Au pairs live with and work for a host family, providing the cheapest alternative to full-time childcare in the US, in exchange for room and board, pocket money and an "opportunity of a lifetime".
15 au pair sponsor organisations are being sued (by au pairs represented by the Denver based NGO Towards Justice) for fraud, collusion and failing to pay minimum wage - according to the Fair Labor Standards Act au pairs are underpaid by around $7000 a year.
Traveling to the US, learning a language and exploring a new culture can be enriching in many ways - but who is responsible when something goes wrong? Who is responsible to help when help is needed?
Is it a fair trade-off, or an easy avenue for exploitation?