AuPairMom: Proudly Independent

by cv harquail on December 7, 2009

We interrupt our conversation to discuss the status of AuPairMom.

In case you were wondering, AuPairMom is not affiliated with any au pair agency. I, CV (aka mom@aupairmom), am not a host mom affiliated with or currently using any au pair agency.4 puppies green.jpg

I feel compelled to remind you of the independence of the blog, because a reader called to my attention that a conversation at another site was making false statements and claims about AuPairMom.

On another blog is posted:

“Most host families don’t know but CV (the woman who runs AuPairMom) is a host mom with Cultural Care and most host moms who blog on her site are also Cultural Care host moms. This is why you are seeing such hostility against this website … Most counselors and au pair reps in the industry know this connection to Cultural Care.”

This statement is misleading, and also completely false.

I have asked the person in charge of the other site to remove this statement and to post a correction. The correction should include:

  1. CV (the mom at AuPairMom) is not affiliated with any au pair agency.
  2. CV is not a host mom with Cultural Care. CV has never been with a host mom with Cultural Care.
  3. Cv has no business dealings with Cultural Care or with any other agency.

  4. AuPairMom is and has always been an independent blog.
  5. AuPairMom is not and has never been affiliated with Cultural Care.

I also asked the owner to correct the presumptions about you readers, and abTawny Owl Chicks keith marshall.jpegout other people’s assessments of the blog. To wit:

  • There is no data to suggest that “most host moms” on AuPairMom are with Cultural Care.
    (Since I, CV, have never conducted a survey of the readership’s agency use, I have no idea who is connected with which agency.)
  • Without a formal and scientific survey of “most counselors and au pair reps in the industry”, no one can claim to “know” what these folks believe.

Readers, if you have any questions or concerns about AuPairMom’s independence, please contact me via email.

Thank you, readers. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.


HM in WI December 7, 2009 at 11:43 pm

I think it’s funny, CV, that people have an issue with this blog. I was so happy when I found it because hosting an AP is not something that my friends understand. It is so nice to have found a blog that talks about things that happen in my house with my AP. I don’t really care what agency people use…if they have (or have had) an AP, they can relate to what’s going on in my house. I have no idea what agency the commenters on this blog use unless they state it in their comments. I even passed the link along to the families in my cluster (not with CC) because finding this site was such a relief for me! Oh well…let people have their issues…I’ll keep reading….at least for another year until I’m done with the AP program.

TXMom December 8, 2009 at 12:27 am

Like we spend our free time juggling a career, families and hosting a foreign young adult to conduct viral marketing for CC by exchanging sometimes unflattering stories and advice on hosting an AP? I share HM in WI’s humor!

I’ve never hidden the fact that I am an APIA customer, but I don’t think agency matters very much in our conversations about becoming better host parents.

Jenny December 8, 2009 at 3:35 am

Both my LLC with APIA and CC recommended this site to me, and I used the agency with the best girl.

This site has been a life saver and got me off on the right foot with choosing the best girl and doing things right from the beginning so no horror stories! Sorry you are getting some flack…I hope this sets the record straight.

Thanks for helping me to be a better host mom, CV, and for ALL the moms on here who’ve helped this be an awesome experience, regardless of our agency! Never even considered it when considering someone’s advice!

Anonymous December 8, 2009 at 9:25 am

I am a regular reader along with several other moms in our cluster as well as our APs. I can confirm that none of us are with CC. :-))

PA aupair mom December 8, 2009 at 9:50 am

I can confirm that I am in fact a CC host mom. This is my second year and I have been very happy with them. 2 other families in our local town use Go Aupair and they occasionally post on this site as well. They are not and have never been associated with CC.

Keep up the great work CV.

Calif Mom December 8, 2009 at 10:21 am

Such ridiculousness!

[I won’t even discuss the spam voicemails I’ve been getting on my cell phone from Cultural Care.]

