Au Pair in America — The Definitive Intercultural Childcare Experience

Au Pair in America, an organization of the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS), was the first legal au pair program to be designated by the US Department of State in 1986. AIFS has been the leader in cultural exchange and educational programs since 1964, and has created opportunities for more than 1.5 million students. Under the direction of founder Sir Cyril Taylor, AIFS has had an exceptional record of leadership and innovation in the international education community over the past fifty years.

Since the program launch, Au Pair in America has set a very high standard of management of the program.

Our vision is 'We bring the world together ®' and our mission is 'To provide the highest quality educational and cultural exchange programs to enrich the lives of young people throughout the world'.

Now, 30 years later, Au Pair in America has sent an estimated 90,000 young people from more than 60 countries in Europe, South Africa, the Americas, Australasia, the Middle East and Asia, into communities in 40 states throughout the USA. We are a truly global organization, striving to create the best cultural exchange experience for our au pairs and our host families.


The Beginning

During the 1980s the need for live-in childcare of a high standard increased as more and more women started to join the work force.

At the same time, a broader sense of global awareness was growing and young people worldwide were eager and inspired to travel to the USA to experience American culture.

A distinct cultural exchange program

Adapting to the developing climate, we put forward a new cultural exchange program to the U.S department of State. The program focused on childcare and aimed to bring young people to the USA as part of a cultural and educational program that allowed them to live with American families as childcare providers. The program included a three-day training program on arrival in the USA and the supervision of a local community counselor during the years stay.

Au Pair in America was born

It was February 1986 when the Department of State granted us a "test program" allowing us to bring the first 200 au pairs over from Western Europe that summer. The au pair program was a great success and was widely publicised, it featured on Good Morning America and in The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Continued Success

We worked closely with the Department of State from then on, continually developing the program worldwide, ensuring families had a variety of choice to match their individual lifestyles. Today we have au pairs from over 60 countries; now with the option to stay a second year with their families. We also created two specialized programs eduCare in America and Au Pair Extraordinaire, offering families and au pairs further options.

Au Pair in America becomes a permanent program

In 1994 President Clinton decided to make the au pair program permanent. Our track record was very strong and therefore proved instrumental in congress.

Setting the Standard. Raising the bar

The program has continued to strengthen and develop since that time. We are proud to say our organization has pioneered such initiatives as offering a Red Cross safety program and a customized AAA driving course. The organization has adapted and enhanced with experience yet the cornerstones of the original program continue to this day. Those original features that set us apart included a comprehensive au pair selection and screening process, local, expert support services for families and au pairs to rely on and an array of cultural and educational activities for everyone.

Every year since 1986 we've been providing the best childcare opportunities to over 4000 au pairs from all over the world!

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