Our au pair came to us last Tuesday, out of the blue, to inform us she “wants to be by the beach” and wants to enter rematch. She has refused any attempt at mediation.
We learned today that she had listed herself, over a month ago, on a third-party site for in-country au pairs and we learned also that she has been in touch with, directly or indirectly, an LCC from in another state. Neither of these facts were revealed to us until yesterday, though our LCCs and regional coordinators have known about this for a month.
She has had no complaints about our family at that time. She simply wants to be by the beach, and says our house “doesn’t feel like home anymore.”
We have a two-year old and a 4 month old. (Btw, our au pair has never been asked to care for both children at the same time.) She has always, and continues for the time being, to provide great care for our children. And they are very, very attached to her. (This morning, my two-year-old said to me “and we all love [our au pair].” It’s breaking my heart.)
We are now scrambling to find excellent care for our children. It has become a full time job for both my husband and myself.
Is host family shopping common in general?
- The agency seems to know that they cannot give us a replacement au pair since their pool is so weak, and expects us to leave the program. As a result, they have little incentive to help us. Our LCC’s have been great, but the regional director is really, really awful. It is likely our current AP will go into rematch (or, as they say, transition)
- It has also become clear to us that with our current agency and with our current cluster that, at least here, it is quite common for au pairs to go host family shopping. They seem to search for a rematch in hopes of a better deal (more wealthy family, or simply a chance to see another part of the country).
- Is it more common for certain agencies to have this problem based on the culture of that agency? Do some agencies make it easier for their au pairs to go into rematch?
Has anyone else found that their Agency has left them in the dark about key events going on in their own home?
To be clear, this is breaking our hearts. My son is very attached to her. We invested a lot of time (and money) into this au pair. I stayed up late (while pregnant, working full time and trying to be a mommy to my toddler) to edit her college essays.We never set curfews, gave her almost full reign with our car, asked her every morning how she is doing and what is going on her life, etc.
We’re infuriated at our Agency, so very disappointed in our Au Pair, and feeling taken advantage of in every way. Any ideas for us?
JUN062009 from colemama