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

Program parameters

Cultural Care and the U.S. Department of State set forth program parameters that families need to be aware of:

  • Au pair can work a maximum of 45 hours per week
  • Au pair can work a maximum of 10 hours in any one day
  • Au pair must have 1.5 consecutive days off per week and one full weekend off per month
  • Au pair 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 the au pair can take 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 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 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. The most important thing is that the au pair feels welcome in your home and has a bedroom of her own.

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