Best Au Pair Agencies

Au Pair in America is our pick for best au pair agency

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Au pairs are international, live-in nannies who provide child care while introducing meaningful cultural experiences. They can help with things like child supervision, housework, educational assistance, cooking, and more. But there are specific guidelines for their employment, such as working a limited number of hours per week, based on the visa they have. Working with an agency can help you keep up with all the ins and outs of this type of child care, and in fact, if you want to hire an au pair, doing so through an agency is required by the U.S. government.

Choosing a trustworthy, experienced au pair can be a stressful experience, especially since candidates live outside of the U.S.. We've reviewed a variety of options to formulate a list of the best au pair agencies out there.

Best Au Pair Agencies of 2023

Best Overall : Au Pair in America


Au Pair in America

Au Pair in America

Key Specs
  • Program fees: About $10,000 per year
  • Families served: 110,000 au pair placements since 1986
  • Service area: 36 U.S. states
Why We Chose It

Sometimes, the best way to receive a top-notch service is to go straight to the pioneers. In the case of au pair agencies, that means choosing Au Pair in America.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Extensive screening and training program

  • Established service, offering placement for decades

  • Competitive pricing

  • Large list of candidates

Cons
  • Can take awhile to navigate through options

Overview

This was the very first agency to open up in the U.S. back in 1986, which means it's been offering au pair placement services longer than any other option on this list. With competitive pricing (program fees are about $10,000 and include standard training, transportation, and insurance services), you don't pay extra for Au Pair in America's long-standing expertise in the business.

The agency has had time to establish an extensive screening and training program, comprehensive matching services, and even partnerships with other organizations like AAA, Red Cross, and the American Institute for Foreign Study.

If you’re at all squeamish about the safety of hiring an au pair to care for your child, know that Au Pair in America has perfected the art of placing caregivers with families. Its experience can put your mind at ease.

Best Budget : Expert AuPair


Expert AuPair

Expert AuPair

Key Specs
  • Program fees: About $8,400 per year
  • Families served: More than 1,500 au pair placements since 2006
  • Service areas: Based in Florida, with 37 other states available
Why We Chose It

Unlike many other agencies, Expert AuPair doesn’t charge an application or match fee, making it a more affordable option (although it should be noted that you are primarily in charge of searching its database for potential au pair matches).

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • No application or match fees

  • Personalized care and attention

Cons
  • Service areas are somewhat limited

Overview

If you’re looking to spend the least amount of money on agency program fees while also receiving quality services, Expert AuPair might be the best fit for you. Its program fees are about $8,400, which includes a background check, psychometric screening, visa application, airfare, childcare training, and local support—but you won't pay an application or match fee.

The company is based in Florida but serves families in 37 other states as well. As long as there's a local representative stationed within a one-hour drive from your home, Expert AuPair can provide services to you.

Although its smaller reach as a business could be a downside if you’re not located in one of the service areas, this can also be a big benefit: A smaller agency often means staff members have the time to get to know you and communicate with you individually.

Best Customer Service : Au Pair International


Au Pair International

Au Pair International

Key Specs
  • Program fees: About $9,190 per year
  • Families served: About 15 families per area director at one time
  • Service areas: Most major cities across the United States
Why We Chose It

Au Pair International understands the importance of host families feeling like they have a personal relationship with their local representative. Most of its area directors only serve about 15 families at one time, which means they can really get to know both au pairs and host families.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • High ratio of support staff to families

  • Comparable cost overall to other agencies

  • Multi-level screening process

Cons
  • Program fees do not include au pair's weekly stipend or international travel or car insurance

Overview


Au Pair International prides itself on being family-oriented and having a high ratio of support staff to families.

All au pair agencies are required by federal regulations to provide host families with a local representative who lives no more than one hour from their home. This is to ensure that local support staff can be present in the event of an emergency and that someone can provide in-person, face-to-face support as the host family and au pair get to know one another, sort out scheduling, and work through any challenges.

In terms of cost, Au Pair International charges roughly $9,190 in program fees (not including the mandatory weekly stipend paid to your au pair). That fee also doesn’t include international travel or car insurance, so by the time you fill in the gaps, the price is comparable to other agencies.

Best for Support : Agent Au Pair


Agent Au Pair

Agent Au Pair

Key Specs
  • Program fees: About $9,625 per year
  • Families served: Undisclosed
  • Service areas: Based in New Haven, Connecticut, with placements available in 31 states.
Why We Chose It

Every family has different needs in an au pair, so Agent Au Pair offers several different program options to help customize your experience.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Multiple program options

  • Unique and customized arrangements

Cons
  • Training of au pairs varies based on the program

Overview

If you’re looking for an au pair arrangement that’s somewhat different from the norm, or customized to your individual needs, you might want to consider Agent Au Pair. The agency offers several different program options, including one featuring more experienced caregivers and a TutorCare model geared toward families of school-aged children that primarily need early morning and after-school care.

