IAPA Highlights Concerns with Proposed US Au Pair Program Regulations in Comment Letter to the US Department of State

IAPA Highlights Concerns with Proposed US Au Pair Program Regulations in Comment Letter to the US Department of State

Background & Overview

Published on October 30, 2023, the anticipated regulations aimed to enhance clarity and improve the US au pair program, but instead have caused confusion and are seen as harmful to the program and could have serious negative effects on all parties involved. IAPA had informed its members and asked them to write their comments and concerns to the Department of State during the comment period that ended 28th of January 2024.


Some Expected Negative Effects of the Proposed Changes:

–    Shift from a cultural exchange to a labor program.

–    Reduction in participation of host families and au pairs.

–    Increased complexity in administration and oversight.

–    Undermining and devaluing the important role of International Cooperators


Complicated Compensation System and Added Burdens for Au Pairs

The proposed compensation structure increases the au pair pay to $8.00 to $18.00 per hour in four tiers depending on the host family location. While pay increases, the deduction available to the host family remains at 2008 levels jeopardizing the financial feasibility for families. This could result in a decrease in demand and fewer au pair placements.
The new requirements also include the need for a private bathroom, extensive vaccinations beyond the standard requirements, and a requirement that au pairs already hold a driver’s license for one year if they will be driving.

Rematch Policies Disadvantage Au Pairs

Rematch policies that prevent au pairs from changing host families after a certain period of time or force them to stay with the same family for the duration of their extension pose a potential safety risk.

Increased Administrative Burdens

The proposal increases the administrative burden of all parties:
Complicated formalized agreements must include a schedule, list of approved duties and numerous required disclosures.
Any changes during the year requires a revised agreement approved by all parties.
Families must also document timesheets and submit these to sponsors.

These are just a few of the negative effects we see coming from the proposal and we call out to the Department of State to revise the proposal and suggest an approach that includes the sponsors and stakeholders.

IAPA has also written a comment letter to the Department of State along with many sponsors, au pair agencies worldwide, thousands of host families, politicians and other stakeholders.

You can read the full IAPA Comment letter here: