House Rules

The program: It is likely you will get out what you put into the program. It’s not easy to leave your home and be immersed in a new place with a new family. We have been fortunate to have had two amazing AuPairs join our family and they both say the program has changed their lives and they enjoyed it very much. Hopefully you will the 3rd amazing AuPair to join our family!

Spending time with the children: We want you to form a genuine bond with the children and treat them in a loving, gentle, patient, and kind manner. They will look up to you and we expect you to behave as a role model for them. When you are working with them do not use phones, computers, or screens unless it is for emergencies or sending messages between us. Please be prepared to be patient with them, they are little and don’t think the same as adults. If a situation becomes too difficult please call us and we can help. Overall we want you to be active in their lives as a family member versus just keeping them safe or occupied.

Spending time with family: Make the most of your experience here!  Our previous Au Pair says it was the best time of her life, we hope it will be yours as well! Let’s have fun!  We are a family that genuinely wants to get to know you. You are welcome to participate in family activities and share your own ideas.  Do not be shy, you are a part of our family! There will be times when you choose not to, and that is completely fine. If there is an important event we need your attendance we will let you know. There will be times when the children and us will do things together, please do not feel excluded; it is simply our time with the children. We look forward to having you join our family!

Rules for you:

  • There is absolutely No Smoking or illegal Drugs in our home, our property, or car.  We expect our Au Pair not to do drugs.  San Francisco is a very liberal place, and it is likely someone will offer you to try drugs while you are here.  Do not do drugs.  We are a drug free household.  If we suspect you are consuming illegal drugs we will rematch.  If you have a question if something is OK, please check with us first. 
  • Do not wear loose jewelry, sharp, or coarse clothing around the children as they could get hurt by it.  Small children like to pull on chains.  Do not wear sentimental, irreplaceable, or fragile clothing or jewelry near the children as they may damage it while playing.
  • Please wear a clean set of clothes and shower each day you are on duty with the children. We don’t have a dress code and don’t care what you wear, so be comfortable. However, please make sure it does not have vulgar words or is scary for the children. Californian style is very casual.
  • Act with dignity and the high road when dealing with difficult people. Other people could be going through a hard time but our family is great so we don’t get into fights over petty things! We have your back!
  • If we see something that concerns us we may mention it.  It is not a judge of character on you so please do not be offended.

Recommendations for you but not rules or required:

  • We wish to respect your privacy and your safety.  For your safety we recommend you let us know where you are going and what time you will return but it is up to you.  This way we can check you are alright or know where to look if for some reason you do not return safely.
  • On evenings that you are required to work the next morning, we request that you be home in time to be rested for the next day. If there is a problem with alertness on duty we will have to implement a curfew but this is something we would rather not.
  • On evenings when you are NOT required to work the next morning, you may use your discretion, but if you come in late, please realize that we probably will be up early so please be considerate and quiet when you come in so the kids are not woken up. Also double check all the lights are off and the doors are locked.

Trust: We are a family that takes time to build trust with our children as they are the most important for us. It is not something we just give out to everyone and it means a lot to us.  We may check to see how things are going from time to time with the children.  Please understand that it is out of concern for our children and not because of an issue with you.  We would do the same with anyone else who is caring for them.

Medical Issues and Covid: Our children have no known health conditions or allergies. However, if it seems like they are having an allergic reaction call us or 911 emergency. If you catch any contagious diseases, sexually transmitted disease, or permanent illnesses please let us know immediately, we will keep your medical details confidential, but we need to take appropriate precautions for the safety of our children and yourself. Some of these diseases can be transmitted by touching and kissing. One example is sores, cold sores can spread by kissing. If you have a cold sore, please refrain from kissing the children it until it is not contagious. We ask that you keep up to date on Covid boosters. If you do not want to take covid vaccines it may not be an issue but please let us know upfront so we know before matching.

Household Responsibilities: We don’t have specific chores for you to do but expect that you would help out as a family member. Running a house is a lot of work and we all do our part to keep it going. Please help keep your areas clean and encourage the kids to clean up after themselves.

