The short answer is yes, but it is important to keep a few things in mind. While the regulations do not expressly prohibit overnight hours, it is vitally important that these hours are counted properly. Any on-duty time must be considered working hours, regardless of whether the children are asleep. If, for example, the au pair is expected to get up and tend to an infant during a specific window of time during the evening, all of those hours are considered working time even if the child remains sleeping the whole time. In a 24-hour period, an au pair cannot work for more than 10 hours. So, for example – if an au pair is scheduled from 8pm – 6am starting on a Monday night and ending on a Tuesday morning, they cannot work again on Tuesday until 8pm.
In our experience, we have found that long term use of the program in this way affects the quality of life for an au pair and impacts a host family’s ability to be successful on the program. If this is a regular schedule, an au pair might not have a good chance to spend time with friends or take classes in the evenings etc. so it will be important to consider how often this occurs and if a cultural exchange program is the right long term fit for a family with this kind of schedule.
If your family needs overnight care, you will need to be crystal clear about your schedule, and your au pair must understand it is non-traditional. Like any situation, an au pair may agree to the schedule during the matching process, but once they get into it, they may discover it is too difficult. Families should be ready to provide extra support to au pairs who may be in this situation.
If you have overnight needs, we ask that you speak with one of our matching specialist about your particular needs and schedule to determine if this program is the right fit for your family.