I sniff desperation in the air… too bad. Because aupairmom is the ONLY source I’ve found for intelligent, hype-less conversations about au pairing.

Darthastewart December 8, 2009 at 10:36 am

Heh. I sense someone is getting desparate.

Anonymous December 8, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I am actually a (very dissatisfied) CC HM, so I’m not sure that my being a frequent visitor here would help CCs marketing campaign! :) Having said that, I agree with the PP that most of the things brought up here are universal to the AP/HF experience and have very little to do with which agency we are using. Keep up the great work.

franzi December 8, 2009 at 4:54 pm

i wasn’t an AP with CC (i was with APIA) and i think that anyone who takes some time to browse through this site or becomes a regular reader will notice that this is not so much about agencies (sure it is here and there) as about people – be it the LCC, the AP, the host family, as well as cultural backgrounds.

you can have the greatest agency but if your match is a fail it’s a fail.


Janet December 8, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I can confirm that I am an AuPair Care mom, and I didn’t realize this was a CC bashing site! I just liked the site b/c topics are relevant to all host families and AP’s.

[note: There hasn’t actually been CC-basing in AuPairMom-hosted conversations… that was at another site. The goal here is to make things relevant for as many host families as possible by focusing on issues that are close to universal… cvh]

Another CA Mom December 8, 2009 at 8:57 pm

This further reinforces why I don’t need to find support & advice from any other site! This is the site for me, and I am so grateful it’s here.

AnnaAuPair December 9, 2009 at 4:33 am

I think this blog has helped so many HFs and APs that it wouldn’t even matter if it was just marketing for CC.

Anonymous December 9, 2009 at 3:24 pm

You know, a couple of months ago , I saw a website that looked exactly like this and it was the website of a couselor with Cultural Care. The logo and colors were exactly the same and I was very confused. I think the counselor’s name was Rebecca something.
I just assumed that it is a fairly common template for blogs.
It also occurred to me that success breeds imitation ( like knock off
Gucci purses ) so I put it out of my mind. The content was radically different – nothing like this blog

CV December 9, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Hi Anonymous-
You probably did see a site with the same free template that I used when I started AuPairMom 2 yrs ago…. The template, called Bluebird, has a bird on a brown branch.
I loved that template, until Twitter became more popular. Twitter used the same common-source bird graphic as that template– and all of a sudden the template was too Twitter…
Also, it was very buggy and couldn’t ‘do’ lots of the things I wanted a blog to do. So, I purchased the template I use now (thesis) which is itself very popular, and have done a half-baked customization with my little owl graphic.

A few months ago, when LCCs started putting up their own local blogs, that Bluebird theme reappeared– I’ve seen maybe 3 LCC blogs with that theme– it is pretty. BUT I hope no one gets confused. The set of free, pretty, simple wordpress themes is small, so there is lots of duplication (MistyLook by sadish, anyone?). So you’ve noticed a real phenomenon.
Maybe over the holiday break I’ll spend some time customizing this current blog theme… I have a pink and orange scheme in mind, he he he…

Jeana December 10, 2009 at 5:43 am

I was a lurker for awhile, wondering if this site would be a positive opportunity to address topics of interest to me, as a host mom. I’ve only been with AuPair in America, had a great experience, and anyone that has spent any time here would see that discussions are topic driven. I wish that I’d had this as a resource when I was beginning our experience, as I would have avoided some errors. I’m so grateful for our experience as a host family, and love the opportunity to connect with other families. Thank you, CV, for the time that you take to introduce new, timely, and relevant topics. I’ve been a faithful reader, and it is clear to me that you are not plugging a specific agency. I’m a single mom, with two children with health issues, preparing for my younger daughter’s 7th surgery, active in our adoption community, work full-time, and do volunteer work. I haven’t got time to plug your agency, whatever it is, and I would gladly tell the blogger who is trying to rain on our parade that! I often mention my own agency, AuPair in America, as they’ve been great to work with over the years, and if I was beginning, I’d appreciate hearing names of agencies with a good reputation to consider, because there are so many out there! Grab your umbrellas, fellow host moms, because we need to stay dry and stick together! If you haven’t been a host mom, there is a whole lot you can’t relate to; we really need to support one another. Stay warm, because we’re FREEZING in the suburbs of Chicago! We’ve had snow, sleet, ice, snowdrifts, dropping temperatures, and really big winds. Last thing I need here is more rain!!! Rain, rain, go away!!! Come back when you’re ready to play and be nice!