The House:

  • Please help conserve the environment.  If a room is empty turn off the lights.  California is in a drought, please help conserve water by doing full laundry loads and full dishwasher loads whenever possible.  
  • When the heat or air conditioning is running, please check that the doors and windows in the house are closed to conserve energy.   

Phone/Computer: We will provide you with cell phone service.  You may not use your cell phone to talk /message personal matters while you are on duty.  We want you to be focused on the kids when on duty.  On your free time you can use the plan for personal use. Make sure to keep the phone on you and in a mode you can be contacted if we need to reach you. Please use WhatsApp or internet service for international calls. Making international calls on cellular phones in the US is very expensive. You agree not use the Internet for illegal activites and will hold us harmless for any repercussions from its use.

Communication: We like to have a meeting once a week to see how things are going. However you can bring up issues any time. We want you to feel comfortable in our home and with our family. We know how difficult your first few weeks can be, especially while you adjust to and learn about our family. Please be open and honest with us at all times and we will be with you. Talk about small things so they do not become big things. If there is a time when you want to talk when the children are not around, let us know and we will arrange it.  If you want help with something let us know and we will try to help you.  About the only benefit to becoming old like us is that we have a lot of life experience and connections that we are happy to share.

Social Media: It is fine to update friends and family through social media as to what you and the children have done.  We have great family memories and want you to be part of them.  If you post media that includes our family, we request that you add us so that we can see what is being shared online.  If we are not comfortable with something posted about our family we reserve the right to have it removed.  We may also post media of you as you will be part of our family.  If you do not feel comfortable with something we post of you please ask and we will remove it. A few notes:

  • Never post future plans with the children online, stalkers or kidnappers can use this information, past trips are fine to post
  • It is unacceptable to complain about or disparage our family in any public or private forum. If there is something upsetting to you, it should be discussed within the family and resolved through us directly or through the agency
  • As a member of our family, you will become aware of many private things. Our personal situations, business, and private information is not to be shared on social media

Meals: You are welcome to join family meals or to make something on your own. In general, you are welcome to eat anything that is in the house with the exception of alcohol and if there is something special we mention.  We generally get groceries one time per week. If there are certain foods you want please let us know ahead of time so we can add them to the grocery list. If you need something urgently within reason please go ahead and get it and we can reimburse you for it later. If a certain food is going to run out please let us know in advance as we may not know it is getting finished until we need it. Also, if something important like Milk for the children is about to run out please do not finish it and save enough for them until we can get more. We wash our hands before handling food for the family. Please keep the pantry and refrigerators neat and tidy, make sure all lids are on firmly, packaging is closed properly etc. Ants are big problem in the summer if food crumbs are left out so please help keep areas clean.


  • We are a private family that enjoys our lives and does not want to be in the public eye. Never give out our names, phone number, address or any information about the children to anyone you meet online or strangers.
  • Do not let dates know our home address.  It’s not safe for the children as some dates turn out to be crazy people.  Please setup a safe place to meet your dates, we are happy to help you with this.  
  • If you are upset about something regarding our family, do not post it on facebook or other social media, discuss it with us directly. Our family quirks and issues are not to be shared on line or with other au pairs. You are part of our family and you are expected to maintain our privacy and we will maintain yours. If we feel you are speaking negatively about our family, disclosing private information, or gossiping with other au pairs about us, there is no warning, we will terminate your assignment with our family.  If there is an issue, please discuss directly with us or the Au-Pair agency contacts first.   
  • We have cameras in the kids room and play areas that can record audio and video.  Please make sure you are aware of this and inform guests so that they are also aware.

Visitors and Guests: No visitors allowed while you are on childcare duty without our permission. During Free time, if you would like to have visitors or guests, please let us know in advance. We will treat it on a case-by-case basis as we get to know you and your friends better but in general our AuPairs have had friends over and we have gotten to know them too. We are not going to be OK with boyfriends sleeping over. Do not meet dates at our home or share our address as it can create a safety issue for the children.

