Can married couples get jobs as Au Pairs? Or a person with his/her own child?

by cv harquail on January 7, 2013

Occasionally we get emails asking whether and how people who are not single and childless themselves can become au pairs.

I’m sure this happens because people don’t usually understand that — in the USA — an au pair position is more strictly defined than in other countries.

I’m not sure, though, whether being married or having a child legally prohibits a person from being an au pair (LCCs, do you know?).

But, I’m confident that 99.98% of host families want au pairs who are unmarried and childless.50eb386fdbf3ec67ed000008.jpeg

Married couples (or engaged couples) cannot be “au pairs”.

Au pair positions in the USA are for one person at a time.

Even host families that need two au pairs at the same time don’t look for married or partnered ‘couples’, since the family has two au pairs usually to cover a work week that is more than 45 hours long. A couple working for a family who needs two au pairs would not be able to spend much if any of their off duty time together.

“Au Pair” positions are also usually for single (unmarried) people.

Host parents assume that au pairs are unmarried, because who’d leave her husband or his wife behind in another country while they are working in the USA? Plus, host parents are looking for au pairs who don’t have a Boyfriend Back Home or Girlfriend Back Home who they’d miss so much they’d be homesick and want to quit.

If you are a person from outside the USA and looking for a job for a couple, your best bet is to look for websites that link applicants with “households” seeking caretaker couples.

Applicants with a child or children of their own cannot be “au pairs”.

No au pair situation is set up for a person to care for host kids for 45 hours a week as well as look after a child of their own. Host families don’t usually have the bedroom or private space for more than the one adult (au pair). Plus, many host parents frankly don’t want an au pair who has such an important other commitment right here with him/her in the USA.

If you are a person with a child looking to come with your child to the USA to work as a childcare provider, and live-in with a family, your best bet is to look for Nanny websites. There is a much wider range of family and parent situations among people looking for Nannies. If you are a person who is older than 25, or married, or with a child of your own, you are more likely to find a family to hire you as a Nanny than as an au pair.

Readers, if you have ideas for where people who are not single and/or childless might look for legal childcare positions in the USA, please add them to the comments, below.

Would you ever consider an au pair applicant who had his/her own child, or who was married?

Here’s the email that prompted our post:

Dear AuPairMom–

I am having really big difficulties in finding a family. I am in an enduring and happy couple with my fiancé (from 8 years) and we are both 23, skilled, experienced, organized and all that a very laaaaaaaaaaaaaarge family with a lot of pets or a farm could ask. Not a pair of hands, but two pairs.

I made different profiles on different sites of different many countries. But on almost of them there is not a space only for couples.We are registered on lot of sites and made a lot of different researches on google. There are really few spaces for couples but it seems like somebody would need such a help. The most are surely single au pairs and families on every site (and it is ok) but couple sites are dedicated almost for house management/ big households etc.

May be it does not exist?

… We are looking forward to find and cuddle other’s babies like they would be ours – until we can expect a good life for ours. If happens to you to hear about some large and noisy full of children/pets family, we will be eternally grateful to you.

Thank you for any advice, I will be very thankful, Best regards, AT from Italy

See also: Au Pairs and Online Romances: Your role as a Host Parent

Image: “Many Kisses” in Italian – “tanti baci”. Available on Etsy from TheWhiteSpace shop


Silicon Valley mom January 7, 2013 at 5:54 pm

I don’t think being a nanny is an option. You can’t get a work visa to be a nanny in the US. Au Pair is the only legal way.

kat January 8, 2013 at 7:12 am

that is correct. even a very well qualified and experienced british nanny cant get visa to work as a nanny in the us.

Julie January 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm

I’m confirming this as well. The au pair program is the only possible way to be a nanny in the US legally if you are a non-resident. The au pair program does not allow married people (if an au pair gets married in the US, the visa is immediately cancelled.) The program does allow for engaged au pairs, so technically, if this woman or man wanted to come here alone and work as an au pair, they could.

Seattle Mom January 22, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Or I guess they could each apply to be au pairs individually, and try to be placed within driving distance of each other, and let their HFs know the situation, and maybe spend weekends together?

It sounds like a matching nightmare, and I’m not sure if any AP agency would like to deal with this situation.

spanishaupair January 7, 2013 at 7:29 pm

I dont know how it works in USA, i know that in Europe is possible, but very complicated and most of the families dont only look for the childcaring, for that they hire one, but also for housekeeping, gardening and running errands.
good luck

Au Pair January 8, 2013 at 3:40 am

According to me Married couple not suit as a Au Pair because in situation of Au Pair the lady permanent stay at Host Families house .

One option of Married couple is that work as Nannies .

kat January 8, 2013 at 7:17 am

i think most of aupair couple work in in England, where the job usually is on a farm in the countryside. The girls usually does normal aupair job and the boy does gardening, DIY, general maintanance and driving kids around.
try greataupair and gumtree for adverts.

American AP in Europe January 8, 2013 at 3:55 pm

They could each try to match with families that live in the same city if they were willing to live close by, but in different houses, for a year. In my area there are a handful of couples dating who are doing that.

That’s my best idea, but other than that I don’t know why any married couple would want to au pair. As an AP, you really get sucked into your employers’ family system- for good or bad- and I would think a young married couple’s relationship would suffer because they wouldn’t be able to focus on each other enough.

OCHostFam January 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I was going to suggest the same thing. It may take awhile but you can try to match in the same area….although as a host parent I would have a problem with this. I can see how an AP would want her schedule to match his and how much chaos that could create in a family. OP if this is something you both want maybe you should try having separate experiences.

Comments on this entry are closed.