Host parents often ask for suggestions on how best to handle common expenses that occur as au pairs are caring for the children.
There are different ways to handle the little day to day expenses that 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 these types of expenses. Others give their au pair a prepaid debit card or transfer money using an app like Venmo or Zelle for this purpose. Below are some suggestions for avoiding problems with expenses.
- 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.
Host families are responsible for the au pair’s transportation costs: to and from classes, cluster meetings and when driving the kids. Transportation costs include: gas, parking, metro, bus, Uber or Lyft fare.
It is a good idea to figure out how much these transportation costs will be and give a gas or public transit 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.
Photo: Andrea Travillian