The au pair program is a U.S. Department of State-regulated cultural exchange program that was designated in 1989. The Department of State sets forth guidelines that all program participants and au pair agencies are required to follow—guidelines that are designed to protect the interests of both host families and au pairs. It is Cultural Care Au Pair’s responsibility to enforce these rules to ensure a quality experience for you and your au pair.

Important requirements to remember

Guidelines that relate most to your experience as a host family mandate that you agree to:

  • Provide your au pair with a private bedroom, meals and a weekly stipend of $195.75 (calculated based on federal minimum wage; subject to change)
  • Limit your au pair’s working hours to 45 hours per week (no more than 10 hours in one day)
  • Limit your au pair’s household responsibilities to those related to care of the children (including meal preparation, laundry and room clean-up)
  • Grant your au pair 1.5 days off per week, at least 1 full weekend off each month and 2 weeks of paid vacation
  • Arrange for a parent or responsible adult to remain at home with your au pair for the first three days after her arrival
  • Ensure that another adult is home with your au pair at all times if you have an infant under the age of 3 months
  • Contribute up to $500 toward the cost of your au pair’s completion of their educational requirement
  • Facilitate transportation for your au pair to attend monthly meetings with her local childcare consultant (LCC) and classes


The government regulations Cultural Care Au Pair agrees to follow include:

  • Provide au pairs with a minimum of eight hours of training in child development and child safety (at least four of which deal with infant safety)
  • Provide au pairs with a minimum of 24 hours of child development instruction before being placed in your home (at least four of which must relate to children under two years of age)
  • Ensure that each host family be assigned to an LCC who lives within a one-hour drive
  • Require LCCs to conduct an orientation with each host family and au pair within 14 days of an au pair’s arrival
  • Require LCCs to maintain monthly personal contact with host families and host monthly meetings for their au pairs

To read the U.S. Department of State guidelines in full, please visit their website.