In Rematch Again? Why didn’t you call me?

by cv harquail on October 16, 2008

Just a quick, little story: call me for au pair advice

I heard through the grapevine that the au pair we had briefly, who rematched with another family over “personality issues” is in rematch– again. This made me wonder, just as I wondered when this au pair was in rematch the first time:

Why didn’t you call me?

Yes, you, host-parent-in-rematch. Why didn’t you call me?

Sure, it might have been a little awkward for you — especially if I really was that psycho host mom the au pair described to you. Even so, didn’t you want to know whether there was something that I could have shared with you, host mom to host mom?

If I’d said “We’re heartbroken that she wants to go to California to be near her friend from home” you’d have felt even more excited to welcome her into your home.

If I’d said, “She wasn’t confident driving in our town” or “She really preferred working with younger kids” or “She refused to work any Saturday nights” then you’d have had a little fuller picture of her skills and interests.

Or, If I’d said “She was unwilling to use the discipline system (timeouts) we prefer” or “She called my daughter a brat”, then you might have been forewarned about her attitude and flexibility.

rematch advice for your au pair But you didn’t call me.

And now, just 4 weeks later, you’re in rematch again.

I could have told you.

But you didn’t call me.


Denise Serbay October 27, 2008 at 5:30 pm

Or, your daughter could have been in danger and the au pair nor you would be none the wiser. Her computer usage is the least of your problems.

Anon November 11, 2008 at 7:30 pm

ITA with this any host family in rematch that cannot speak with the original host family is asking for a disaster waiting to happen no matter what the LCC says. There are more au pairs put into rematch that should not be in rematch and the agencies just push them through via LCC’s that cannot or will not get the story straight or choose to side with an au pair over a family. This happened to one of our au pairs (and we are experienced) who ended up in rematch 3 times, twice after us. It is in the agency’s best interest to find a family to stick, not to send her home. She even ended up spending two weeks after her initial two weeks at the LCC’s home hoping to find a third family and she did, only to find herself home a few months later. Buyer beware on ANY au pair in rematch where you cannot speak to the host parents!

Helen November 12, 2008 at 11:20 pm

please help – what is the typical discussion in the exit interview. we are having rematch this week. Any experience – please share. Our 4 weeks aupair and our family mutual agrrement depart

L November 21, 2008 at 4:05 am

This is an interesting issue. The agency does not want to send the girl home— they have an investment and a reputation. True. I have had two pretty bad experiences— one, the ap took the kids into Newark with some guys she hung out with, in one of their cars, and the car was impounded (is that the right word– the police took it b/c he was here illegally)—- the kids described the event to us. She was not rematched— but she did say some choice things about me (and my family) and it was hard. She was so bitter about being let go, she went out of her way to come to my house when I wasn’t there and tell the then new au pair that we were mean to her, etc. No reaction from the agency. I thought she was nuts— it had been several months since she had been let go, so to still be vengeful, scary.
The second situation was with someone who was, to put it gently and euphemistically, “mentally challenged”— so much so that the LCC said, “I am surprised they let her in the program.” My then 7 year olds ran her in circles — and could sense that she was challenged. I felt so sorry for her that I was secretly relieved that they put her in rematch (she came from the middle of nowhere and had little chance in life to get out)— but I was not surprised to find out that the rematch did not work. I was surprised no one called me and I did think that even though I was relieved, it was really unfair to send her off to another family.

Hmmm, I got on a roll here. Another angle to this situation– the competition between host moms. I have to say, I have seen this so many times. An ap or nanny complains about former abuses and the employer (host mom) does not think, hmmm, how is this woman as an employee, does she always play the victim, are these stories wildly slanted— they think, oh poor girl, I would never treat anyone that way. This is odd to me and thus worth noting because if you went into an interview you would never complain about a previous boss and the interviewer would always call previous boss.


Anna December 11, 2008 at 4:57 am

Our agency doesn’t allow to speak to former host parents. They say there might be a lot of bitterness and unfairness, and they want to give an au pair a good chance to rematch.

I agree that some girls are put in rematch that should be sent home. But I am always an optimist, maybe they really will use this experience to mature, learn their lesson and change their ways?

I also think that the agency doesn’t put the real reasons or half the real reasons in the “why she is in transition” blurb. I have learned to read between the lines. Basically, anything that you can think of as suspect, is. At least don’t risk your family’s well being on it. Things like “personality mismatch with a hostmom” is probably really her side of the story, and anything with the words “communication problem” is a big red flag. My friend’s au pair is in rematch. She is money-hungry, disrespectful, and spent all her time when she was working with kids on the computer doing personal browsing despite many warnings. When presented with evidence, she was nonchalant and nonapologetic. I bet the last bit of info didn’t get recorded anywhere, and she got a rematch reason of something like “she will do well a less structured environment and more relaxed host parents”.

Angie December 11, 2008 at 8:36 pm

Questions about rematch

We are in rematch and are having our Exit Interview this Saturday. Can anyone please share their experience and tell me what to expect? Our au pair has been with us for almost 4 months and we have struggled with this decision, but it is necessary to make it and move on. She is a very sweet girl, but is still unable to pass the driving test, which is making life a bit stressful instead of relieving any stress.
Thank you so much!!

melissa March 16, 2009 at 9:27 pm

You’re absolutely right about speaking to the previous host family about an au pair. I wasn’t aware that some places did not allow you to speak with the previous family, though?

Rematching can be tough, but a few things that I have found to make that experience as painless as possible are:
1) getting the right support from your local rep,
2) getting the right support from your agency and
3) knowing the rematching policies.

Having your local rep meet with you and/or your au pair on a regular basis can be a great help to preventing this situations, or at the very least identifying ways to resolve issues. Great local reps will work with you when something isn’t going quite right. I know a host family that had been left in an uncomfortable situation because according to their agency, they were not allowed to go into rematch until their au pair had been in their home for over a month. That should never happen!

You can also get burned by the rematching policies financially; you might be charged a fee or they will not refund you after a certain point. You should be able to get pro-rated program fee credits for whatever amount of your program fee you haven’t used yet, no matter when you rematch. No host family or au pair wants to go into rematch, but it’s a possibility that everyone should research. The policies on this aspect of a program can be what makes or breaks your experience (and your bank).

Amy January 31, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Yeap, I am in rematch again too. Our first aupair lied about being able to drive. We had to let her go because we needed a driver. I was happy to give her a recommendation to her new family as she was great with the kids and her new family did not need a driver.

We rematched with an in-country aupair in transition. She seemed like a great candidate, but when asked if I could speak to the previous host parents, I was told by her AND her LCC it was against company policy to do so. I should’ve known better, but being a first year aupair host mom, I was naive. I did wonder why we have policies on the East coast. Anyway, I took the words of the LCC and believed she was wonderful. She turned out to be a headcase. I guess you live and learn.

Darthastewart January 31, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I would think it would be in the LCC’s best interest to go lightly there- they shouldn’t want a problem au-pair in their area, because they’re going to drive the families away, and the families are ultimately paying the big part of the bills.

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