At a recent new host family orientation, we discussed different ways to handle the little expenses that may come up. Things like when an au pair takes the kids out for ice cream or picks up a gallon of milk. Some families keep a cookie jar fund, a little cash that they set aside weekly or monthly for this kind of expenses. Here are some suggestions for avoiding problems with that.
- It’s important to be clear about how long this money should last and what types of expenses are approved.
- Let the au pair know whether or not you expect receipts.
- Only spend the money on approved expenses.
- If it is something you are not sure about, ask first.
- Put your receipts in the cookie jar in place of the money to avoid any confusion.
Gas and Fare Cards
Host families are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs:
- to and from classes and cluster meetings
- driving the kids
It is a good idea to figure out how much gas an au pair will use for these trips and either put gas in the car or give a gas allowance. If your au pair is riding to classes or cluster meetings with another au pair, you should offer to share the cost of gas.
Au pairs are responsible for their own transportation at all other times. You should replace the amount of gas used for personal use.