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[click to continue reading …]


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?

4339730815_07763e131d_mFuture 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 Future LCC, please email it to me and I will forward it along.

Image: Z33 Art Center on Flickr


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.

8331287619_5de52dc4fa_mWe’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. There were never any left for myself and my DH.

The Au Pair also refuses to eat if there is no bread. She says she can’t eat without bread. She will eat an entire loaf of bread in two days.

Here’s what I’ve tried —     [click to continue reading …]


Partnership Advice for Au Pair Host Parents

by cv harquail February 4, 2016

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 […]

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Transforming a Terrible Driver into a Safe Driver: Au Pair Success Stories?

by cv harquail February 3, 2016

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 […]

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Untangling and Saying Goodbye to Long-Term Au Pair

by cv harquail February 2, 2016
jereme wong

Here’s a situation that’s a real outlier — this Host Family has had their same Au Pair for 8 years. First, as an Au Pair, then as a visiting (live in) student. Even though it’s an uncommon situation, I thought you readers might enjoy the whole story and have ideas to share. Now it’s time […]

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When Having An Au Pair Exposes Cracks in Your Marriage

by cv harquail January 30, 2016

Getting an Au Pair can expose cracks in your marriage that you haven’t seen before. Getting an Au Pair can also force you to pay attention to dynamics that have been there all along but that you and your spouse have “successfully” avoided before. It’s not the Au Pair herself or himself that “causes” the […]

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Can You Recommend Trustworthy Agencies for US Au Pairs Going Abroad?

by cv harquail January 27, 2016

Any reader of this blog knows — an Au Pair Agency becomes an important support for a young person coming to the USA. The Agency screens Host Parents, manages all the Au Pair’s training and travel, and is the first place to turn in any kind of relationship, health, or other emergency. What happens, though, […]

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Single Host Mom with UnAppreciative Au Pair: Can This Relationship Be Saved?

by cv harquail January 23, 2016
au pair problems, au pair depressed

Dear Au Pair Mom Readers — I don’t know why I thought I was ready for this!! Friends of my parents have had wonderful experiences with their au pairs and I thought hosting an au pair would allow for my daughter to be at home another year while I returned to school. First, the positive: […]

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Au Pair with Broken Ankle: Battling the Au Pair Agency AND the Insurance Company

by cv harquail January 22, 2016

A Host Mom needs advice on how to advocate for an Au Pair who needs surgery.  We are a host family to our second au pair midway through her first year. Our current Au Pair is impressively independent and strong. She’s had a run of bad luck since arriving in the US culminating in her […]

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