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Au Pair Schedule 101
Hosting an au pair through EurAupair is a great alternative to other child care options since it allows the host family to enhance the cultural understanding of their children, welcome a new member into their family, and receive flexible child care. Here are a few tips to help you create your au pair's schedule and communicate it clearly with her.
The Basics of an Au Pair's Work Week
One of the best advantages of choosing to host an au pair to answer your child care needs is the flexibility the program offers. There are a few rules to respect (some designed by the US Department of State and some by EurAupair) but you create your au pair's schedule to fit YOUR family. You need to ensure your au pair: isn't working more than 10 hours per day or more than 45 hours per week; is receiving one full weekend off per month (Friday night through Monday morning) & 1.5 consecutive days off per week for the remainder of the month (with 1 day falling on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday). Also keep in mind that au pairs must receive 2 full weeks of paid vacation during their year.
It is best to set your au pair's schedule ahead of time so she knows when she will be needed and can plan her social activities around her work hours. She should understand that an emergency, a sick day, or a snow day can happen and she will be there to help! (as long as daily/weekly hour limit is respected). It is also a good idea to write the au pair's schedule down so that it is clear to everyone. You can also - at least in the beginning - write down the addresses of the places she will need to take the children to (such as school, extra-curricular activities, doctor's appointment, etc.).
Keep in mind that your au pair should be able complete her educational requirement. Although she should mind her work schedule when looking at classes in which to enroll, you may need to compromise if class options are limited. Your au pair must also attend the monthly meetings organized by your Community Counselor. The Community Counselor will schedule the meeting ahead of time with as much notice as possible. In larger au pair groups, it may be difficult for the counselor to accommodate every au pair's schedule and, here again, au pairs & families must be accommodating as well.
What constitutes a work hour?
Think of this: can your au pair leave the home and do whatever she would like? If the answer is 'no' then it must be a work hour (i.e. hours at night when children are asleep, or during nap time).
Can an au pair work over these hours if we pay her extra?
No, you may not ask your au pair to work more than 10 hours per day and 45 hours per week. Whether you pay her extra, or she has worked less hours in previous weeks, you may not ask her to exceed this limit, per U.S. Department of State regulation.
If you have any questions about work hours, au pair schedule, or about the program in general please contact us!