Pay and Vacation: Au Pairs receive one weekend off per month and must have 1.5 days off per week. In addition, you receive 2 weeks vacation. We will need to discuss when you would like to take your vacation well in advance as we will have to find extra help while you are away. Au Pairs do not get holidays or sick days off but we will work with you in any way possible if you do become sick or would like to take a day off during a holiday or for a trip. We will pay you on Friday of every week. We will transfer your stipend into your personal account once setup. If you need extra money to pay for gas or anything related to the childcare, please notify us and we will transfer extra money. Please keep receipts so we know how much to reimburse you and let us know in advance for such expenses whenever possible. We will notify you in advance of any family vacations. Some vacations we will take you with us and some we will not.

Comparisons and Compensation: Unfortunately, we have seen cases where there is a great match initially but comparisons with others have caused bad feelings between the family and Au Pair.  In our view this program is not about making the most money or getting the most material perks.  It is a cultural exchange for you to be part of our family.  If you feel earnings are most important, our family is not the best fit. There are many costs associated with the program in addition to the stipend.  In addition, there are much better ways of making money than becoming an Au Pair. Please take a moment to think about what you need to be happy for your Au Pair program.  It is important to know if we can provide these things for you before the match and we agree on terms for the year.  We are happy to discuss in detail if you have any concerns or questions.  It is not reasonable or fair to match with us with one set of expectations and then change the expectation just because another family does something different.    

Work Hours: You will not work more than 45 hours per week. You will always have 1 1/2 days off per week and one full weekend (Friday night-Sunday night) off per month. For the most part, you will know your schedule on Sunday night. Sometimes we will need to make last minute changes to the schedule. We will try to give you as much notice as possible if things change and we ask that you be flexible and we will be flexible too. If you have plans (au pair meeting, etc.) please let us know in advance so we can plan accordingly. We may occasionally ask you to work on a weekend.  If this happens we will adjust the hours during the week so you do not exceed 45 hours.

House safety:

  • We keep one fire extinguisher under the kitchen sink, do not be afraid to use it if needed!  
  • In case of fire, take the children and exit the house immediately! Take them outside before calling 911 or calling us. Remember everything in the house is insured and replaceable. The main concern should be getting the children and yourself away from danger ask quickly as possible.
  • California can have earthquakes.  In case of earthquake take the children and find something strong to shelter you.  Make sure you are away from things that can fall or break such as windows, TV, and other glass items.  Remember: Drop, Cover, and Hold.  Strong earthquakes can make you fall so do not try to move too much.  Often in earthquakes items on walls fall down and glass breaks.  However, it is rare for buildings to collapse.  Either shelter underneath something sturdy inside to protect from falling objects or find an open area away from buildings, power lines, and trees. 
  • In the case of a medical emergency, you should call 911 first and then call us.  
  • If you are with a child and feel they are not feeling well or get hurt you should notify us immediately. If we are home, please come find us and if we are not home please text and call us.
  • No one is allowed to enter house when parents are not home unless otherwise notified. We will let you know if we are expecting anyone and whether or not you need to let them in or sign for a package. If we do not let you know in advance, do not open the door for people who knock or ring the doorbell
  • The house doors and garage door must be kept closed and locked when you are not home. It is very easy for someone to enter the house or quickly steal expensive items like bicycles or skis in just a few minutes. Even if you step away for a few minutes make sure to close them.
  • We live in a very safe community however, there have been house and car burglaries in the past.  Make sure the children and your phone are always nearby in case you see a stranger and need to call 911 and plan an escape route for the children and yourself.

Childcare Duty Rules

Playdates: Please discuss with us but either we or you may setup play dates with other children. Please notify us in advance of setting up playdates and make sure we have the other children’s caretaker and parents contact in case there is an emergency. During an American playdate, the parent/guardian may leave their child in your company so it is important to clarify this. The parent/guardian does not stay to supervise. In general playdates with other AuPairs and Nannies can be great for both the children and the AuPairs. Our previous Au Pair had a group where they did crafts with the children together at the park.

