Au Pair Pocket Money: Do you pay more than the required stipend? (Poll)

by cv harquail on February 15, 2011

[This post addresses customs and Au Pair regulations in the USA. It may or may not be relevant to host parents in other countries.]201102151706.jpg

The amount of weekly pocket money (or stipend) that a host family is required to provide to an au pair is set by the Federal Government. Right now (as of Feb 2011) that amount is $195.75. Although the required amount is set, some host families offer their au pairs a stipend above the required amount… including rounding the amount up to $200, or even going beyond that by $30 to $50 extra a week.

What I recommend re: Pocket Money

Whenever I’ve been asked about stipends, I’ve always encouraged host families to keep to the required amount, or at most to round up to an even number. I think that host families do each other a disservice when they start to compete with each other (or try to stand out as a ‘better family”) by offering more pocket money. We don’t want au pairs to be “shopping” for a higher stipend– we want them to choose a family based on the criteria that will make them happy in the family day in and day out– and an extra $20-$50 a week won’t do this.

If parents think they have an exceptional situation, if they want to offer a bonus for good work, or if they want to give the au pair a cash gift, I recommend that they wait until a holiday, a birthday or the au pair’s departure– and treat these sums as ‘gifts’ not pay. Sure, whether it’s a gift or payment it’s still money, but it feels different when it’s a gift.

I’d love to know whether many other parents offer more than the stipend, and if they do, how much more they offer… So let’s take an unscientific poll.

Consider ONLY the constant, weekly stipend you give your au pair. Do NOT include money you might offer her for an occasional extra Saturday night babysitting, or for doing family laundry, or any other non-official work you might have negotiated together.

Also, do not include the amount of money that you (on a yearly basis) offer your au pair as either a gift or a bonus.

Paying Your Au Pair: Stipend, or more?

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Now, consider extra cash– bonus, birthdays, etc. Don’t include cost of gifts that you purchase, or grocery allowance — we just want an es5timate of cash money in his or her pocket.

How much 'extra' cash do you give your au pair, annually? (Average more than one au pair)

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Dear AuPairMom-

I’m an au pair looking on websites to ‘prematch’ with an American family. My plan is to prematch, and then sign up with an official US agency so that I come over legally and within a program.

Before I looked closely at prematching websites, I thought the pocket money was the same for everyone (195.75). I have noticed that, on these websites, even families that intend to go through an agency, “advertise” higher weekly payments (300$-1000$). Meanwhile, other families are willing to pay the “normal” au pair weekly pay (195$-200$).

Now, I know that being an au pair is not about making money, but if a nice family is also willing to pay a little bit more (or a lot more) than the normal pocket money, it would make sense to consider them over a family paying the basic amount.

201102151708.jpgDo agencies care whether families offer more than the basic stipend? Does it tell me anything (good or bad) about a family if they offering a higher stipend?


See also:

Extra Hours: What’s fair pay when you break this taboo?

Image: The Gobbler from roboppy
Casa de Carousel from radven


AFHostMom February 15, 2011 at 6:43 pm

Is the AP sure that those parents are using an agency? I’ve noticed on sites like greatAP that a lot of people are advertising more than the regular stipend but they are also “off the grid,” so to speak, and can add more since they don’t have the agency fee.

AFHostmom February 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm

OK, too late in the day, I need to read the entire post and see they are working with an agency. :-/
I can see adding a bit on top, but 50 percent more, doubling, or tripling the stipend? Wow…

Au Pair in CO February 15, 2011 at 6:56 pm

I got $200/week throughout my year as an au pair. I never got any extra money for myself outside of that (I never expected that either), but if I took the kids swimming/filled up the work car with gas/bought dinner when I had the kids at night, I gave my host dad the reciepts and he payed me back.

used to be an AP February 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm

@ the AP who asked this question: You should be very careful if a family wants to pay between 300$ and 1000$ per week to you. I have no experience with GreatAP but from what I’ve heard, even the families who claim to go through an agency and offer a considerably higher stipend than the 195.75 (I’m talking about rounding it up to 200, I guess a lot of families do that) are to be taken with a grain of salt. Why would a family pay you, say, 400$ if they only have to pay 195.75$? That would be a red flag for me. Maybe some of those families just want to be “nice” but I’d be very suspicious.

