1. Global Support from Cultural Care
Cultural Care strikes the right balance between providing the security of a large organisation and the personalised support that makes our participants feel cared for. We offer round-the-clock support in
both the USA and in your home country, making it easy to ask questions and voice any concerns. It is our job to take a complicated process and make it simple, helping your experience as an au pair go as smoothly as possible.
2. Host Family Screening & Matching
Cultural Care has the largest pool of host families to choose from, giving you the best chance at finding your perfect match. We carefully screen our host families to ensure that you will be happy
and comfortable during your time in the USA, and we customise each matching process to fit the needs of our participants. Cultural Care is unique in that we provide each of our au pairs with a designated Au Pair Matching Specialist – an expert in the matching process whose sole job it is to support our au pairs in finding their perfect host family.
3. Au Pair Training & Preparation
Cultural Care believes that starting your au pair journey on the right path begins with proper preparation and a good introduction to the USA. That’s why we create and distribute extensive pre- departure materials to help you get ready for this once-in-a-lifetime experience. We also created exclusive training programmes that will prepare you better than any other agency – at no additional cost. Examples include MyAuPairCourses (an expert-led online training course on childcare in the USA), our Get Ready Workshop (an online workshop that will prepare you for your big trip), and our Au Pair Training School (a 5-day training programme that takes place just outside of New York City).
4. Official U.S. Department of State Sponsor
The only legal way to be an au pair in the USA is through a designated sponsor such as Cultural Care. Our team in the USA works closely with and strictly adheres to the U.S. Department of State’s guidelines to ensure that all programme participants are treated fairly and given a quality experience during their time abroad. We are also a member of the International Au Pair Association (IAPA), which gives us a “quality seal of approval” as an American au pair programme.
Duration / Dates - Between 1-2 years
You can become an au pair in 4 easy steps! From applying online to finding the perfect host family, Cultural Care will help you every step of the way. The decision to become an au pair is a big one – and an exciting one! From learning more about the programme to landing on American soil, Cultural Care Au Pair is happy to help you through each phase of the process. Get started with our 4 easy steps:
Step #1: Sign up for a free information meeting.
In order to become a Cultural Care au pair, you’ll need to attend a free information meeting in a city near you. Information meetings are held on a regular basis throughout the year – you are welcome to attend one at any time. This information meeting is a great opportunity to learn more about the programme, meet local
Cultural Care representatives and have any questions answered. Meetings typically last about two hours and, whenever possible, include a presentation from a former au pair who discusses their
individual experience on the programme. If you are thinking about being an au pair and would like to find out more, there’s no better place to
start than at one of our free information meetings. Sign up for one today!
Step #2: Complete your online profile.
You can create your profile to start working on your application at any time, and it is required for the matching process. A well-prepared and personal Au Pair Profile is the best way for you to present yourself to a future host family and show why you are right for them. The online profile asks you to list your childcare experience, as well as your work and school background. You will also have space to write about your personal hobbies, interests and talents.
In addition to the information requested in the online application, you will also need to provide:
- At least three non-family references
- A personal letter to the host family
- Photos of you that best describe you and your life
- A form completed by your doctor confirming that you are healthy enough to participate in the programme
- Copies of your secondary school certificate, driving license and a criminal background check
showing no criminal activity
We recommend including pictures that showcase your personality, so that host families can get to know you better. Always be honest and candid in your responses to ensure the family with whom
you are matched knows your true personality and lifestyle. Once we have all of your forms and interviews completed, we review everything and verify your references.
Step #3: Match with your host family.
The next step in your au pair journey is being matched with your host family! Cultural Care provides a highly-personalised and flexible process to help you find the perfect match. Our Au Pair Matching Specialist team is a unique service provided by Cultural Care. Every one of our au pairs has a designated Matching Specialist, whose job it is to help you through each phase of the
matching process. We will also equip you with a Matching & Interviewing Guide, which will help you put your best foot forward in your interviews with prospective host families.
Here’s how the matching process works:
- Once your profile is complete, your Matching Specialist will be in touch to help you through every step of the matching journey.
- Your Matching Specialist will work closely with you as well as our USA teams in Boston and Denver to start finding you some great family matches.
- Host families will then review your full online profile to learn more about you and your personality.
- If a host family feels like you’d be a good fit for them, you will receive a request to connect. Please keep in mind that you can be in contact with up to 3 host families at a time. We provide you the most choice and support in order to find a match that works really well for you.
- As you talk to host families, your Matching Specialist will be there to help guide you towards your perfect host family match.
- Once you and your host family have agreed to finalize your match, we’ll start planning your travel to the USA!
- Remember, Cultural Care is here to help you navigate the matching process. Our job is to answer every question and address every concern – and of course, to help you find exactly the kind of host
family you’re looking for! Before you travel, we will also provide you with training materials that will help ensure that you feel confident and well-prepared for your time as an au pair—including an online Get Ready Workshop to prepare you for life in the USA. You will need to complete MyAuPairCourses a series of online courses on childcare in the USA before you depart.
Step #4: Finalise your visa & travel arrangements.
Next, Cultural Care will guide you through visa & travel arrangements.
Visa: The J-1 visa is the only legal way to spend a year in the USA as an au pair. Your J-1 visa will be valid for 12 months, followed by a 30-day grace period which allows you to continue travelling in the USA. We will provide you with all necessary documents for your visa application and guide you through the whole process. You will have to arrange a visa appointment at your local U.S. Embassy
and attend a personal interview, after which your visa will be issued.
Travel: Cultural Care will arrange air travel to the USA from a selected airport in your home country. Most au pairs will travel on a flight with other au pairs departing from the same city – and rest
assured, programme representatives will meet you at your arrival airport to ensure a smooth transition process once you land! All incoming au pairs fly directly to New York – from there, we’ll arrange transportation to the Au Pair Training School just outside of New York City, where you’ll spend a week preparing for your year as an au pair. After your time at the Au Pair Training School, Cultural Care will provide transportation for the final leg of your journey – meeting your host family!
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