Rematching with your au pair is both a horrible drag and a great opportunity.
Rematching au pairs is a drag. Rematches are always hard to execute and fraught with anxiety and second guessing– and that’s just on the au pair’s side. Host parents have to tell the au pair that the match isn’t working, deal with fallout from that, cover their childcare needs, search for and then orient a new au pair, and deal with feelings of guilt and frustration. Oh, and start off on a good footing with the new au pair, after they’ve been disappointed. The whole process can take from two weeks to … too long.
On the plus side, rematch can finally get you the au pair match that you and your kids need.
You might find that you have a better and more realistic understanding of the kind of au pair you need. And, since great au pairs end up in rematch for reasons not of their making, you can often find a wonderful au pair ‘in country’.
Keep in mind: Most parents realize (albeit belatedly) that it is better to rematch than to struggle with an au pair who can never fit with what your family needs. Many many host families end up in a rematch situation at some point in their hosting careers. We rematched twice over the course of 11 au pairs (both times too late, I admit).
While the au pair industry does not make public just how many families per year go into rematch, we’ve tried to assess that here on the blog. And, I’ve seen some ‘eyes only’ data from one agency that put their annual rematch rate at 23%. So, don’t take rematch personally.
Even after we factor put the au pairs with crazy expectations and the host parents who’re looking for Mary Poppins, there are a lot of host families and au pairs going through rematch each year in good faith.
What can a host parent do to make the au pair rematch process successful?
Let’s define ‘successful” as ‘ending with a new au pair that feels like a good match’. Let’s focus first on the garden variety rematch– where there is no outragous failing by an au pair or host family, just a chronic and irresolvable lack of fit.
WestCoastHostMom, a long time reader and contributor, writes that after sevearal great matches, their current au paor just isn’t working out. WestCoastHostMom says:
I searched the website and found some old threads about *deciding* to rematch … But nothing about the nitty gritty of *how to* rematch. So, I’m wondering if you could post this question as a new thread?
Let’s try to break our advice into several chunks — use these chunks in your replies to help us kee track of different threads of advice. I’ll then try to separate it into difeernt posts.
Parts of the Au Pair Rematch Process
1. Discussing / announcing to your au pair
2. Managing your departing au pair’s departure
– settling up financially
– managing emotions
3. Handling your kids’ experience of rematch
4. Getting support from the agency
5. Finding a new au pair
a.) from ‘in country’ (an au pair in rematch)
b.) from out of country (an au pair from the new appliant pool)
6. Addressing the fallout of a bad match on your rematch and your next steps
This will likely be a crazy conversation — lots of experience, lots of advice and lots of emotions. Ready?
It’s not you, it’s her. Let her go, move on.
Despite bad Au Pair performance: “My heart can’t handle the thought of destroying her life by sending her home”
Host Parent Wish: That Rematch would fix things, not send problems to another family
Au Pair “Shopped for a New Family” with Agency’s help — behind our back
When Agencies Reward Au Pairs Who Lack Commitment
At Best, Two Weeks of Resentment?: How to handle that rematch period
Classic Case: We’re in rematch… Now what?
Explaining a Rematch to Host Children
Choosing Your Next Au Pair: Beware of the Contrast Effect
When you initiate rematch, can you ask your Au Pair to leave immediately?
Have you ever regretted that you initiated a rematch?
Settling Accounts — *Before* she departs
11 Tips for Considering an Au Pair in Rematch
Advice wanted: How to navigate the Au Pair rematch process?
In Rematch Again? Why didn’t you call me?