Program rules and regulations

State Department Rules and Regulations any Au-Pair and Host Family should know:

  • The Cultural Care Au Pair main office is located at 1 Education Street in Cambridge, MA 02141
  • TAX ID number: 20-2020345
  • Program Director, Placement Manager and Account Services can be reached at 1-800-333-6056. Changes are always updated in your accounts under my contacts.
  • 24-hour EMERGENCY line is 1-800-333-6056. An on-call staff member will be able to help you.
  • Au pairs may not provide more than 45 hours per week and no more than 10 hours per day of childcare under any circumstances including situations in which Au-Pairs are left home alone overnight with the children.
  • The current weekly Au-Pair stipend is $195.75 per week. The calculation used to determine the Au-Pair stipend amount is a combination of the federal minimum wage as well as a room and board allowance.  The exact calculation used to determine the weekly stipend is as follows:Minimum wage amount x 45 hours – 40% (room and board allowance) = Au-Pairair stipend amountOn May 24th, 2007, Congress approved the first increase in the federal minimum wage in nearly a decade.  President Bush signed this bill on May 25th and this has a direct impact on the Au-Pair weekly stipend 60 calendar days post-presidential approval.As the changes to minimum wage impact the Au-Pair stipend incrementally, what follows is an overview of these changes and how they have already impacted and will impact the stipend over time:
  • Tuesday, July 24th, 2007: Increase to $ 157.97 per week
  • Thursday, July 24th, 2008: Increase to $176.85 per week
  • Friday, July 24th, 2009: Increase to $195.75 per week
  • “Does the family have to pay the Au-Pair the full weeks stipend if the Au-Pair only works a part of the week?”
    The answer is “YES”.
    Even if the Au-Pair works one day out of the full week, the family is obligated to pay the full weeks stipend. The Au-Pairs are obligated to work “up to” 45 hours per week.
  • Au pair responsibilities must relate solely to the care of the children and may not include heavy household chores. Light housekeeping is acceptable: children’s laundry, children’s sheets, children’s bedrooms and bathroom as well as the Au-Pairs room and bathroom, tidying up play area and clean toys, some grocery shopping, emptying dishwasher, prepare and clean up after meals, etc. However, an au pair can not and should not be doing the parents or anyone else’s laundry but the children’s. A good rule of thumb is to remind the au pair to leave the room in as good of shape as she found it or better.
  • It is the au pairs responsibility to keep her room clean and tidy and the host family is permitted to check the room with prior warning. It is not okay for families to store frequently used items in the extra closet in the au pairs room, but it is okay to keep seasonal or infrequently used things. Permission from au pair to enter the room is required.
  • Being part of a family is a matter of personality. Some au pairs and host families like to have a closer relationship and others do not. However, as part of a family, au pairs should be helping out like any other family member would; taking out the trash, the recycling, prepping meals and cooking, grocery shopping, to an extent. Keep in mind that an overworked au pair will not be a happy au pair. 
  • Au Pairs can take care of the families pet, but can not be the only responsible adult for said pet. If an au pair is left alone with the pet while the host family is away and is in charge of the dog completely, bare in mind, this can not be used as au pairs vacation, au pair can not work more than 10 hours on those days and still  has to have her full 1 1/2 days off during that time. If the au pair is required to be in the home taking care of the pet, waiting for the handyman, cleaning lady, etc., it is counted as her work time, just as much it is work time when the children are napping.
  • Au pairs may not work outside their host family’s home under any circumstances including babysitting for neighbors.
  • Au pairs may not provide additional childcare (in excess of the 45 hours per week) for additional compensation to their own host families.
  • Au pairs may not be left alone with infants under 3 months of age under any circumstances. If an au pair is asked to care for an infant under 3 months, a parent or responsible adult must be present in the home at all times.
  • Au-Pairs are required to attend monthly meetings and the family is responsible for the transportation to the meeting.
  • Au-Pairs are required to take 6 credits or 72 hours of class time during the year and the family is responsible for $500 towards those classes. The family is responsible for the Au-Pairs transportation to and from local schools, whether by providing a car or paying for public transportation. If an au pair chooses to take a class outside of the local options, she/he is responsible for paying the train/bus/toll/gas. If an au pair chooses to extend with their current or new family, all classes have to be finished with proof in hand no later than 33 days prior to their last legal working date.
  • Au pairs must live with the host family during their time in the U.S. Some host families have separate guest housing on their property, and in most cases this is an appropriate solution, provided the au pair has full access to the host family’s main house at all times and is invited to join them in daily activities such as mealtimes. An au pair cannot live in a separate apartment or separate building which is not part of the host family’s property.
  • Au-Pairs must have a private bedroom which the Local Consultant will inspect prior to arrival. She can however share a bathroom with any member of the family. Please obey local laws in regards to a basement room, such as egress windows and door out.
  • Workers’ Compensation: New Jersey household employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This requirement may be satisfied in New Jersey with the limited workers’ compensation coverage included under homeowners’ insurance policies. The law does not specify au pairs in specific.
  • Because the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21, Cultural Care recommends that all host families abide by this law at all times. All Cultural Care au pairs sign an agreement stating that they will not consume alcoholic beverages if under the age of 21. Au Pairs are warned that even if they are 21 or older, drinking in public (street, public transport) is not legal and can only be done in restaurants, bars and a private home.
  • Driving the families car is a privilege. All rules set up for use of the car by the host family should be followed or this privilege can be taken away.
  • Using the Host families phone for private matters is a privilege and can be taken back. If you require your au pair to have a cell phone so you can reach her when she is working or not, it is the host families responsibility for pay for said phone

Thursday, 22 December 2016 2:50 PM


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