Family qualifications

While our host families come from very diverse backgrounds, there are some basic requirements laid out by the U.S. Department of State and Cultural Care Au Pair in order to host an au pair.

Program requirements

To become a Cultural Care host family, you must be:

  • Committed to cultural exchange and willing to welcome a young person from abroad into your home as a family member
  • U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
  • Fluent in spoken English
  • The parent(s) or guardian(s) of children requiring up to 45 hours per week of childcare
  • Able to provide a private bedroom
  • Willing to participate in orientation meetings and attend host family conferences
  • Willing to have all adults living in the home complete a criminal background check prior to welcoming an au pair to your home

Areas we service:

Cultural Care Au Pair helps families in many communities across the U.S. secure au pair childcare. While our corporate headquarters are in Cambridge, MA, we have full-time staff based across the U.S. and the largest network of local childcare consultants in the industry who support host families on a local level — one of whom likely lives in your neighborhood!

The states colored in blue below indicate areas in which we currently service families. Please call us or request more information to confirm that we service your area and to find out how to contact your own local childcare consultant.

Program parameters

Cultural Care and the U.S. Department of State set forth program parameters that families must agree to follow:

  • Au pairs can work a maximum of 45 hours per week
  • Au pairs can work a maximum of 10 hours in any one day
  • Au pairs must have 1.5 consecutive days off per week and one full weekend off per month
  • Au pairs can help with household tasks related to the children such as tidying the children’s rooms, doing their laundry and shopping for their groceries but may not be asked to do heavy housekeeping or tasks unrelated to the children
  • Families provide up to $500 per year towards classes their au pair takes at a local accredited institution; families must also facilitate transportation
  • Au pairs must attend monthly meetings with their local childcare consultant; families ensure that the au pair has transportation and the time off to attend these meetings

Au pair bedroom

Many families have questions regarding the live-in element of the program and wonder if their home is suitable. Not to worry! An au pair must have her own private bedroom in the home so that she has her own space in which to relax at the end of the day. She must also have clothing storage such as a dresser and/or closet. The room does not need to be in an entirely separate area of the home or have its own private bathroom. (In fact, most of our au pairs share a bathroom with the children.) Most importantly, your au pair should feel welcome in your home and have a comfortable bedroom of her own.

Learn more about what being a host family is really like.