Car Policies: Once you have obtained your California Driver’s License you will have use of one of the cars (it is a SUV). We will help you get this and we need to be comfortable you can drive safely without being at risk of injuring yourself or others. We share use of our cars in the family. We ask you give us a head’s up when you will want to use the SUV and let us know approximately when you plan to return. We ask that you cover fuel for personal activities but we will cover fuel for children activities, family errands, education requirement classes, and AuPair meetings. We have a few cars so this arrangement has worked fine in the past. We want you to be able to get around easily and enjoy your experience. Here are our rules for the car:

On Duty

  • If driving the children NEVER leave them alone in the car and NEVER leave the key in the car with the children. Many children have been taken away if someone tries to steal the car. The sun is strong in California. Even in good weather a car can become deadly hot for children in as little as 10 minutes.
  • Be very careful when driving with the kids– no speeding, no texting, no phone use and if she is distracting, pull off the road to address the issue or call us. Do not attempt to deal with the situation while driving.  If you are lost, find a safe place to pull over and stop so you can use your phone to find directions.  Always be alert of your surroundings and who is approaching the car when pulled over.  Make sure the doors are always locked when pulled over.  
  • Obey the seatbelt law in our state. You must always wear a seatbelt and the children must be in their appropriate car seat and buckled in when in the car/SUV.  It’s very important to check the kids are properly buckled and the seats are installed correctly.  They may try to tie the belts themselves but double check they have done it correctly. Also become familiar with how to connect the car seats and check they are installed correctly. 
  • Be careful with storing things like strollers and even small objects in the car. In an accident, they can become dangerous projectiles. Keep non-essential items in the trunk with the cover in place and always consider what would be dangerous in an accident.
  • Do not stop the car to offer assistance to anyone when carrying the children. There have been cases of people faking the need for assistance and kidnapping or stealing the car.  People in the USA are generally helpful, someone else will help the other person.  Otherwise, drive to a safe distance far away and call 911 so emergency services can help out.