Amelie ex-aupair February 15, 2011 at 8:11 pm

I would say it’s a huge red flag!

Amelie ex-aupair February 15, 2011 at 8:10 pm

I’ve never heard of any HF registered with an agency that paid more than the official stipend… unless the AP worked more hours (my case – I know it’s not allowed, but lots of families do it, most au pairs like working for a little more money, and everybody knows about it…)

Eliana - the AP who asked the question February 15, 2011 at 8:37 pm

I’m the girl who asked the question :) Hi everybody!
Yeah, at first I thought the exact same thing. Why on earth would a family be willing to pay more (or a lot more) than the amount they are supposed to pay? So, this was totally a red flag for me, and that’s where the question came out.
But the thing is that a family in the US contacted me with a very nice “offer”: they told me they were with an agency, they told me which agency, they said I could check (and I actually did), they gave me a detailed schedule of a typical week (45 hours), pictures, contacts of previous au pairs I could talk to, skype conversation and so on, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a scam. This very nice family was offering me a weekly pay of 350$/week plus 12$/hour for any hour overtime (they said it might occur for 5-6 hours/week on saturdays).
As I said in the question, I know that being an au pair is everything but a way to make money, so this is obviously not the reason why I decided to join the program. I was just curious to know how this salary thing works (since I’m new to this and I see a lot of different weekly pay out there on matching websites). Of course, I also found families on websites like GreatAP who are offering insanely-high weekly pays such as 500$ a week or 1000$ a week, and that actually looks more like a scam or a “red flag”.
Anyways, I didn’t end up matching with that family (not because of that, but because after the skype-talk I figured they were not the right family for me), but you know, if it ever happen again… at least I have some more information about how does this work ;)

HMann February 15, 2011 at 8:56 pm

I am the one vote who pays our au pair $20-40 per week above the amount. We actually pay $220/week all the time. We are 90% of the time within the 45 hours/week of au pair time but since we are both doctors we occasionally have patient emergencies and can go over the hours by going to work earlier than expected or coming over later than expected. I have found by “paying forward” a little extra money each week I have never gotten any gruff from an au pair on the weeks that we haven’t been able to stick to the hours.

Taking a Computer Lunch February 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

When we have had regular APs we have rounded up to the nearest $10, but when we have an extraordinaire (as we have 2/3 of the time) we have not. Our first AP occasionally worked weekends for us after working a 45-hour week. We paid her $15 an hour on weekend evenings, which was then the going rate for caring for a special needs child. Every AP since then has stayed well within the 45 hours per week.

I wonder if the families that intend to pay well above the standard rate intend to a) keep within 45-hours per week at all, b) intend to honor the AP’s commitment to attending classes and c) knowingly have some family issues that will be stressful to the AP.

My suggestion – if you’re matching with a family paying well above standard rate then ask lots of questions — both of them and their previous APs.

HMinWI February 15, 2011 at 10:45 pm

You didn’t leave an option of paying no extra cash in the second poll. Your qualification on the poll was to not include “gifts.” We, however, rarely give our au pair extra money. If we feel like we need to give our AP a little bonus, it is usually in the form of a gift card to Starbucks or somewhere else that we know she spends a lot of money.

cv harquail February 16, 2011 at 11:16 am

good point — I’ll put it in now… good thing we know this isn’t a scientific process ;-)

Dorsi February 15, 2011 at 10:59 pm

We just changed to APIA and will have an extraordinnaire in the near future — so the stipend is $250 for us. A bit of a shock to our system, but we hope the next AP is worth it. We really want someone who is very engaged with our children, preschool at home in a way, and are willing to pay the extra for someone with some education in that field.

