Au Pair Rules

10 Basic House Rules for the Au Pair

One of the most important orders of business when your au pair comes to stay with you is going over the house rules. This way everyone is clear on what she may or may not do.

  1. Your au pair needs to know what her duties are with the children. She will need some general guidance on how to play, discipline, and take care of their needs.
  2. The working hours and a general household schedule need to be explained. She needs to know when she is not on duty so she can plan for her free time.
  3. Typically au pairs have a few household chores in addition to helping with the children. Make sure she knows what she is expected to do, like cleaning up messes or helping to clean up after meals.
  4. If your au pair is a smoker, you need to explain the rules about whether she can smoke in her room or while with the children. You also need to go over the laws about alcohol because they may be different than the laws in her country.
  5. Your au pair will have rules even in her free time. She needs to know if she is allowed to have overnight guests and if she is allowed visitors when working with the children or just during her free time. Also let her know if she has a curfew.
  6. While you are discussing the rules, take your au pair around the house and show her how to operate all the appliances. Make sure she understands the safety rules concerning the appliances, too.
  7. Make sure you explain 911 and all the safety rules for caring for the children. Point out any childproof latches on doors or drawers. Show her where the first aid kit is kept and encourage her to take a first aid class. Also, tell her what to do in case of fire or severe storms.
  8. There needs to be rules about the telephone. If she wants to call long distance, you will have to tell her if you will allow that or not. Explain anything about the phone she does not know, like how to operate the answering machine.
  9. If she is going to be allowed to drive the car, you need to tell her what the limits are on where and when she may drive. Make sure she knows the laws about driving and what to do in an emergency.
  10. Your au pair needs to know if she is allowed access to the computer and the television. If so, she needs to know how often and when she is allowed to be on the computer or watch television. Also explain what websites, stations, or shows are banned when the children are in the room.

There may be additional rules for your particular household, since people have different lifestyles and needs. It is important to keep the lines of communication open so your au pair will be comfortable discussing any issues with you.