What’s more, you don’t have to worry about sacrificing the quality of service as you search for an au pair to fit your individual needs. Agent Au Pair fulfills the expectations of a reliable agency: It provides extensive screening and matching services, state-based resources, and local support staff to assist you.

Agent Au Pair also emphasizes educational opportunities for its au pairs and is competitively priced at about $9,625 for its program fees (plus the weekly au pair stipend).

Best Searchable Database : Go Au Pair


Go Au Pair

Go Au Pair

Key Specs
  • Program fees: About $9,595 per year
  • Families served: Tens of thousands since 1989
  • Service areas: 55 cities across 25 states
Why We Chose It

For host families wanting to choose their own au pair—rather than being matched with one via the agency—Go Au Pair has the most user-friendly database around.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Easy-to-navigate database with search filters to help you find a good fit

  • Serving families for decades

Cons
  • Less guidance in your selection process

Overview

Go Au Pair is also a well established agency that has also been serving families since 1989. When you're searching for an au pair, you can sort through the agency's pool of candidates, searching and filtering by everything from childcare and driving experience to specific personality traits.

For example, if you’re looking for an au pair who has more than 500 hours of experience caring for infants between the ages of three and six months, you can search by those metrics in the Go Au Pair database.

On the other hand, if personality is more important to you, you can view photo and video collages of many au pairs, read "Dear Host Family” letters, and see how they describe their own character traits, likes, dislikes, and talents.

Chances are, you’ll get a very clear idea of who you’re hiring and bringing into your home when you work with Go Au Pair. And, with program fees coming in at about $9,595, you can do it somewhat affordably.

Best for Special Needs Families : PROaupair


PROaupair

PROaupair

Key Specs
  • Program fees: Not listed
  • Families served: Undisclosed
  • Service areas: Australia and the United States
Why We Chose It

PROaupair has a network of candidates with experience caring for children with autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, neurological disorders, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Down syndrome, diabetes, and more.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Au pairs have experience caring for children with specials needs

  • Au pairs have degrees or professional experience in a childcare-related field

  • Ability to care for additional children in home

  • Pay-as-you-go payment option

Cons
  • Higher au pair hourly rate

  • Need to inquire directly with PROaupair to get program fees

Overview

Working with PROaupair means you’ll be hiring a professional with plenty of experience caring for children with physical and behavioral health needs.

PROaupair caregivers have training and experience in physical and occupational therapy, pediatric nursing, medication administration, feeding tube care, and developmental milestones. Since many families of special needs children also have typically developing children in the home, au pairs from PROaupair are more than comfortable managing the everyday needs of all children in the family.

Overall program fees are not published on the website, but PROaupair does indicate its average rate for an au pair is about $20 per hour. That’s significantly higher than the standard au pair hourly rate, but remember that you’re receiving specialized care often not found when you work with other agencies. You can inquire directly with PROaupair for more pricing information.

Best International : EurAuPair


EurAuPair

EurAuPair

Key Specs
  • Program fees: About $9,560 per year
  • Families served: Tens of thousands
  • Service areas: New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and more
Why We Chose It

As an agency with origins in Europe that eventually expanded to the U.S., EurAuPair maintains partner offices in nearly 30 other countries, including China, Canada, France, and Italy. This means it has quite the international reach.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Provides au pairs from across the globe

  • Option to be involved in the matching process and interviewing au pairs

Cons
  • Only available in major cities

Overview

For families who would like to choose an au pair from a variety of countries, it might be worth establishing a relationship with EurAuPair. You can be as personally involved with the match process as you want, from selecting and interviewing your own au pairs to asking the agency for help finding a good fit for your family.

EurAuPair also takes a leadership role in assessing the compatibility of the host family and their au pair; if, after 60 days of placement in the home, a match between a host family and au pair is not succeeding, a EurAuPair community counselor will work with the family to find a replacement as soon as possible.

EurAuPair includes the standard features within its pricing packages, from interviewing and training to visa applications and medical, travel, and liability insurance. The agency offers discounts for repeat and military families, as well as new host referrals. The annual program fee is $9,560.

Best Matching Process : Au Pair 4 Me


Au Pair 4 Me

Au Pair 4 Me

Key Specs
  • Program fees: About $9,400 per year
  • Families served: Undisclosed
  • Service areas: Undisclosed
Why We Chose It

The service gives you full access to its database of au pairs, plus offers individualized insight from a placement representative trained in matching au pairs to families.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Extensive database of au pairs

  • 72-hour exclusive access for au pairs during interview process

Cons
  • Exclusive access limited to three au pair candidates

Overview

If you’re intimidated by the process of finding the right au pair for your family, Au Pair 4 Me has a three-pronged approach to help guide you to your best match: You can browse its database yourself, get assistance from a placement representative, and “reserve” up to three au pairs at a time for a 72-hour exclusive access period.

That means you can interview your top three choices without worrying about another family snapping up one of the candidates. Not competing with other families or rushing through the interview process makes matching with an au pair much less stressful.