Taking a Computer Lunch February 15, 2011 at 11:29 pm

I’ve always been happy with my extraordinaire APs. All brought real work experience to the table and each was perfect for what my family needed at the time. It’s huge expense, but as I’ve written before, having someone who truly loves The Camel is worth not having an expensive family vacation or pinching a few pennies threefold.

Every time we start the matching process DH and I say that we don’t need an Extraordinaire and most of the time their experience wows us, and quite frankly, blows the competition out of the water. When we interview typical candidates and extraordinaire APs at the the same time, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. I’m sure many of the typical candidates would have been perfect for us, but 2/3 of the time, we pay the extra.

MommyMia February 15, 2011 at 11:46 pm

I must be mistaken, as I thought the Extraordinnaire program was only for school-age children, thus the APs had fewer work hours during the week and were able to attend more classes themselves?

Dorsi February 16, 2011 at 12:08 am

You are thinking of Educare. Extraordinaire is a program by APIA. Little higher matching fee, agree to pay $250/wk and otherwise the same rules as regular AP. The candidates either have a degree in something childcare related or 2 years of full time childcare experience.

Should be working February 16, 2011 at 5:00 am

I realize this is sidetracking the main topic here, but: for those HFs with Extraordinaire experience, those APs are a bit older and presumably more adult/independent. In your experience, did this mean that they were not as into ‘being part of the family’ as (some) younger/fresh-out-of-high-school APs? My worry with Extraordinaire (apart from cost) is that it would be like just living with another adult, and we’d miss out on the fun/exuberance that a teenager brings. Then again, if they are more responsible, that would reduce stress . . .

Taking a Computer Lunch February 16, 2011 at 8:33 am

Independent yes, older – not necessarily. I’ve had extraordinaires as young as 19 and as old as 23. Only one had university experience. What sets them apart is that they have to have direct childcare experience – not just babysitting for family members. Two were fresh out of high school, but had done school programs that required them to work in group homes caring for a variety of children. One had done a two-year Ausbildung (for which there is no direct equivalent in the United States – because it’s done through the high schools) that required part-time work in a group home. The eldest had worked for 5 years as a pediatric intensive care nurse.

What sets them apart, is their commitment to children. While they might treat their year(s) in the U.S. as a break while they figure out what to do with the rest of their lives, they already have extensive experience that they bring to the table. Both of the regular APs I selected could and should have been extraordinaires based on their experience, but APIA has a limited list of who’s eligible for consideration and they didn’t fit the criteria.

Jenny February 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm

My HM rounds up to $200, always has and sometimes she adds an extra $20-$30. I assume it’s for extra hours I’ve worked. I never asked her and I don’t count my hours; I just go by the schedule she gives me (which varies insanely from one week to another). When I first got her HD used to give me extra money just because. He gave me $160 dollars my first winter here and said it was for winter clothing because I’m from a tropical climate country and I wouldn’t need my winter stuff when I went back home so I shouldn’t spend money on it. Other times he would just throw $20-$40 bucks at me when he came home at night for what he thought were extra hours. While I think it was genuinely nice of him, it made me very uncomfortable and I tried to politely tell him that he didn’t have to give me any extra money and that it was ok if they were a little late sometimes. They have always been very generous with me regardless, but I don’t want any more money than what I’m supposed to get, unless I worked for that, because for me that presumes that I would have to work more that I’m supposed to, even if they don’t require it.

HostMom February 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

We pay our AP the 195, but we also pay directly for her unlimted talk/text cell phone. We consider that to be “extra” since i think in the 14months she has been here, we have used about 15minutes of total time for “work” and a handful of text msgs. But we figure this is an important item these days so the extra $40-ish dollars a month is worth it. it is not counted above, but i imagine many host families do this and it is above and beyond the stipend.

