Au Pair House Rules

Dear Au Pair,

Welcome to [California or fill in your location] and the _____ Family! As a member of the _____ Family, following are some house rules to ensure we all have a happy & successful year living together. We are excited to have you as a member of our family and will work to have open communication so we all have a successful year together!

Au Pair and ToddlerHousehold Duties (shared by the family)

  • Take turns to prepare family meals (when eating with family)
  • Take turns to set/clear the table/bar for meals (when eating with family)
  • Take turns to fill and empty dishwasher
  • Take turns to empty trash/recycle/composting. Make sure to rinse items for recycling. Paper, plastic and metal can all be recycled. Food waste and soiled paper can be composted. You’ll get a list to help you out.
  • Clean up after yourself and children, especially in kitchen and bathrooms. (Wipe counters, clean food from the floor, clean hair from the bathroom daily, keep bathroom counter dry.)
  • Keep living areas tidy.
  • Help with the children’s laundry, including cloth diapers (if still using diapers when you arrive).


  • Please keep your room clean
  • No candles
  • Let us know what additional items you need to make your room more comfortable
  • We will be respectful of your private bedroom space and ask that you be respectful of our private bedroom space.


  • Please keep the bathroom neat. While it is primarily yours to use, the children may use the toilet, and guests will need to use it when visiting.
  • Let us know when you run out of shampoo/soap etc.


  • You have your own set of towels and sheets. We are happy to share laundry all together, or you can do your laundry during your days off.

House Cleaning

  • We keep the house neat and expect the house to be clean and all the children’s toys put away each day before you are off duty. We expect the children to help you straighten up their toys. A cleaning person comes to clean the house every other week.

When Leaving House

  • Lock front/back doors
  • Turn off lights


  • Always ask permission and introduce us before inviting a friend or other au pair to our home.
  • No guests during working hours unless it has been approved.
  • No guests when we are out of town unless it has been approved.
  • No sleep-overs permitted.


  • We expect you to be alert and ready for work each day and to have had a good night’s sleep. This means returning home at least 8 hours before your shift starts, but preferably earlier.
  • For non-work nights, we ask that you be considerate about what time you return and keep us informed if you plan to stay out all night or super late so we don’t worry about you.


  • To help us stay in touch as a family, we have purchased a SIM card for your cell phone. We will need the ID of your phone in advance; it will need to be unlocked by your mobile phone company. You have [unlimited calls to other cell phones, unlimited texting to USA phone numbers and unlimited weekend calls to landlines.] Please watch your daytime calls to landlines.
  • Memorize my home and cell phone number (cell phone batteries can run out, and we have poor cell reception at home).
  • Please limit cell phone use during working hours for planning play dates or contact with us. No personal calls or texts during work hours.
  • Cell phone and home phone are for calls and texts within the US only.
  • For international calls, use Skype or other internet calls. Please do not make any international calls or texts on your cell phone.
  • Please do not give our home address to anyone except family/friends in your home country for whom you wish to receive correspondence.
  • Please do not open the door to strangers at the door unless we have told you to expect the person.
  • Please meet new acquaintances in a public place (café, etc) the first few times, especially if online dating.

TV & Computer

  • As a family, we watch a little TV. We have subscriptions to Netflix and Hulu Plus, both of which are connected to the TV in your room through the roku box.
  • We do not want our children to watch TV or DVD’s during the week. Please do not watch TV while you are working during the day.
  • You are welcome to connect your computer to the household wifi. However, do not use the computer when working.
  • Do not post pictures of the children online, for instance to Facebook, without my permission.


  • To help you commute around town, we will provide you $35 towards your bus pass each month. It is your choice whether to use this as cash or to purchase a monthly unlimited pass.
  • You will not be driving the family car and have not been added to the insurance policy.
  • Please don’t get into someone else’s car with the children unless you have prior permission.

Energy/Water Conservation

  • California is having a very significant drought – so please be conscious about water conservation. (turning off water while washing dishes/brushing teeth, only doing full-loads of laundry, etc)


  • Please let us know what kind of food you would like to eat on a regular basis. That way, we can make sure to add it to any grocery list.
  • You are welcome to eat/drink anything in the house (except alcohol) and do not need to ask permission. If I am saving something for a special dinner, I will let you know in advance.
  • If we run out of something (milk, eggs, cheese, or other items) please write it down so I can be sure to get more. You might be asked to go to the grocery store periodically. Please keep receipts, and I will reimburse you, or if it’s pricey, I will give you cash in advance.


  • No smoking. No clothing that smells of smoke to be worn while on duty. (California bans smoking in bars and restaurants, so this should not be an issue.)
  • No shoes inside the house.
  • No food or drinks on the second floor except water.
  • Use a coaster to protect wood furniture when drinking.


  • We would like you to schedule at least one outdoor activity each day with the children when weather permits. This will be positive for you and the children. There are many beautiful walks, hikes, parks in the neighborhood.
  • There are many free activities in the area to do with young children, we encourage you to research these activities online and go do them (family reading at the library, farmers market …).
  • We have family membership at the {California Academy of Sciences and the Exploratorium}. You will have a card that you can use to take the children.


  • If you don’t understand something we said, always ask us to repeat or explain. I have a French-English dictionary that you may borrow.
  • If you have something important that you would like to discuss with me, it’s best to wait for a time when the children are asleep or quiet, so we can give the matter our full attention.
  • If you get frustrated with the children or stressed out – please ask for my help, I can help!
  • If you have a question on how to handle a situation with the children, I’m happy to help.
  • Always talk to me and communicate how you are feeling. If you are home sick, we can try to help you.


  • You have two weeks of vacation each year, which must be mutually agreed upon. We will coordinate our weeks so that I can obtain alternative help from family.


There are a number of au pair agencies to choose from. I am on my third au pair from Au Pair Care (

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