Au Pair is French term that simply means “at par” or “equal to”. The idea behind the program is that an Au Pair is one more family member who supports the parents by taking care of the kids and helping with some light household. In exchange for his/her collaboration, Au Pairs receive monthly pocket money.
The Au Pair program is a great solution for working parents who need some support while their children enjoy the summer holidays or their free time. Unlike domestic workers or nannies, Au Pairs bring a cultural exchange with them. This allows the host family to discover a new culture, practice a new language and ofter their children a multicultural environment without even leaving their home.
Official Au Pair programs
Nowadays, the Au Pair program has become popular among American families. For this reason, the US has specific rules for participants and a special permit: the J-1 visa. Other countries such as Germany, Belgium and France also have an official Au Pair program. This means they have special requirements and residence permits that allow participants from all over the world to take part in this experience.
India does not have an official Au Pair program. However, this new form of childcare and intercultural exchange promises to become popular in the next years. Indian families interested in hosting an Au Pair will just need to meet the general rules, for example:
- Having at least one underage child
- Being able to afford the costs of hosting an Au Pair (pocket money, accommodation, meals and insurance)
- Willing to receive a new family member for up to a year
Au Pairs must also be eligible for a visa and be able to afford their travel expenses. It is also expected that they have experience as babysitters or jobs related to childcare.