MommyMia February 24, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Ditto. I don’t think many APs realize that they’re getting this “perk” because it’s almost expected for them, whereas for my generation, not so much. I’m just not that dependent upon my cellphone as a tool or an entertainment device!

CO Host Mom February 16, 2011 at 9:27 am

I pay $200, but that is with the understanding that she keeps gas in the car. She has exclusive use of a designated AP car, and although she does use it to drive the kids, the driving is minimal. She drives them four days a week to and from school and twice a week to dance classes – both within a couple miles of our house. Since she also uses the car for her personal use to meet her friends, go to the gym, etc…it is too hard to figure out who is using what gas (work or personal). The extra dollars a month covers the fuel costs for driving the kids.

an ap February 17, 2011 at 1:46 am

$4.25 for gas per week? WOW! hahaha… words………………

hOstCDmom February 17, 2011 at 9:36 am

@ an ap:
You seem aghast and offended at this amount for petrol.
But let’s drill down into this —

$4.25/week for petrol — for work related purposes — could either be eggregiously insufficient, or completely adequate. This is entirely fact specific.

Not sure what part of the country this is in, but in our area petrol is currently $3.50/gallon, and has ranged over the past 2 years from ~$3.00/gallon to ~$3.80/gallon.

Depends on the car, but an average car might get 20 miles to the gallon for non highway driving (more for highway driving, perhaps less for urban stop-and-go).

At the rate I note above, $4.25 will buy 1.2 gallons of petrol.

1.2 gallons * 20 miles/gallon = 24 miles.

Thus, for $4.25/week the AP can drive the children ~24 miles. That’s simple math, and could be altered depending on the cost of petrol and/or the mileage the car gets.

So the next question is fact specific — how many miles per week does the AP drive the children? This also can be determined. The AP could log it. Or the HF/AP could use a program to calculate the distance of all routes travelled. Or they could estimate the amount. Or they could average the amount/week over the course of 3-4 weeks. But, in any case, it IS possible to know with a high degree of precision how many miles the AP drives the children. And thus, one could know if $4.25 for petrol, i.e. enough petrol to drive 24 miles with the children is adequate.

In our family – 5 kids – our AP drives our children 6-12 miles/week, depending on whether she drives kid to hockey practice 1 or 2 times during the week. (3 miles there and 3 back; 6 round trip). Otherwise she doesn’t drive the kids. She travels using our car about 10 miles round trip/week to her classes. Thus, for our family, this amount would be completely adequate to cover the cost of her work related petrol. We of course pay for petrol to facilitate AP’s driving of children and to her classes.

Now, in our case, we also don’t ask our AP to pay for any petrol, including for personal use — we fill the car she uses (shared use) entirely at our cost, because she probably only uses the car for PERSONAL use about 20-30 miles/week (this is in addition to the use re kids/classes noted above). And we feel that this is so de minimus, that we don’t want or need her to put any petrol into the car at her cost — and in fact it is so little that I don’t even really consider it a perq that she doesn’t have to pay for the petrol.

CO Host Mom February 17, 2011 at 10:33 am

Thanks hOstCDmom, and you are exactly right. It was very easy to pinpoint how many miles the AP drives the kids, and she is coming out ahead. She drives a fuel efficient vehicle and fuel here is at about $2.90 a gallon right now. The maximum she drives the kids is to and from school four days a week, and to and from ballet twice a week – both are less than two miles from our house, and often I do the morning school drop off and the ballet pick-up myself.

This is also an AP who uses the car A LOT for personal use including driving around many of the other APs in our cluster who do not have exclusive use of a car. Add to that a four day work week of much less than 45 hours, unlimited talk/text/internet on her cell phone, unlimited grocery purchases, and very few evening or weekend hours. Of the three APs I’ve had, no one has complained about fuel.

