The U.S. Department of State requires that all au pairs must complete 6 credits (or its equivalent if it is a non-credit course) at an accredited post-secondary institution over the course of their year in the U.S. Host families are responsible for contributing up to $500 of this cost. Host families are also responsible for facilitating enrollment, providing reasonable time off and transportation so that their au pair can attend these courses.
While au pairs are excited to enroll in classes because of their exposure to the American education system and to other young people, they often find the credit system, course selections, and enrollment process confusing and expensive. Families should talk to their local representative, who will help them in researching the au pair's options in the community and assists the au pair in selecting and enrolling in classes that meet this requirement. I recommend that you begin this discussion with your representative and au pair soon after the au pair arrives.
If the au pair wants to stay a 2nd year, they will have to fulfill all of the educational requirements the 1st year to be allowed to renew their Visa.
At this time au pairs are NOT allowed to take:
Online or distance learning courses (including hybrid courses)
Study tours such as Trek America
Since I've been doing this for 6 years, I've seen lots of changes with the au pair education options, and I'm sure we will continue to see more. Check with your local representative to see what type of classes are available in your area.