  • Use of the car during your off-duty time is a privilege. It is not a requirement of the au pair program. The cost to operate a car is considerably more than just the cost of fuel, e.g., wear-and-tear, maintenance, oil changes, tires, insurance, etc. While we hope it will never come to this, if we feel that the rules are not being followed or that we are being taken advantage of, driving privileges will be suspended.
  • If you take the car please remember that it is for local use around town and no guarantee or warranty is being made.  We will provide AAA service which covers towing for approximately 100 miles so it can be returned to us for repair if it breaks down.  However, if you take the car outside the AAA range or off-road and it breaks down you will be responsible for getting it back to us so we can have it repaired.  We provide the car as a free benefit and cannot be responsible for issues resulting from the car breaking down such as not making it to a destination on time.
  • Do not speed and be careful to follow the driving rules, if you get a ticket or accident the insurance rate may go up to the point we will need to remove driving privileges which may also prevent you from being able to drive on duty.  In the USA the insurance increase is much greater than the ticket fine itself and can amount to thousands of dollars.
  • It is illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving in California, if you need to make a call, please pull over and park the car in a safe location or use the hands free feature if you are not driving the kids.  Never hold the phone while driving, you are likely to get a ticket for doing that. We do not allow any phone use while driving the children on duty. Please pull over to a safe location and then talk.
  • If something happens to the car you must notify us IMMEDIATELY and let us know how it happened. Often times in an accident you need to collect insurance information from the other party and/or file a police report and we can help guide you through it. If you are at fault on duty we will cover the insurance detectable, if you are at fault off duty you are responsible for it.
  • California is very strict about no alcohol in the car.  Do not drink and drive. Do not get into a car with anyone who has been drinking heavily and wants to drive. In California no alcoholic beverages must be in reach of the driver even if they are closed. No open alcoholic beverages are allowed in the car even if it is with a passenger.  It does not matter if you are of legal drinking age or not.  If you are under 21 you are not allowed to transport alcohol in the car even if it is closed.  Police are very strict with this, they will likely not give you a waning or second chance.  A DUI is a serious office and often has thousands of dollars worth of  fines and will likely cause you to be arrested on the spot and terminate your visa standing.  If you find yourself in a situation where either you or the driver of your car has had too much to drink please call us and we will help you figure out a safe way home or come get you. We would rather you be ALIVE than be afraid to call us at any time.
  • The SUV uses premium fuel, please be sure to use premium as regular fuel will reduce the performance of the SUV. Regular fuel also causes fuel economy to go down so it will end up being more expensive than premium to use. The best way to conserve fuel is to avoid sudden acceleration as fuel consumption is poor when the vehicle is accelerating rapidly.
  • Be careful when parking not to scuff the wheels or bumpers on the vehicle, always look behind the vehicle when reversing in case children are crossing. Even though the car has a backup sensor it is not a replacement for being aware of what is around the vehicle.
  • Host dad is a car enthusiast and we have a few classic and sports cars which are unfortunately not for use by the AuPair and are generally not driven outside of special occasions. Please consider this if there is a scheduling conflict and it seems like other cars are available.
  • Please always ask permission before using the car/SUV for your own use. We need to know where you are going in the car/SUV and when you will be returning home so we know where the car will be.  Let us know if you will be taking others in the car with you.  If you or the car don’t return home for some reason, we need to know where to start looking. It’s best to be honest so we know what is going on. Both our AuPairs have said they can talk to us about anything and we hope you will feel the same way. Don’t worry, chances are we have been there too at some point and sometimes the worst situations make the best stories later on. However we want to help keep you safe and know where the vehicle is.
  • Under no circumstance should you ever offer rides to strangers. NEVER, NEVER stop the car to assist someone. Call the police for them from inside the car but do not get out of the car or unlock the doors.
  • While we want you to use the car to get around and have a good experience.  However, you are not allowed to become the taxi service for the local au pairs.  If you are carpooling, these responsibilities must be shared. It is not enough that they pitch in to pay for gas. As set forth above, there are additional expenses associated with driving such as the maintenance and wear and tear on the car.
  • Please treat the car/SUV as you would your own. Keep it clean. Never let anyone smoke in the car/SUV
  • Let us know of any service or safety issues with the car/SUV immediately and discontinue its use until we can resolve the problem. 
  • We may restrict where you can drive to places such as Santa Cruz beach until we are comfortable you can make it safely. We don’t want to limit you but it is for your safety and the safety of others. The road there is winding and many accidents and a few deaths happen each year.
  • If you notice that the gas is getting low, remind us so we can fill it or reimburse you for filling it.
  • Please help keep the cars clean, if you go to a beach try not to get sand in the carpet, it is hard to clean out. Also be careful not to spill drinks or food in the car and no smoking/vaping in the car.
  • In California there are many street beggars, they will often come to you in parking lots. We recommend not to provide them money, sometimes they are thieves in disguise. There are assistance programs for those truly in need. If someone asks for money politely inform them that you do not have any money to give. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.  Do not roll down the window to talk to anyone other than a police officer while taking the kids somewhere.


  • If you are in an accident, while on or off duty, you must collect the following documents from the other driver(s) before leaving the scene of the accident: Name, address, phone number, driver’s license number. Name and number of car insurance. License plate number of the car. You should ALWAYS call the police (911) or have someone else call the police, even if the accident is small and no one is hurt. In case of an accident, it is extremely important to answer the police officer’s questions honestly, but never admit guilt/responsibility. Let the police decide who is at fault and say nothing further. The vehicle registration and insurance information is in the glove box. Do not disclose anything about the insurance limits. Only provide the policy number.
  • The cars have a dash cam installed, you agree not to disable this device. You are not required to give the video image to the other party in an accident unless a police officer requests it. Please notify guests the car has an recording device.

Extended Family Sundeep’s parents visit frequently about once every 2-3 months or so for about 1-2 weeks.  If you feel this will be an issue please discuss it before matching.  At times our family members may visit us or we may go to visit them.  If there is something bothering you while they are here please talk to us about first it so that we can address it vs directly bringing it up with them.  

Education Component: We know that you are required by the U.S. Department of State to enroll in an accredited post-secondary school. We understand that we must pay the cost of this course up to but not more than $500. There are many options for you to take courses in this area. We must talk about the class schedule before you enroll so we can make sure it fits our schedules.  If you would like, you can take a free course for the Au Pair program requirement, and we can reimburse you for another accredited class of your interest as we want to support your education.  One of our Au Pairs took a medical course at the prestigious Stanford University! 

Last but not Least – The Children!