NoVa mom February 16, 2011 at 10:10 am

For those of you who pay more than the stipend, what do you expect your APs to report for taxes and what do you tell them?

NoVA Host Mom February 23, 2011 at 2:22 am

We pay $200, and ensure that our APs report that same amount on their taxes. If their number and ours do not match, we can get audited (so we have heard). To ensure this, the APs who have paid or planned to pay their taxes have had my husband help them fill out the IRS form. Then I add a photocopy of it for our own tax person.

We don’t report any “bonuses” (which are pretty negligable in our house, possibly less than a week’s stipend over the course of a year), any more than we would report paying the neighboring teen for babysitting on a Saturday night. Since we don’t report it, I would not figure they would. I guess it’s like not reporting the birthday $20 that your gram gives you every year.

HosDadinNJ February 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Can you elaborate on the tax comment you made? I thought I was well versed in this respect, and had even helped provided some info to this site last tax season, but am curious what you mean by “If their numbers do not match your numbers?”

As far as I know the Au Pair’s are technically supposed to file if they receive over a certain amount of income – which I believe is roughly 8-9 months of weekly pay. Whether they do or not, frankly is not my problem as far as I know.

In terms of number’s matchins – not sure I follow what this means?

Thanks for any added info.

HRHM February 24, 2011 at 1:16 pm

As with all people who make money in the US, they are required to file regardless of how much they make. Whether they owe anything will be determined by how long they worked in the year.

When you file your taxes, if you itemize for your childcare expenses, you will itemize what you paid her/him and use their SSN as a reference ID. When they file (using their SSN) the income they report should match the amount you claimed.

HostdadinNJ February 24, 2011 at 2:57 pm

See, when we file, we list APIA as the “provider” and list their Tax ID number rather than the Au Pairs.

Also – I am pretty certain that they do not need to file anything if they make below a certain threshold.

hOstCDmom February 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm

See APIA’s tax info page; Also, per IRS you can only use APIA tax number if you are claiming childcare credit for *agency fees* ( and this is re fed tax credit, not an employer sponsored Childcare FSA), not for claims re the stipend to AP — and the agency fee must have been paid in the year you are claiming it, not pro rted over 2 years, so it can be awkward depending on when you pay your fee/ when your AP starts if it straddles 31 Dec/1 Jan.

You are not responsible for your AP filing ; her legal obligation, not yours. And if you happen to be in a profession where giving her advice could constitute giving her tax advice, think carefully about whether you do or not so as not to run afoul of your professional regulations or employer’s rules.

Per law, she must file * even if she does not owe any tax* ( see IRS website for more info)

HostDadinNJ February 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm

A follow up from APIA’s info page:

Host Families who wish to take the child care credit on their Federal Income Tax Return or obtain reimbursement from an employer-sponsored, flexible spending account for the weekly pocket money paid to the Au Pair must have a Social Security number for their Au Pair.

Now, if I used the flex account (limit $5,000) to obtain reimbursement for the agency fees, not the weekly stipend, then it appears it is ok to use the Tax ID of APIA.

Not an accountant just tryign to decipher all of this

HOstCDmom February 25, 2011 at 12:20 am

@HostdadinNJ 24 Feb 5.55 pm comment:
Yes; but whether *agency fees* are allowable is a q of some debate/murkiness. Different AP agencies “advise” differently; IRS guidance is not clear on this point. Im not 10% sure, but i dont believe there is a private letter ruling on this point. It is murky. AP* stipend* is much more clear, and can be deducted via Childcare credit on federal income tax return, or from Childcare FSA — the latter being more tax efficient since you save at the rate of your marginal tax bracket. But amount used via flex account offsets the amount of fed income tax credit you can take (up to max 6k). Best to use FSA to full extent, then take credit for the remaining amount, up to total of 6k. So if you can take 5k from FSA (5k = ed limit, but some employers set lower limit for highly compensated employees) better to do that and then take 1k Childcare deduction on fed return, rather than taking 6k deduction on fed return (bc of marginal bracket comment above).

