs in the United States typically earn a weekly stipend of $195.75, which works out to about $800 per month.

In contrast, au pairs in countries like Germany and France typically earn a higher monthly stipend of around €800 to €1000 (which is about $960 to $1200 at current exchange rates). It’s important to discuss the details of the au pair’s stipend with the au pair before they arrive to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

The au pair’s stipend is an important part of the overall cost of hosting an au pair.

Training:

Many au pairs are required to complete a course while they are working with a host family. These courses have a fee and typically the host family pays for it.

Clothing and personal items:

Your au pair will need to purchase their own clothing and personal items while they are in the United States. This can include things like laundry detergent, toiletries, and other personal care items.

While your au pair gets a regular stipend, many families offer to support the cost of clothing and personal items.

Extra insurance:

You may need to purchase additional insurance coverage to protect your family and your au pair while they are living and working in your home. This could include things like liability insurance or accidental injury coverage. Not everyone decides to get this, but you may want to consider it.

Emergency expenses

As with any unexpected event or situation, there is always the possibility of incurring additional expenses while hosting an au pair. This could include things like medical bills in the case of an injury or illness, or travel costs if your au pair needs to return home unexpectedly. It’s important to have a plan in place and some extra savings set aside in case of any emergencies.

Conclusion

Hosting an au pair can be a great experience for both your family and the au pair! But as with anything in life, it’s important to be aware of all the potential costs involved. By considering all the hidden expenses and budgeting accordingly, you can ensure that the experience is a positive and successful one for everyone involved.

And remember, despite these hidden expenses, hosting an au pair can be a fantastic and amazing experience.

So if you’re still unsure, you might like our post 10 Fantastic Reasons To Hire an Au Pair in 2023.

Have you ever hosted an au pair or considered it as a childcare option? What other hidden expenses did you encounter that was not mentioned in this list? Share your experiences and insights with us in the comments below.

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