Host family responsibilities


Your au pair has responsibilities and you, as a host family have some too.

In general (this varies from country to country) you should …

– have at least one child under the age of 18.
– be a family of at least one parent.
– be able to provide your au pair with her/his own separate bedroom and three meals a day.

Your au pair should be treated as a member of your  family and not as an employee or servant.

Your main responsibilities as a host family will be:

– provide a separate bedroom for your au pair.
– provide three meals a day.
– pay the specified amount of “pocket money” required by the host country’s regulations.
– include your au pair in most family activities at no cost to herself.
– make sure your au pair has appropriate health insurance and if required, accident and liability insurance.
– give your au pair adequate time off (at least two  days per week) and allow her free time to attend language classes.
– if required in your country, ensure that your au pair is legally registered.
– don’t ask your au pair to work more than 25 hours per week or more than 10 hours per day.  If you want your au pair to work extra hours, and she agrees, you should pay her extra money.
– discuss with your au pair (before she arrives) all house rules, her schedule, duties and responsibilities.
– make sure your au pair knows about any dietary or health requirements your children might have.
– make sure your au pair knows where you keep first aid supplies.
– explain to your au pair what she should do in case of an emergency or accident and make sure she knows how to call Emergency Services.

Don’t forget that au pairs are young people and they can make mistakes. Compliment them when they make do a good job – that can mean a lot for them.  Remember, if you treat your au pair well she’ll hopefully stay with you for a long time but if you don’t treat her as she expects she’s free to leave at any time.

What do you think about your responsibilities as a host family?

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4 thoughts on “Host family responsibilities

  1. These responsibilities are very important, because this way the au pairs are provided with a safe, comfortable home and positive cultural experience.

  2. One of the most important things is to consider your au pair part of your family. If you do that, everything goes like clockwork.

  3. I was an au pair in USA and unfortunately my host family treated me like an employee. I felt very bad and lonely.

  4. I’m so sorry for you Jess that you had such a bad experience. I was very lucky. My host family treated me very well, I felt like a big sister for their child. I’m still talking with them after 3 years.

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