Our kids are age 21 months and 7 years old. They are both happy and active children with no allergies or known medical issues. They need to be in a supportive and stimulating environment where they feel safe to try new things and grow.

At this age, children learn by example and experience, so it is important to encourage them to try new things and learn from their experiences. However, this is also the age where they think that they can do everything, and while we encourage them to learn through doing, there are certain instances where you must guide them and/or teach by example. We encourage anything age appropriate that is creative/educational.

Activities that we expect you to do with our children:

  • Encourage playing inside or outside
  • Reading Books
  • Music at low volume (variety of kid appropriate music: classical, jazz, nursery rhymes, salsa)
  • Telling children’s stories, singing, dancing
  • Practice counting, ABC, words, greeting
  • Play – games, toys, imaginative play
  • Crafts/art: coloring, play dough etc.
  • Museums, nature walks, library visits etc.


  • Our view is that technology is a tool to get things done vs. a form of entertainment for the children. Our children do not have much screen time.
  • Our older daughter is not allowed to watch any screens outside of facetime with family or occasional TV show usually 1-2 times a week.  We do let her watch a movie occasionally.  
  • Our baby son does not get any screen time, we may do FaceTime with family so they can see him but that is all.

General Child Safety

  • The children should not be left unattended. If you need to step away for a few minutes for something urgent (i.e. bathroom break) make sure they are in a safe area such as in the crib for the baby and living room for the older child and let them know you will be gone for a minute.  If we are home let us know so we can help. Either child should never be left outside without supervision! 
  • When carrying the baby it’s important to focus on him and your surrounding.  Do not multi-task or try carrying things other than the baby.  Dropping a baby on the hard floor can result in permanent injury to him.  We would rather you take your time.  If there is too much going on let us know so we can help or prioritize what to do. The baby’s safety is always the first priority above anything else.
  • When the baby is napping, you should have his monitor close by in case he wakes up.

Children’s Behavior and Discipline

  • Focus on positive reinforcement, by praising good behaviors we can avoid developing bad behaviors as much as possible.
  • Politeness, respect, sharing and doing as told gets praised
  • If the older child is not listening continue to explain why what she is doing is a problem.  If she is purposely doing the action to get attention try to ignore her and distract her into doing something else.  Often this type of behavior is because she wants to spend time with you but does not know how to say it.
  • If either child is not listening and putting their safety at risk do not let them continue. For example, if they are trying to climb up something where they could fall down hold them gently back to keep them from doing the activity and try to focus their attention to something else.
  • Never hit the children or yell at them. If their behavior is not acceptable, let us know. We will take care of addressing the issue.
  • Our older daughter is a young child so she has a developing sense of what is right from wrong.  The baby is a baby and does most things at random.  What can be obvious to an adult isn’t always clear to a child.  Under no circumstances is it OK to physically (hitting, hurting, shaking, choking) or verbally (yelling, mocking, belittling) discipline her.  If things become too difficult to handle let us know. Even if we are in the house we might not be paying attention if you are on duty and it is better we step in and resolve an issue than have you frustrated or something dangerous happen to our children.  

Children Meals and snacks

  • The children have a fixed menu that we will provide to you in advance. If you have any questions or concerns please text or call us to clarify.  It may be necessary to improvise if she does not want to eat what we have planned occasionally. 
  • The children do not have any food allergies that we know of. However, they may have allergies that we are not aware of.  If they start behaving differently after eating or starts to vomit, show a fever, or hives please call us immediately. If either child appears to have trouble breathing or staying awake call 911 first and then call us! 
  • Please have an idea of what the kids eat and drink so we know if they are eating well or having issues. If you want you can write it down or just give us a verbal summary at the end of the day.
  • Our baby is eating solid food so please check what to feed him as he may not be ready for all the things adults eat.
  • Our older daugher should not be getting sweet food outside of treats.  Please discuss with us if you plan to give her candy or sweets so we can ensure she is not getting too much sugar.  
  • It is necessary to wash your hands with soap every time before giving food but this is especially true with the children
  • If you are on duty during the day you will be in charge of feeding the children lunch, snack, and sometimes dinner. Their schedule changes as they are getting older so we will provide it to you. If you have any questions please just ask us.