Mom23 February 16, 2011 at 11:10 am

We have always paid the stipend, but set aside an extra $10/week to give to the au pair when she leaves if she completes the program. We usually do not tell the au pair about it. The au pair who caused significant damage to our car did not receive the full bonus since it cost us significantly more than we put aside to fix it. We are generous with birthday and holiday gifts though, and I try to buy little gifts along the way to thank her for what she does.

newhostmom February 16, 2011 at 12:29 pm

I know lots and lots of host parents and don’t know anyone who routinely pays above the required amount. And actually very few of them give the au pair extra CASH even for birthdays or holidays. Most of us buy our au pair gifts for these holidays or even gift cards (I have given mine a few $15 Starbucks gift cards as little treats), and every one of us pays for our au pair’s cell phone. But I voted that no, we don’t give her any additional money.

We have an Extraordinairre, incidentally, and we love her – so worth the extra $50 a week. We have young children and we wanted someone with lots of experience besides babysitting or taking care of family members (which I personally don’t think prepares you for spending all day with young kids each week). She’s young (20), but in her country, one of the school tracks is a vocational career track that starts when you are 14/15. So she has been learning about early childhood education and working in classrooms for 5-6 years already. And it shows.

KM February 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm

We pay the official amount. Also give gifts, not cash. Our gifts range from RT airfare for a fun weekend to tickets for special events. It depends on the au pair. One au pair was planning a weekend to Orlando with two other au pair friends. We surprised her with airline tickets. Another au pair loved a particular vocal artist. We surprised her with two tickets to a live concert. We paid for lodging for our skier au pair at a ski resort.

Our gifts are intended to show our au pairs they are members of our family. We learn about their interests and hobbies or plans. It’s our way of showing our appreciation.

Deb Schwarz February 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm

When we first started with the au pair program 11 years ago, we paid more than the usual stipend (it was $135 per week back then and we paid $250-$300) because we had four children under the age of 2 and it took some talent/experience to handle four (we did have two au pairs and had some overlap). For instance, one of our first au pairs had worked with quads in the past, and was very experienced and was worth her weight in gold. We got pre-matches (through overseas nanny agencies – this was before, ran them through U.S. au pairs agencies for their visas and told them not to talk about it with their au pair friends since it might cause resentment (even though it clearly was more work). Then, when I became a local coordinator, I really asked them to keep it confidential so as to not create jealousy. Now that my kids are in school, money is tighter and there is less work and skill required, we pay $200 a week ($210 if they are a second year au pair). I do add a few “extras” on (unlimited texting on the phone, we don’t ask for the gas tank to be filled, and take her on trips) because I’ve found that if you are generous, it creates goodwill. I’ve been thinking about giving our new au pair a spot cash bonus for her “above and beyond work (unbenownst to me she cleaned out the refrigerator and the guinea pig cage without being asked….I just about fell over!!) BTW, I do encourage host families of second year au pairs to pay a bit more than the usual as they are more experienced and everyone likes a yearly raise, even if it’s a small one.

aupair agencies February 17, 2011 at 8:47 am

the aupair wokr is only governed by the government in USA but not in the UK which is a shame

Anonymous HM in NJ February 17, 2011 at 9:13 am

This is interesting. We pay exactly exactly the stipend on the same day each week – we have one school age child and our au pair rarely works more than 25 hours a week. However, we pay for all gas in the car which she drives – and most of the driving on that car is her personal driving. In terms of gifts – we make a big deal of birthdays and christmas. We do not give cash gifts (other than small starbucks gift cards as a stocking stuffer). However, we do give what we believe are meaningful gifts – broadway tickets, taking her to a show for her birthday with the family, going on a special day trip right before she leaves. I also make an effort to buy her favorite foods or make a meal that she might be missing. As another poster said, our gifts are our way of showing our au pair that she is a member of our family – and that we appreciate her.

