When it comes to looking for a new au pair, I’m a big fan of staying “inside the box”. Maybe it’s the cautious side of my nature, or the lazy side, but I’ve not been tempted to look beyond the official agencies.
— Are these other locations very helpful? Or,
— Are these groups filled with either scammers ready to take your money and or with applicants too disorganized (or undesirable?) to use an accredited agency?
A SouthAfricanAP emailed us with questions about alternative search venues:
Do host families utilise facebook/other groups and websites outside of the agencies’ pools to look for new aupairs?
Will it benefit me and my application to use these other matching groups and sites?
Should I just stick to the agency network and trust that my family will find me?
She’s already started her application with a major US Au Pair Agency, and she joined a few facebook groups to look for advice.
In these groups, I have noticed a recurrence of aupairs in rematch looking for families in these pages. It made me wonder if host parents actually see these candidates. Do aupairs actually find host families (or vice-versa) from places other than their agency pools?
I’m a member of a Host Parent Facebook group that occasionally but not often shares information on au pair candidates. We can do this because:
— It’s a closed group where everyone uses his or her own name,
— We are all in the same (more or less) geographic area, and
— The group is actively moderated by some sensible and kind key members.
These features have created a high level of familiarity and trust among the parents.
When one of us knows of a good au pair in rematch, or feels the need to warn folks of a potentially disastrous rematch, s/he mentions that s/he has this information and invites other parents to contact her/him privately for more information. This way, the group keeps a lid on gossip and passing along hearsay while we share help specifically where it’s needed.
I think this model works well, but groups like this are not available to everyone. But maybe there are similar places/groups that Host Parents use and trust?