How much does an au pair cost?
$325 – $480 weekly average
$1,400 – $2,100 monthly average
$17,000 – $25,000 yearly average
Au pair cost
An au pair costs $16,900 to $25,000 per year or $1,400 to $2,100 per month on average. The cost of an au pair includes annual agency program fees of $8,500 to $10,500, match processing fees of $250 to $525, and a minimum stipend of $146 to $250 per week.
|Program||Program cost||Total annual cost*||Description|
|Standard au pair||$9,200 – $9,600||$20,000 – $21,300||Newly trained au pair with limited childcare experience|
|Premier au pair||$9,600 – $10,500||$23,400 – $25,000||Highly trained au pair with several years’ experience and/or a childhood education college degree|
|Education au pair||$8,500 – $8,600||$16,900 – $17,700||Student au pair for host families with school-aged children.|
*Including program fees, match processing fee, education stipend, and weekly stipend, but not room and board.
Au pair cost vs. nanny
An au pair costs $325 to $480 per week, regardless of the number of children. In comparison, a live-in nanny costs $700 to $1,200 per week for the first child plus $50 to $180 per week for each additional child.
An au pair only works 45 hours per week, while a live-in nanny typically works 50 to 60 hours per week.
|Care type||Weekly cost||Monthly cost||Yearly cost|
|Au pair||$325 – $480||$1,400 – $2,100||$16,900 – $25,000 + room & board|
|Live-in nanny cost||$700 – $1,200||$3,000 – $5,200||$36,000 – $62,000 + room & board|
|Live-out nanny cost||$525 – $1,000||$2,300 – $4,300||$27,000 – $52,000|
|Nanny share cost||$350 – $600||$1,500 – $2,600||$18,000 – $31,000|
|Daycare cost||$100 – $350||$400 – $1,300||$5,000 – $18,000|
Au pair cost breakdown
An international au pair program costs $16,900 to $25,000 for the entire 12-month program, including agency fees, mandatory stipends, and government costs paid by the host family. The program fee typically includes transportation costs, including international flights and domestic bus travel.
|Factor||Average yearly cost|
|Application & Matching fees||$250 – $525|
|Annual program fee||$8,500 – $10,500|
|Spending money stipend||$7,600 – $13,000|
|Education stipend||$500 – $1,000|
|Visa processing fee||$35 per au pair placement|
|Total annual costs||$16,900 – $25,000|
Au pair fees
Budget for the following expenses in addition to the program fees and mandatory stipend:
Insurance – Au pairs must be added to the auto insurance policy if they drive the family car.
Room and board – The host family must cover the cost of meals and accommodations for the au pair.
Personal needs – The host family must cover expenses for the au pair's mobile phone, internet access, clothing for climate differences, toiletries, and recreational activities.
Payment plans – Most agencies charge additional financing fees to spread payments over a 6- or 12-month period.
Transportation – Host families provide transportation or cover public transport costs to education classes and au pair gatherings.
SEVIS fee – A $35 visa processing fee is charged by the US government to support the student and exchange visitors program.
Education stipend – The host family must provide an education stipend of $500 to $1,000.
Military discount – $500 to $1,000 for a military parent
Repeat family - $500 to $1,000 for prior host families
Switching discount – $300 to $500 for switching from another agency
Referrals – $250 to $500 for referrals that match with an au pair
Au pair weekly stipend pay
An au pair is paid an average weekly stipend of $150 to $250, as mandated by the U.S. Department of State. Host families must pay the minimum stipend for 52 weeks, which includes 2 weeks of paid vacation during the year. Hosts and au pairs are free to negotiate higher pay.
|Program||Minimum weekly stipend|
|Standard au pair||$195.75|
|Premier au pair||$250.00|
|Student au pair||$146.81|
Au pair hours and responsibilities
The State Department strictly regulates an au pair’s hours and responsibilities. An au pair is limited to 10 hours per day and 45 hours per week of child care. A student au pair works 30 hours per week while attending school. Duties are limited to child-related chores, including:
Doing the children’s laundry
Preparing the children’s meals
Picking up after the children and themselves
Assisting the children with their family chores
Au pair agency cost comparison
Au pair agencies charge an average annual program fee of $8,500 to $10,500 to participate in the cultural exchange program as a host family. Agencies also charge application and matching fees to cover administrative costs. Most agency fees are non-refundable, unless the au pair doesn’t arrive.
|Agency||Annual program fees*|
|Au Pair In America||$8,600 – $10,650|
|Au Pair USA||$9,590|
|Cultural Care Au Pair||$9,395|
|Go Au Pair||$8,495 – $9,595|
|Au Pair Care||$9,180|
|Agent Au Pair||$8,595 – $10,095|
*Not including mandatory weekly stipends.
Frequently asked questions
What’s included in an au pair program?
An au pair program includes:
A one-year au pair placement with a visa-sponsored au pair, with the ability to extend for another 6, 9, or 12 months
International travel costs
Accident and health insurance
Monthly au pair events
Annual host family event
Local care coordinators
How long does it take to get an au pair?
Agencies recommend that you register 2 to 3 months in advance of your preferred start date to complete a criminal background check, conduct interviews, and match with au pair. Once a match is made, it takes about 1 month for the au pair to arrive in your home.
How long do au pairs stay?
Au pairs come to the United States for 12 months on a J-1 au pair visa. They can extend their placement for an additional 6, 9, or 12 months if the host family and au pair agree to continue.
Are au pairs tax deductible?
Yes, au pair childcare is tax deductible. Host families are able to claim the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for the au pair stipend, agency fees, and transportation costs during on-duty hours.
Are au pairs worth it?
Hosting an au pair provides an opportunity to expose your children to a new language, customs, and culture. The cost of an au pair is similar to the cost of daycare and more affordable than hiring a private nanny, offering reliable, in-home child care at a reduced cost.
How to find and hire an au pair
When finding an international au pair program, be sure to:
Research agencies that have been in business for at least 5 years.
Read their testimonials and reviews online.
Choose from agencies with a secure screening process and mandatory training course for au pairs and host families.
Interview agencies that fit your budget and have a large pool of au pairs to select from.
Select an agency that offers local support for host families and au pairs throughout the program.
Questions to ask au pair agencies
What are the current agency fees?
Are there any discounts available?
What payment plans do you offer?
What is the screening process for your au pairs?
How do you match us with an au pair?
How many au pairs do you have in our local area?
Will there be social gatherings with other au pairs in the area?
How do you handle disputes between host families and au pairs?
What happens if the placement isn’t the right fit for our family?