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Dear host family,

One very important step to a successful year with your au pair is communicating
clear expectations from the moment she arrives. This Household Handbook is
designed to be a helpful template for you to use to compile a comprehensive list of
rules and information so your au pair understands your familys needs and how
your household operates best.

We strongly recommend you to take time to complete your Household Handbook

before your au pair arrives and to review it with her during the first three days of
her stay. You can also update it when necessary throughout the year and as you
prepare to become a repeat family.

You may find samples of other host families Household Handbooks through your
online account. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email


1. Home address:

2. Home phone number:

3. Cell phone numbers:

4. Host parent work phone numbers:

5. Local childcare coordinator (LCC) name and phone number:


1. Activities that our children enjoy, and we encourage, include:

(Suggestions: reading, watching movies, arts and crafts, outside play, visiting friends)

2. Our children are allowed to play at the homes of these families:

3. We encourage good behavior in our children by rewarding them with:

(Suggestions: encouraging words, extra time to play outside, a gold star family chart)

4. When our children misbehave, you may discipline them by:

(Suggestions: time-out, no TV, no computer)

5. When our children are upset, this is what works best to calm them down:
(Suggestions: reading a book, putting them down for a nap, taking a walk)

6. Our children enjoy eating the following snacks and meals:

7. Additional information about the children:

(Temperament, sleep schedules, etc.)


1. Fire extinguisher location:

2. Fire evacuation plan:

(Should include all exit options, if and where a fire ladder exists, family meeting place
outside the home)
3. In the case of a medical emergency, you should call 911 and then:
(Suggestions: call host parents, call local neighbor, etc.)

4. Childrens allergies:
(List allergies for each child and what to do if an allergic reaction occurs)

5. Home entry policy:

(Who is allowed in the house when the family is not home, when to answer the door)

6. Additional safety information:


1. In general, your work days and hours will include:

(Days of the week and estimated timeframe. Up to 10 hours a day and 45 hours per

2. The chart below represents the childrens weekly schedule:

(Include school start times, nap times, camp schedules, etc.)







3. Au pair sick day policy:
(What should your au pair do if she is sick and feels she cannot work)

4. Additional information regarding your work schedule:


1. Your household chores:

Responsibilities Frequency

Make your own bed

Make child(rens) bed(s)

Children's laundry

Vacuuming kids' rooms/areas

Make kids' lunches and meals

Pick up after child(ren)

Food shop for kids' meals

Clean your bathroom

2. Areas to pay particular attention to:

(Kids bedrooms, laundry, etc.)

3. Special instructions for household appliances:

Appliance Special Instructions




Can opener

Blender/food processor



Garbage disposal

Vacuum cleaner

Baby monitor






DVD player



Cell phone/pager


Answering machine

Stereo/CD player

Garage door opener

Security system/dog fence

4. Additional information regarding your household responsibilities:


1. You can expect to be paid on:

(Please choose a day of the week to pay your au pair. The weekly stipend is a program
requirement, and we suggest setting one firm day and sticking to it to avoid confusion)

2. Upcoming family vacations:

(Will the au pair be invited? What responsibilities will he/she have?)

3. Good (suggested or preferred ) times for you to take vacation:

4. Additional information regarding your pay and vacation schedule:


1. Automobile insurance information:

(Include: name of company, toll free number)

2. Your on- and off-duty car usage:

(Include: if or when the au pair can use the car, any rules that apply)

3. Additional information regarding our car policy:

1. To school(s):

2. To pediatrician:

3. To grocery store:

4. To playground:

5. To after-school activities:

6. To hospital:

7. To home from road/highway (for emergency):

8. To bus/train:

9. To post office:

10. Additional helpful directions:


It is important that both your family and your au pair feel comfortable in your home.
We know how difficult the first few weeks can be while you all adjust to and learn
about one another. These questions are meant to help you address the best ways to
communicate together on both large and small issues.

1. We prefer you bring up concerns and issues by:

(Letting us know right away, behind closed doors and not in front of the children, as a
family, etc.)

2. If you have a concern you have a hard time voicing, we suggest:

(Writing a note, sitting down in a comfortable setting and talking, contacting the LCC)

3. Additional information about family communication:


1. General curfew information:

(Is there a curfew? Weeknights vs. weekends? What time?)

2. House rules on going out at night and dating:

3. Additional information regarding the curfew & house rules:


1. Can the au pair smoke in the home? In the car?

2. Can the au pair smoke outside, in front of the children?

3. Can the au pair smoke in front of the children at all?

4. Please use the additional space provided below to include further pertinent
information regarding the rules on smoking:


1. House rules on hosting friends and family from out of town:

(Can they stay in the home? For how long? How many people at a time?)

2. House rules on visits from boyfriends/girlfriends:

(Can they stay in the home? If so, where will they stay in the home? For how long?)

3. House rules on overnight guests:

4. Additional information regarding the visitors and guests:


1. Home rules on long distance phone calls:

(Suggestions: using phone cards, reimbursing for cost, etc.)

2. General phone etiquette:

(Phone calls during dinner time, length of phone calls, etc)

3. Talking on the phone while caring for the children:

(Are phone calls allowed while at home with the kids, only during naps, etc?)

4. Au pair cell phone rules (if applicable):

(Number of minutes, only for emergencies, international dialing?)
5. Acceptable programs/channels for children or for you:

6. Unacceptable programs/channels for children or for you:

7. Additional information regarding the telephone and TV:


1. Rules for computer and internet:

(Suggestions: when is your au pair allowed to use the computer? How often?

2. When going online, things to consider include:

(Suggestions: does your internet connection disrupt your phone line?)

3. Are there any restricted websites, games or commands on your home computer?
(Suggestions: adult websites, violent games, downloading photos, etc.)

Au pairs are required by the U.S. Department of State to enroll in an accredited post-
secondary institution for not less than six academic credits or its equivalent. Host
families are required to pay the cost of this course, including texts/books up to, but not
more than $500.

1. Acceptable nearby colleges/universities to consider:

2. Options for transportation:

(Car? Bus? Train? Walk? Host family is required to facilitate transportation to and
from class.)

3. Things to consider when choosing classes:

(Host family work/school schedules, commuting time, etc)

4. Additional information regarding the Educational Component:


1. Opportunities to share your culture with the family:

(Suggestions: making a traditional dinner, sharing photos, listening to music,
celebrating holidays)

2. Additional information regarding Cultural Exchange: