Responsibilities beyond childcare…

While the primary responsibility of au pairs is to care for your children, au pairs can also help with “light household chores”. Beyond an expectation for a program that is focused on childcare, it is also a U.S. Department of State regulation that host families abide by when joining the program. Let’s define what “light household chores” are and what tasks au pairs can or can’t do.

An au pair can:

  • Pack up the children’s school bags in the morning
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Help to take the trash out
  • Prepare meals (breakfast, lunch (boxes), snacks and help with dinners if they are still on duty)
  • Pick up and sweep main family area after meals or play
  • Pick up toys, organize the children’s belongings and keeping main areas clean
  • Wash/ dry/ put away the children’s laundry
  • Drive the children to different activites, to/ from school
  • Help with anything related to the children during their assigned working hours

An au pair can not:

  • Clean the whole house
  • Scrub the toilets/ clean all the bathrooms
  • Provide house maintenance or make repairs
  • Wash the parent’s laundry or clean/ pick up their room
  • Be the chef and be responsible for all meals, and not beyond their working hours
  • Be the maid… they main focus is childcare
  • Work beyond the 45 hours per week/ 10 hours per day, which include both childcare and chores

However, as a part of the family, au pairs are expected to also help according to the common sense of a good “roommate”. So for example, if they are off duty but eat dinner with your family, they will help you and the kids getting the table ready and putting the dishes away.
Additionally, they are also responsible for cleaning their own room (and bathroom if they have their own), washing their own linens, clothes, shopping for their own toiletries, etc.

Any questions, suggestions or clarifications? Comment here or contact me.

(reposted from &

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