Our post about interviewing extension candidates reminds us of an earlier bit of advice that was a surprise to many of us host parents.
My LCC gave me great advice. No matter how good the relationship is, NEVER extend with the same au pair. It almost never works out. She thinks that an au pair extending into a new family is fine, but not extending with the same family. Either the au pair takes advantage of the host family or vice versa (or a combination of the two). She said the relationship changes after extension and it’s just not the same.
Our first au pair wanted to extend with us for a full year (which is why my LCC was telling me this). While she was great with our daughter, there were other issues (i.e. she was constantly telling us what other au pairs got as perks and was constantly asking to take the car out of the area, and other things). We explained to her that the LCC doesn’t recommend extending with the same family and she actually agreed (her friend extended with the same family whom she loved, but it didn’t work out). So we moved on to a new au pair who didn’t give us these headaches at all.
Another mom comments:
I’m wondering whether that’s the consensus, or whether other people have the opposite view. We’re a long way away from having to make this decision with our current AP — she’s only been with us for about a month — but if things continue to be as wonderful with her as they have during this first month, we would definitely want to extend with her. (And … we would feel really jealous if she extended, but went to another family!)
If you have extended with an au pair , give us your opinion:
If you are an LCC and/or have lots of real data about other host families’ experiences:
For the record, parents:
We have pretty much agreed that it is not a good idea to extend with an au pair that is “just” so-so . As one mom said"
"In this scenario the only advantage would be that you save some money. But if your au pair is not doing already what you need her to do what makes you believe that will change in the second year? Unless you don’t mind supervising everything she does for another year. … It is the so-so extensions that usually don’t work out because people are not extending for “right” reasons – they are not honest with themselves and are hoping for something that cannot be."