Anonymous December 10, 2009 at 1:23 pm

How about helping your aupair adjust to the weather as a topic ? I’ve had aupairs from the southern hemisphere and the tropics who were traumatized by the cold weather.
One aupair was terrified to go out of the house but another could not wait to take pictures of herself in the snow to send home to her parents and friends !

TX Mom December 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Great topic!!! Our AP’s (usually) hate the TX heat in the summer *and* the cold in the winter.

CV December 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Crazy AP Story- At fist sign of snow, changed into bathing suit to run around outside to feel the snowflakes on her (South African) skin. so sweet, to see someone enjoy the magic of snow for the first time.

NoVA Host Mom December 11, 2009 at 10:02 am

I’m not with CC either (I think I might have mentioned where I am in previous posts), but frankly the fact that we have HFs and APs from different agencies is a huge help! Everything from agency policies to the AP Handbooks has been put together in one location and helps to show us newer HMs and HDs different ways of approaching things.

Keep up the great work, CV, and don’t let that turkey get you down.

Anonymous December 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Hi everyone – I wanted to clear up some confusion about specific comments made on my site and comments made here on this website.

The comment made on my website by a reader (Alicia) who states that aupairmom is affliliated with Cultural Care does not reflect my opinion or anyone’s opinion at All comments are the intellectual property of the individual user. We just moderate and post comments (if they do not violate our User Content Policy). We did post CV’s objection to that post made by “Alicia” –

We continue to support and endorse and think it is a terrific resource for host parents!

We understand is not affiliated with Cultural Care and we have posted that statement on our site.

It very well may be that there is some confusion over and Cultural Care’s new website: where one of Cultural Care’s Vice Presidents, Susan Robinson, (who used to be a host mom) runs a blog like this one and uses a very similar name.

As for my website, our MAIN focus is providing all the news on the au pair industry so parents can make good, reliable and safe choices for their childcare decisions. We do not reject a news story because it is “negative.” We understand that our readers are adults and that they are capable of editing their own reading – we will continue to provide all the news and not “some” of the news according to our own individual bias or preferences. Host parents are perfectly capable of deciding whether or not these news stories are helpful/useful or not in their quest for the best au pair for their children.

Our forums and blog are just one of our many services to our readers and they are secondary to our main focus, which is collecting and posting information, news stories, ratings and reviews on the au pair agencies. We post complaints, etc., because that is one of the areas we focus on for parents (they can decide for themselves if they believe these complaints or not). To remain unbiased, we have to post all comments unless they violate our User Content Policy.

Regarding our surveys, they are completed by host parents throughout the country and collected by a third party (to ensure reliabilty/validity) and we never publish any survey finding unless our sample size is 100 or or larger. This generous sample size ensures that our ratings are valid and “scientific.”

We are not affiliated with any au pair agency! We are an independent website and we do not receive monies from any outside source! It does not cost much money to have a website, about $200 dollars a year!

We do not feel our website is in competition with this one – our mission and goals are different but I feel our websites compliment each other very nicely and we think host parents can benefit from both resources.

We welcome all host parents to join our forums! When reading and commenting on any site, please remember users’s comments do not reflect the website’s beliefs or opinions!

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season!

Warm regards,

Edina Stone
Founder & CEO

d. johnson March 9, 2010 at 5:40 pm

were can i find an au pair for my family without going through an agency?? are there any available out there?

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