A man walking with children through a field of poppies

Myth Busting - Only Girls Can Be Au Pairs

By Gap 360

The majority of au pairs are female, but why let the girls rule the au pair world? Boys can be au pairs too – they just have to apply!

If you like working with kids and would love to live the American dream for a year, it doesn’t matter if you are male or female, you can become an au pair! It is your personality and experience that is crucial – not your gender, so as long as you are fun, happy to teach and eager to learn, energetic and cool in a domestic crisis you will make a great au pair!

Everyone has a different journey that leads them to the Au Pair USA programme, not least the guys. Here’s how a few of our male au pairs have ticked the childcare experience box…

  • Jason started as an elf in Lapland and worked at PGL summer camp
  • Callum worked in a skate park, on a US summer camp and looked after his baby brother
  • Michael ran sport camps and events for foreign exchange students
  • Christopher worked in a pre-school and after school club
  • Sebastian was a classroom assistant and an English tutor
  • Andre is another skateboarder with lots of babysitting and youth group experience

Here’s what Callum has had to say about his experience so far…

I’m looking after two boys aged 13 and 16, each day is pretty much the same routine but there is always something different to talk about and help them with. It can be very energetic and quite a lot of fun. Being like a role model to them also keeps me in place and I am always looking for things to improve as I want to be a good role model. I enjoy working with kids and when I found out about the au pair programme I had to look into it more and see what it was all about. The next thing I knew, I was on a plane to New York to start something new that I wouldn’t usually have the chance to do!

To qualify for the J1 au pair visa boys require 500 hours of experience whereas girls only need 200 hours. Despite this unfair advantage, most applicants have far more experience than the minimum required amount anyway and host families look for this experience – your 500 hours will hold you in better stead than a female in the matching process with the minimum 200 hours!

There are certainly plenty of host families that want a male au pair, perhaps they have a son and want a good male role model or big brother figure around. Perhaps they have a family full of sons and think a guy will do a better job when it comes to wearing them out. It’s for each individual family to decide. All we can do is to keep putting guys forward as applicants and showing how great they would be at the job!

So come on boys, what are waiting for? America needs you!

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