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10 Things to Ask Your Au Pair Family to Provide

Before you start working with a family it is important that both parties go over what is expected from both ends. Typically, au pairs live with a family and need other living necessities provided for them. Here are 10 things you should ask your au pair family to provide:

  1. A room: The family should provide you with a private bedroom within their home. The room should come with everything you need to function. The two important things you want to make sure you have is the proper amount of storage and comfortable bedding.
  2. A desk: Asking for a desk in your room is a great way for you to get some of your personal things completed in a designated area so that you are not leaving your things around. If you have letters, school work or personal bills you want to pay for, a desk is very helpful and provides you that special space and organization.
  3. Entertainment: Whether your entertainment includes reading, television, or music ask your au pair family for help. You will have some stressful days and having and television or radio in your room will give you that escape within in the home that you need.
  4. Daily free time: Each day you should be allowed some personal free time to do what you want to do. You can run errands, work out or spend time with friends. A family should provide you with at least an hour if not more a day for you to do so.
  5. Food: All meals should be paid for and provided by your au pair family. You may be asked to prepare the food and that is okay because that is typically what the family expects from you. When you are on vacation and ‘off duty’ the family is not required to feed you.
  6. Spending money for child: There will be numerous times that you will have to spend money on the child. There is shopping, food and other events that require money. The family should provide you with either your own family credit card or cash to cover these costs. If all else fails, keep the receipts and they should reimburse you for these expenses.
  7. Schooling: Not all families will provide this but it is definitely something to ask if they can help provide. Most likely the family has no problem funding your language courses if needed.
  8. Vacation time: Just like any job you have, you are allotted a certain amount of vacation and sick days. Before working with a family asks them for how much time is given for personal vacation time. Most likely if the family takes a family vacation you will be going to enjoy and work. But it is important that you have a personal vacation away from the family.
  9. Transportation: You need a reliable form of transportation for the children. If you already own a car, the family should be paying you for the gas and miles spent with the kids. Some families may provide you with your own car, if so keep the receipts for any work or gas fill ups.
  10. Good environment: Be sure you are upfront with your au pair family of what you expect with the family and the environment. It should be a comfortable, supportive and friendly place. You are now considered a family member and should be treated like one.


There is no rule book on what a family has to provide an au pair with. So when you begin working with the family makes sure you discuss the above mentioned and has it written up in a contract once they agree. Families are very appreciative of au pairs and are willing to do what it takes to make it the best for both parties.

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