"AuPairMom" - 5 new articles
What do Au Pair Agencies feel like from the inside?
I know that I was delighted when I got to meet the folks at InterExchange face to face — it was clear that they genuinely care about the experiences of their Au Pairs and Host Families. It seems like people there enjoyed their jobs and enjoyed each other.
But I never thought to ask– what’s it like to work for them as an LCC?
Future LCC asks —
I am considering taking a job as a Local Counselor for an au pair agency and I came across your blog. It’s really informative and I love your laid back wisdom and insight.
(I know– aren’t the commenters on here great! ~ cv note.)
I’ve been fortunate to be able to stay home with my two sons for the last 18 years but now that one is graduating high school and the other is a busy 9th grader, I’m looking to re-enter the workforce.
My background is in counseling and community service and the fact that the metropolitan area in which I live is flooded with families needing au pair services, has led me to research agency LC jobs.
My question is about those agencies. Are there any that you would say have good to excellent support services (LC’s and management)? I’m looking at Au Pair In America, Au Pair World and InterExchange.
My ideal agency would be one that truly values their employees and provides them with excellent support and education.
If there are any LCs who’d like to send a private message to...
Dear Au Pair Moms —
I am a first time host parent to a 20 year old au pair from Eastern Europe. She’s been with us for two months. We have two toddlers for whom she is responsible 4 days a week. She is “good” with the kids but definitely does not go above and beyond.
We’ve had some issues with her, off and on, mostly due to us having to adjust to having someone in the home. She is a person who is definitely not afraid of asking for what she wants.
This morning, 10 minutes before I need to leave for work, the Au Pair tells me she is having problems because she has no food to eat.
I was annoyed, because our cupboards and fridge are filled with food. I mentioned several things we had available for her to eat.
She then states it’s not food she likes. Also, none of these items are things which are easy to make.
Let me preface this by saying she eats more in one sitting than my 6′ 4″ husband. She will gorge herself on things that I’ve cooked and things that I buy… and she’ll eat all of something within two days.
I have continued to tell her not to eat ALL of something and if she does finish something up that she just needs to tell us so we can but more. We’ve asked her to be conscious there are two other adults who live in the house, so she needs to expect that other people will want to eat some of the food I buy. After she twice ate all the bite-sized brownies from Whole Foods, by herself, I stopped buying these and other treats....
Please join us in finding the best deals by adding your car insurance info to our
The cost of insuring your Au Pair to drive your family’s car(s) is one of the unpleasant surprises of hosting an Au Pair.
I don’t think there’s anyone who’s been delighted to get a quote from their insurance carrier.
In our family, I felt reasonably lucky that we have a great insurance provider (USAA) that offered a ‘good student’ discount and a ‘safe driver discount’ that we could get for our Au Pair. And, it didn’t hurt that our Au Pairs drove an older car when they were off duty and only drove around town when they were on duty.
What does it really cost to insure your Au Pair to drive your family car?
I’m talking about fully insuring him or her, as a listed, regular driver and not as a “guest”.
(More on ‘designating your Au Pair driver’ in an upcoming post.)
I’ve set up a Google Spreadsheet at this link: Au Pair Mom Car Insurance Survey
The survey is open to anyone who’d like to add data from their Host Family’s experience.
The spreadsheet asks for:
— Your State (2 letter abbreviation),
— Your Deductible (since this is such an important variable),
After our previous post, I went back to an old, old post to clip and repeat these key bits of advice for Host Parent Partners:
Host Parent Partners need to confirm, explicitly, how they will work as partners as well as individuals to manage their Au Pair relationship.
Nothing about how having an au pair (or any other adult participating in your family) should have a negative influence on the relationship between the two of you, or between your and your child(ren).
Here are some “absolutes”:
These are all corollaries of one standard principle of a good marriage:
No one should come between you and your partner.
For Host Parents co-parenting with other adults (such as grandparents, or former spouses), the same principles apply.
Usually when a Host Family gets a new Au Pair and discovers that the Au Pair can’t actually drive well or safely, we all say “Rematch”.
It’s just too darn hard to orient an Au Pair, teach the Au Pair to drive yourself, find the extra money for significant driving lessons, and/or deal with the uncertainty and inconvenience as you wait until your Au Pair’s driving is really safe.
What if, though, you have matched with someone who seems like a “phenomenal” au pair? Someone so much better than your previous Au Pairs that you’re starting to think you might take the chance on the Au Pair learning to drive well?
If you did take the chance, is there any hope that your efforts would work, and that you’d end up with a happy Au Pair who drives well?
We want to hear some success stories!
After two nice APs with great driving skills but total party girls, I looked long and hard for an AP that genuinely loves children. AP3 arrived and has blown me away. I can’t believe I found someone who loves to be around my kids, is happy, cleans up and loves to cook. She is phenomenal.
She is also a terrible driver. I took her out and when I got home, I was shaking.
Our Au Pair is over 21. Her profile said that she has her own car that she drives once a week for 2 years. From this data and from our conversations during the matching process, it seemed like she had the driving skills I needed. But, no.
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