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Au Pair & Nanny Differences

The primary differences between a nanny and an au pair are as follows:

An au pair is typically between the ages of 18-26 with basic childcare experience, coming to stay with a family for a cultural exchange/childcare work experience for one year. Au pairs typically don't make a career out of childcare work as nannies do.

Many families and au pairs participate in government authorized au pair exchange programs where there are defined rules and requirements. See Family Requirements or Au Pair Requirements for more information. The relationship between a nanny and family is that of employer and employee, not governed by an exchange program, rather, governed by contractual law.

Nannies may be older and more mature than some au pairs, with several years of live-in childcare experience. Nannies are not necessarily seeking a cultural exchange, rather, it is the long-term career-building experience in child care they are seeking.

For detailed information on how much to pay your aupair or nanny, please see Au Pair & Nanny Salary

The pay for International au pairs working in the U.S. ranges from $195.75 per week up to $250 per week. Domestic nanny salaries may be higher: $300 up to $800 per week depending on your location, the candidates' experience and additional responsibilities: cooking, cleaning, household management, etc. It is not required to pay employee taxes for your International au pair, where it is required that employment taxes be paid for a nanny.

Foreign au pairs may be eligible for a specific au pair visa for one year that is allowed by the US Secretary of State according to the International AuPair program. Nannies outside of the age range of 18-26 do not qualify for au pair programs, but may qualify as a nanny, regardless of age. For more information on age restrictions, click here: Au Pair and Nanny Age Requirements

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