November 25, 2018
What Do You Need to be a Host Family?
We lay out everything you need to know.

Hosting an au pair is a privilege—not only because it provides your family with top notch childcare and an enriching cultural exchange experience, but because we are selective with our host families! We choose families that we’re proud to have represent our program—and that possess the qualities we feel embody our mission.

Aside from embracing the “spirit of the program” as we call it—which essentially means being open-minded, patient, inclusive and excited about cultural exchange—we also have a series of program requirements that families must meet to be eligible for hosting an au pair …

All participating host families must be:

  • Committed to cultural exchange and willing to welcome a young person from abroad into their home as a family member
  • Both parents must be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents
  • The parent(s) or guardian(s) of children requiring up to 45 hours per week of childcare
  • Able to provide a private bedroom
  • Available to attend orientation meetings and family conferences
  • Available to attend one of the 2 host family day conferences the local childcare consultant will offer during the program year
  • Willing to abide by the guidelines set forth by Cultural Care Au Pair and the U.S. Department of State
  • Willing to have all adults living in the home complete a criminal background check prior to welcoming an au pair to your home

What does Cultural Care Au Pair expect from the host family?

  • To be open and to share themselves and their culture with their au pair
  • To be adaptable, allowing their au pair to make mistakes and grow
  • To treat the au pair like a family member and an adult
  • To set reasonable household rules and chores for their au pair
  • To hold weekly “touch base” meetings with the au pair
  • To spend time to get to know the au pair
  • To let their au pair know when they are happy or unhappy with something
  • To talk with their LCC about any problems that cannot be resolved with their au pair
  • To attend orientation meetings and at least one family day conference per au pair term
  • To limit the number of hours the au pair works to 45 per week
  • To abide by all Cultural Care program and U.S. Department of State regulations

These requirements ensure that our families and au pairs have happy, safe and successful years together—and that we can continue to provide exemplary service to all participants.

What truly makes a good host family? The willingness to go above and beyond to make your au pair feel like a member of the family. When you welcome an au pair into your home and your heart, you open yourself and your children up to lifelong relationships that can shape how you see the world. You are able to form bonds that span long distances and long periods of time—and most of all, find common ground with someone from another country and culture.

More From Advice for Host Families
August 8, 2019
What to Know Before You Welcome an Au Pair
Denaye Barahona is a Cultural Care host mom and the voice behind Simple Families.
July 24, 2019
How much room does an au pair need?
The Dos and Don'ts of au pair living
August 24, 2018
Q&A with a Matching Specialist: How to Find an Au Pair
Learn the 5 best practices for families in matching.