Sample Handbook from a Reader

by cv harquail on March 3, 2009

Hi Moms-

Recall that last month I invited you all to share pages from your Family Handbook … I’ve just posted the first of those sample handbooks as a page: Sample Handbook 2, from CC Family.

Starling fabric
The Sample Handbook is based on the format provided by the Cultural Care Agency, so you may have seen some of these ideas before. Yet, if you read the Sample Handbook, you can see the bits of individuality that communicate this family’s priorities and personalities. It’s funny how we share many concerns and priorities, yet we have some important differences too.

As I was reading this Sample Handbook I chuckled several times, remembering the incidents in my own house that lead to rules like the ones this mom is sharing. Later, though, as I was reading the section on using computers, I was stopped dead in my tracks. I can NOT believe that this mom invites her au pair to …… ( ;-) )  …. Go read it, and then in a future post I’ll tell you what this family does differently from mine.

Super thanks to the AuPair Mom who sent this to me for sharing her family book.

If you have some pages to share, please email them to me at CVHarquail at gmail dot com, and I’ll post them.

If you want some more examples of specific guidelines or total sets of rules, be sure to look in the Pages section of the sidebar. Here, I have Guidelines pages for specific areas. Also, look at the page titled AP Handbook Part 1 for more ideas.  Finally, be sure to use the search box (2/3rds of the way down the sidebar). Just type in a term like "driving", and posts that address that topic will all come up.

There is a lot of stuff here!   Happy reading!


sgreen March 3, 2009 at 5:57 am

I am a cc au pair mom too and have found their household handbook format very helpful. For all those ap moms that are with cc, you can find lots more examples of completed household handbooks like this one on the Infosource site for host families. they have gathered examples from all kinds of families – with infants, older kids, special needs etc.

I think it is super important to lay down some rules at the outset of the program to ensure success. Thanks for posting

Dawn March 6, 2009 at 12:00 am

I agree, sgreen that it’s important to lay down some rules and expectations at the beginning. A corollary to that is that (IMO) it is much easier to relax rules later than it is to impose new, stricter rules “midstream.” So if I am “on the fence” about how restrictive a particular rule should be, I tend to err on the side of being more restrictive, knowing that I can relax it later if the circumstances warrant — and I’ll even get to look magnanimous for doing so! For example, we always set both a worknight and weekend curfew in our handbook, but with our previous au pairs, we’ve usually ended up ditching the weekend curfew after a few months, once the au pair has proven herself to be a trustworthy and mature adult. (We still ask for the courtesy of letting us know if she’ll be out all night, and we have a curfew for our CAR to be home, but we don’t specify a time that she has to come home if she’s out with friends and someone else is driving.)

Dawn March 7, 2009 at 12:28 am

Where did everybody go? LOL! Cvh, maybe you need to post a more provocative or controversial topic to get people talking again! Hmm…

What are people’s policies on alcohol consumption by their au pairs (and their friends)?

How do you interpret the requirement of “two weeks” vacation? Is it 10 work days (plus weekends), or is it 14 work days (which is almost 3 weeks if your AP typically only works during the week)?

Do you prefer an older (relatively speaking) or younger au pair, and why?

(Just throwing out ideas here. This is one of the blogs I read daily, and I get so disappointed when I come here and there’s nothing new as either a main post or comments! LOL!)

cvh March 8, 2009 at 2:47 am

Hi Dawn,
Thanks for the nudging. … I’ve queued up a few posts for next week, and I put up a somewhat provocative one today… I feel the same way when I look at the blog and see new comments (hooray!) or no comments ( boo hoo)…. but a lot of times I forget that the most comments happen if/when I actually write a post! So, off to write about something naughty.

d March 7, 2009 at 6:27 am

I’m no expert!!! But, the vacation requirement I have interpreted as weekly timeframes of Mon – Sun timeframes (as everyone’s daily schedule is so different)

Therefore, daily vacations at our home (since weekends are off anyway) means 10 business days M-F in combination with any 2 full weekends during the year they choose. Subsquently, Adding up to 14 days. :)

Thats how we do it. Certainly let me know if we are wrong.

cvh March 8, 2009 at 2:45 am

d, we do it the same way that you do. But, to figure out what’s most common, I’ve queued up a post about vacation day counting, for next week!!

Maya March 7, 2009 at 6:38 pm

My agency specifies 2 weeks of vacation as 11 days. I assume they mean M-F and do not count Sat and Sun into that. Or Sat and Sun may just be assumed.

It is not a issue for us as my current AP will be getting well over 3 full weeks of vacation due to our own schedule and plans.

cvh March 8, 2009 at 2:39 am

Hi Maya– I’ve scheduled a post on vacation day counting, for next week. It has some polls so we can see what the common practices are!

d March 10, 2009 at 6:55 am

I bet the 11 day count is because the department of state already requires 1 1/2 days off a week anyway always. So if your au pair does in fact work 5 1/2 days a week normally. Then 11 days would be 10 business days in combination of the two 1/2 days that fell on the weekend timeframe added up. Thus equalling 11.

(can you tell I’m really pondering this. LOLOLOL)

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