Monthly Archives: March 2017

Helping Young Children Learn Language

Being an au pair is an important role in a child’s life. When you are caring for a young child up to 45 hours per week, there are lots of opportunities to help them learn language. Many host parents are eager for their children to be exposed to foreign language. If this is true of your host parents, you can try the suggestions below, in both English and your native language.

Below are a few tips to start with, for more ideas, check out Ready at Five.

  • Read – Read to them daily, point out pictures and ask questions. Even if they can’t answer the questions, this is still modeling conversation.
  • Talk – Point out objects around them, names of their body parts, explain what you are doing and places you are going. Long before babies can speak, they benefit greatly from being spoken to.
  • Sing – You can sing childhood classics or make up your own silly songs. If you are looking for song ideas, HERE is a great website with lists of songs, lyrics and links to YouTube videos* of the songs.  Children’s music is also available at the public library and even on iTunes.
  • Words – As children move from toddlers to preschoolers begin to point out written language.
  • Writing – Toddlers and preschoolers can begin to learn pre-writing skills by drawing with crayons or doing finger paints.

*The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for babies under 18 months of age. For children 18 months to 5 years they recommend no more than 1 hour of high quality content. You can play the songs on youtube for the audio and not necessarily show the screen to the child.

Photo: Quinn Dombrowski (Flickr)

Tax Information for Au Pairs

Tax Information for Au Pairs

Au Pair in America staff are not certified tax advisors, therefore we are not qualified to give you tax advice specific to your situation. We are providing you will the following information and resources to help you. Figuring out if you owe taxes and how to pay them may seem confusing, however, these resources will help make it easier!

The Basics

What Are Taxes? The U.S. government collects a portion of the money you earn in the U.S. This is a tax to support the nation’s services and facilities. In this document it is referred to as federal taxes. Many states collect a portion of the money you earn. This money is to support state or local municipality services and facilities. In this document it is referred to as state taxes.

IRS The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a government agency that is responsible for collecting taxes. This is a federal agency.  Depending on where your host family resided and how much you earned, you may be required to pay state taxes. These taxes would be paid to a tax collector in the state and not the IRS.

Why Do I Have to Pay? It is the law in the U.S. to file a federal tax form if you earned more than the personal exemption amount. For 2016, the personal exemption amount is $4,050. If you earned more than this amount in the calendar year 2016, then you will need to file a tax form and pay a tax on the amount over $4,050 that you earned. In some states it is the law to file a state tax form. Whether you owe state taxes may depend on how much you earned during the calendar year in the state and how much you paid in federal taxes.

Social Security Number You will need a Social Security number to file taxes. If you don’t already have one go to: for information on how to obtain one

1040NR-EZ Form 1040NR-EZ is a U.S. federal income tax form for non-residents. For most au pairs, this will be the correct form to use.  To access the form and instruction booklet go to:

Note: read the instructions carefully.

When Do I Have to Pay? You need to report what you earned in 2016 by April 18, 2017. If you have already returned home to your country, you are still required to file taxes if you earned more than $4,050 in 2016.

Resources to Help The IRS website has information regarding au pair and taxes. Go to

H&R Block Expat Tax Services will help au pairs, for a service fee, to prepare the federal tax form and any state tax forms that may be required. Go to for more information, including a Q&A specifically for au pairs. Au Pair in America is not affiliated with and is not responsible for the content on the H&R Block website.

Au Pair in America staff, including local community counselors, are not qualified to provide official federal or state tax information and recommends using the H&R Block Expat Tax Services or another tax professional.