It is very important for Host Families and Au Pairs to acknowledge the obligations and rights of each other, which must be respected by both parties.
Host families must consider that, due to the particular conditions of the Au Pair programme, which is not an employment relation but a cultural exchange based on the mutual benefit for both parties, the Au Pair must get a private bedroom, board and lodging, and a weekly pay, and the host family will be benefited from the cultural exchange as well as from the help it will get from the Au Pair with the care of their children.
Although there are things in common, an Au Pair and a nanny differ:
A nanny gets a much higher salary than the one collected by an Au Pair, since a nanny doesn't usually get any board and lodging from the family.
A nanny must always be registered with the social security office, while an Au Pair is not in most countries.
An Au Pair barely has any experience in childcare, while a nanny does, even some degree in childcare in some cases.
Under the Au Pair programme, working hours are limited, while nannies may work as many hours as they like according to the legislation in force in the pertinent country.
An Au Pair's age is limited in every country, while there is no age limitation for nannies.
Therefore, it is important for the host family to remember these differences and take them into account, since an Au Pair is not a nanny or a cleaning person.