Parents, here’s an emergency plea from a First Time Host Mom, who needs advice on dealing with an unhelpful agency. LCCs and area directors, chime in too, please!
Hello! I have a problem w/ an au pair company (which shall remain nameless) and I am not sure how to handle it. We are a new host family in Charlotte, NC.
Just got an au pair last week from South America. She looked great on paper–and said all the right things on the phone in interviews. She arrived and we are sending her home after 6 days.
She misrepresented her driving experience–which is unsafe, at best; scratched my car–then lied about it; doesn’t interact w/ my kids (ages 2 and 5)–now claims that younger children are “too much for her”–then discovered that she lied on her application and interviews about her experience w/ 2 year olds; will not clean the kids’ rooms or pick up after them, do their dishes, their laundry–said that she did not expect this much work. Apparently she found a date on the fourth day when she left my kids alone at the park and walked across the street to meet an exterminator–verified by my five year old son.
So we found another au pair w/in the system who is in California. During the time in between au pairs we are expected to host this current au pair in our house–AND pay for her week of “work”–yet she never comes out of her room ($160). The au pair agency is going to send her back to her country since she clearly can not be placed anywhere else–she lied on her application, after all.
We feel as though the au pair agency did not do their due diligence in verifying references. It would have been uncovered that her driving record was not correct–and that she didn’t have any legit experience w/ younger kids. But that was never done.
The au pair agency wants us to pay for the NEW au pair’s transport from California to North Carolina. FYI–we certainly did pay for initial transport of the first au pair from South America–and are not being reimbursed.
Can they do this? We are so confused and hurt by all of this….and as all you parents can imagine, this has been such turmoil for our kids and our schedule.–
Thanks for any help with this…. GKS
Replies Host Mommy Dearest:
Not sure what agency you are with, but if the AP does not work during transition, you don’t have to pay her. Period.
I did not have my transitioning AP work, and I definetely would NOT if I were you – especially if she stays in her room anyway. BTW the stipend is $196, not $160 if you schedule her to work. If they are sending her home (I agree they should due to safety concerns) then it should not take them 2 weeks to book her flights. When I got a new AP in transition I did not pay any transport fee and she came from a different state.
Get on the horn with your LCC/AD and corporate to find out the plan and timeline.
I think the transport fee depends upon the agency so you may have some negotiation strength. Agencies usually will accommodate a HF who is unhappy and threatening to switch to a different agency.