PA AP mom February 17, 2011 at 10:44 am

We pay $200/week. This allows a little extra for gas.

As for mileage, our AP drives 10-25 miles/week for work, depending on activities. Gas is $3.19/gallon here and her car gets 30-40 miles/gallon, so it is sufficient to cover her work driving. I add an extra $15 on the weeks when she has au pair meetings because it requires more mileage.

Seasoned Host Mom February 17, 2011 at 11:25 am

A question for those of you who give your au pairs a “meaningful” gift rather than cash – what do you do when you have an au pair who is distant, doesn’t open up about her interests and hobbies very much, and doesn’t spend time with the family, ever, on the weekends unless she is scheduled to do so? I’d prefer to give meaningful gifts too, but I don’t know my au pair well enough (even after almost a year!) to know what to get.

NE mom February 17, 2011 at 12:28 pm

How about luggage? That will always be useful when she returns home. We are in New England, so give monogrammed LL Bean bags frequently. Who doesn’t like stuff w/their name on it?!

You could always also give items meaningful to your area. Early on, books about the area, esp walking tours and things to do with kids, have been popular with us.

Anna February 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I had one of those (didn’t end well) – for her, I assumed she wanted money. I knew she was a fan of a certain writer, so I got her his latest hardcover book, and cash. Actually, I did get her more stuff that was useful (a robe, hat and scarf…. ) But the most expensive part was cash.

AFHostmom February 17, 2011 at 11:44 am

We knew that our AP wanted a laptop for her year in the US and to take back home with her to use when she would be studying, so we decided to offer to buy her one for Christmas and her birthday, or set a “contribution limit” and give her the cash to put toward one in her own country–where they are much more expensive but have the benefit, of course, of special characters on the keyboard and the right power supply (though both these issues are fixable with a keyboard replacement and a plug converter). She chose the latter, and that was her “big” present for both occasions.
She did still get smaller gifts for both occasions and we give her things for various holidays or stressful weeks, etc.
SHM, I know my AP likes a certain brand of body care products, so I gave her a basket filled with them for one occasion; she is also a bug fan of a certain brand of purses, so I got her one of those purses when I saw one on sale. I realize these aren’t as meaningful as “experiences” like theater or sporting event tickets, but they were appreciated.

Taking a Computer Lunch October 6, 2011 at 6:58 am

I’m doing the math, and I find it hard to believe that you are still young enough to be an official AP. If you have come to work in the US illegally, then you have made a private deal with the family. Yes, the new AP stipend is closer to $200 a week. No AP makes $500 in the United States (perhaps a few families might pay their APs extra), although nannies may negotiate that salary. If the family is giving you room & board on top of your salary, then $500 a week is not “cheaper” than APIA or other agencies.

If you feel that the family is not paying you enough, then you need to take a deep breath and calmly sit down with them and negotiate a better salary. However, if you are not in the US legally, then you have no back-up the way employees on official visas are.

azmom October 7, 2011 at 11:51 am

the stipend for au pairs using an agency, ie, here legally on an au pair visa is 195.75. If they were using an agency, yes, they’d be paying an additional 5-8K per year (so let’s say 100/week), so that’s around $300/week. They may or may not still have you on their insurance, pay for your food, they probably aren’t doing the educational component since you aren’t probably able to register. yes, they’re saving a lot of money by you sticking around. Unfortunately, they know, and you know, that if you ask for a raise, they can boot you out and you won’t have a way home. Hopefully they’re not taking advantage of you and you can discuss this, but I’m not sure of your relationship.

Au Pair London November 3, 2011 at 3:44 am

Well, according to me no one is paying extra amount to the AP as they mentioned. If they are paying some extra dollars then it is for sure that they are taking some more work from them which is not mentioned prior while they were appointed. And also if you make them happy they will definitely gonna take some extra care of your children.

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