Au Pair 4 Me ballparks the annual cost of hiring an au pair through its agency at about $19,579 (with almost $9,400 going toward program fees that cover recruitment, screening, orientation, health insurance, and international airfare for your au pair).

Best Resources : Cultural Care Au Pair


Cultural Care Au Pair

Cultural Care Au Pair

Key Specs
  • Program fees: About $10,595 per year
  • Families served: Over 145,000 au pair placements since 1989
  • Service areas: Undisclosed
Why We Chose It

Cultural Care Au Pair boasts a variety of support staff, from matching specialists and account managers to local childcare consultants, ensuring that there’s always someone on staff to help you with your unique needs.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Large pool of candidates

  • Specialized training for au pairs

  • Range of support staff

Cons
  • It may take awhile to go through your options

Overview

Cultural Care Au Pair has been in the business for more than 30 years, using that time to expand its pool of au pair candidates into one of the largest in the U.S. The agency also personally selects, screens, and matches au pairs by hand, and provides specialized training to each one. (That training includes household safety, CPR and first aid, and U.S. driving laws.)

The agency runs like a well-oiled machine, making the process of hiring an au pair as smooth as possible for families.

Cultural Care Au Pair charges approximately a $75 registration fee, a $450 processing fee, $10,595 in program fees, and $9,983 in stipend payments, bringing the grand total to somewhere around $21,103. This is competitive with other agencies similar in scope and covers most of the typical expenses associated with hosting an au pair.

Final Verdict

Au pair agencies vary in quality, experience, price, and more. While each agency on this list has its own strengths and weaknesses, Au Pair in America comes out on top as the best overall. Au Pair in America's screening and training processes set it apart from others on the list. Decades of experience providing exceptional service have led many families to trust this agency.

Compare the Best Au Pair Agencies

  Program fees (per year) Families served Service area
Best Overall Au Pair in America About $10,000 110,000 au pair placements since 1986 36 U.S. states
Best Budget Expert AuPair About $8,400 More than 1,500 au pair placements since 2006 Based in Florida, with 37 other states available
Best Customer Service Au Pair International About $9,190 About 15 families per area director at one time Most major cities across the United States
Best for Support Agent Au Pair About $9,625 Undisclosed Based in New Haven, Connecticut, with placements available in 31 states
Best Searchable Database Go Au Pair About $9,595 Tens of thousands since 1989 55 cities across 25 states
Best for Special Needs Families PROaupair Not listed Undisclosed Australia and the United States
Best International EurAuPair About $9,650 Tens of thousands New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and more
Best Matching Process Au Pair 4 Me About $9,400 Undisclosed Undisclosed
Best Resources Cultural Care Au Pair About $10,595 Over 145,000 au pair placements since 1989 Undisclosed

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is an Au Pair Agency?

An au pair agency is an organization that helps match host families with foreign au pairs and handles many of the logistics that are part of the process. Au pair agencies screen au pairs, provide orientation and training, obtain visas and insurance coverage, and handle any rematching or replacement services.

How Do I Know If I Should Be Working With an Au Pair Agency?

If you want to hire an au pair in the U.S., you need to work with an agency. It’s actually illegal to pay for an au pair’s services here without having gone through an approved J-1 visa agency, according to the U.S. Department of State.

What Requirements Do I Need to Work With an Au Pair Agency?

To work with an au pair agency, the Department of State (DOS) requires host families to be U.S. citizens or permanent legal residents and fluent in spoken English. You must provide a private bedroom for the au pair and have sufficient financial capabilities to pay for agency fees and the weekly stipend. There may be in-home interviews and background checks; and you must comply with all DOS regulations.

How Do I Know If an Au Pair Agency Is Reliable?

To make sure an au pair agency is reliable, ensure the agency is monitored by the DOS and appears on its list of sponsor organizations. This ensures that an agency is meeting, at least, the bare minimum federal regulations. Beyond that, do research online, contact the agency and ask questions, or consider consulting with an outside service like AuPair Clearinghouse.

How Much Does It Cost to Work With an Au Pair Agency?

Costs vary, but to work with an au pair agency, it generally costs about $18,000 to $20,000 for a year of services. That includes agency program and application fees, international travel and insurance costs, an education stipend, and a mandatory weekly stipend for your au pair.

Methodology

The primary element we used to decide which au pair agencies to include was approval from the U.S. Department of State (DOS). The DOS has implemented regulations for au pair agencies that ensure foreign participants are carefully selected, screened, and trained before being placed with host families. Once the DOS has confirmed an agency is meeting the federal regulations, the agency receives a J-1 visa designation for exchange visitors, which signifies it’s being supervised by the government.

All of the agencies included here appear on the DOS website as a designated sponsor organization. From there, we selected the top picks based on how widely available their services are in the U.S., how unique their business models are, and their relative costs and associated fees.

Au Pair

PhotoAlto / Eric Audras / Getty Images

Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of State. CFR § 62.31 - Au pairs.

By Sarah Bradley
Sarah Bradley is a freelance health and parenting writer who has been published in Parents, the Washington Post, and more.