Intervene, or Not? Our Rematched Au Pair is Misrepresenting Herself to Potential Host Parents

by cv harquail on December 13, 2016

We always, always recommend that Host Parents get current references when they consider rematch candidates.  This Host Mom’s situation explains why.

Dear Au Pair Mom —  I’ve trying to figure out whether, and how, to interfere in a situation that I’m sure will become a problem.

Our first Au Pair was a epic fail.   We started out as excited, optimistic first time host parents. We had what we thought would be an amazing match.

While I’m aware that there are two sides to every story, our short version of why we had such an epic fail reads as follows: we discovered our Au pair hated small children, she made bad decisions regarding their care, lied to us, did not communicate, asked for presents and extra vacation time, declined to work, and became hostile towards our children.

5520753376_1e80601b29_mThis au pair was not recommended by us or our local coordinator to continue in our Au Pair program. Ultimately she was reinterviewed four times and sent in for rematch.

We agreed to house her during this process against my better judgement and were left with a really awful mess and also a toilet explosion of epic proportions (she had broken her personal bathroom without any knowledge to us until weeks later).     

I almost quit the program but gave it another go with someone else. Things turned out well –My husband and I found someone amazing! This new Au Pair actually likes children and is lovely to have in our family. We are a great team.

Because we’ve had many Au Pairs over to our house for local Au pair gatherings, I’ve become a resource for local Au Pairs.

Recently I was helping a lovely Au Pair find a host family for her extension year, and I saw something that concerned me on an Au Pair message board.

Our former Au Pair is going for match 3 in under 6 months! She is interviewing with a family that has small children the same age as ours. She was writing messages promising whatever she wants in exchange for living in her desired part of the USA. She’s been making claims about her experience and her interests that I know are untrue.

In our experience we had written proof of her dislike of small children (amongst other awful things). While the agency sided with us it seems that there was no followup or documentation about what actually led to the rematch.

I’m being encouraged by all involved (lcc, host families, my current Au pair etc.) to keep messaging families who contact me about the former Au Pair and want a reference.  This feels strange, and leaves it up to chance that they’d even reach out to me.  I’m planning to send this particular mom a message through the board.

Meanwhile, the agency is very disorganized and isn’t helping to protect future families. Even our own exit documents have changed like 5 times with no attention to detail.

While this isn’t my place to interfere necessarily, is there any suggestion you may have on how to save future families and kids what I’m pretty sure will be a bad situation?

{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

AP in Ireland December 13, 2016 at 8:16 pm

To be honest, It’s a difficult situation. I understand that you want to help future families and prevent the disaster but you never know how much the au pair has changed. I hated kids before I wanted to be an au pair, started working with children mainly because I wanted to go abroad and now I love them!! I’m not saying that she HAS changed or that she isn’t lying… I just want you to be aware that it IS possible for people to change in such a short period of time! Especially au pairs go through a lot of personal development! Maybe she has learned a lot since she left you and now she feels ready to try working with small children again. Maybe she sees the new family as a chance to do it better. You don’t know what is going on inside her. No matter how bad your experiences were with her, with all the personal development an au pair goes through, she might be a completely different person now. And even if she didn’t change as drastically, she’s probably learned a lot and maybe she is now more confident around small children.

And I’m not sure if it is fair of you to try to keep the girl from finding a new family. I understand that you don’t want something like that to happen to someone else but you never know, maybe she only behaved like this with you because you didn’t “click” and it will be different for the new host family. Even if they face difficulties, maybe THEY can work it out and find a solution with her, whilst you maybe couldn’t.
Everyone is different. Personalities sometimes don’t match.. but who knows? maybe her future host mom will be her best friend because they just “click” much better than you and her?

Please consider those things before you do anything to harm her.

Reply

SeattleHostDad December 14, 2016 at 12:03 am

We’re not talking a third chance to be a burger-flipper – we’re talking about taking care of vulnerable little kids. With a demonstrated, very recent experience (and presumably a second, given the additional rematch) of being a terrible au pair, there is absolutely no reason to put yet another family through that particular hell again. What you say is a fraction of a percent chance, and that just isn’t enough to inflict this au pair on another family.

Personal experience says that agencies generally bend over 359 degrees to place even the worst rematch au pairs, and the transition documents are generally totally fictitious – you have to be pretty skilled at reading between the lines.

Reply

Host Mom who posted December 14, 2016 at 12:52 am

I completely agree that it is very possible for anyone to change in a short period of time. I guess the issue is a misrepresentation of what was such an awful and deceptive behavior. I kinda wish I didn’t know or didn’t hear that the same things happened to the second family also. Had I never saw that she had done this twice and was misrepresenting herself for a third time I would be none the wiser. Unfortunately while I think that anyone (and her) can change this isn’t the case in writing for sure on a mutual message board that we use where I am seeing this. I don’t want to stop her from finding a match, I do have definite reservations about what’s happening. She’s also flat out lying about her reasons for rematch but it may fall under the category of none of my business. I would feel terrible if she were to rematch and someone else’s children were poorly cared for and they discovered this in a similar fashion as us.

Reply

Jessi December 14, 2016 at 7:52 am

The au pair ‘hates small children’ and made ‘bad decisions’. Parents absolutely deserve to have someone trustworthy take care of their children. someone who hates kids and makes bad choices isn’t going to love them and be a great caregiver just by changing families…..

To the OP: small children can’t talk and tell anyone what is going on! they can’t tell their parents what crazy decisions and au pair has made.

Reply

WestMom December 14, 2016 at 9:45 am

I am glad you eventually found a way to enjoy children, but how deceitful to enroll in a childcare program in the first place if you ‘hated’ children. If one of my APs every told me they used to hate children when they arrived in my home to care for my children, I would feel absolutely duped.

Reply

AP in Ireland December 17, 2016 at 8:31 pm

i discovered my love for children BEFORE I LEFT MY HOME. In a volunteer job i could have left anytime. I never lied to my host family because by the time i started matching I already loved kids. What i am talking about is I hated kids YEARS AGO because I had to babysit my cousin when I was 16 and she was just a pain in the ass. I never WANTED to but my parents forced me. When I was 19 I cared for children because I actually wanted to and not because my parents forced me to. THEN I started to enjoy it. I never lied to my host family

Reply

Anna December 14, 2016 at 11:47 am

hmmmm….. harming an au pair’s American dream vs. potential harm to small defenseless children…. My choice would be clear.

Reply

AP in Ireland December 17, 2016 at 8:26 pm

Where in the effing J1 visa requirements does it say that au pairs have to LOVE their job? Not liking your job is not the same as harming defenseless children! You are not harming them if you still put effort into your job and are making sure your host parents don’t have anything to complain about, you are doing nothing wrong. After all its about how you DO your job. Not whether you hate it or love it.

Reply

Anna December 19, 2016 at 7:56 am

I was talking about OP situation when I was using the word harm, not you. And touche use of an expletive here, sure shows emotional balance required to work with small kids.

Reply

Frankfurt AP Boy December 19, 2016 at 8:29 am

I guess she will have to find one of those emotionally unbalanced families in which the adults use effing (or maybe even blimey or flipping?) in adult only situations. May God have mercy on their souls.

West Mom December 19, 2016 at 10:58 am

Frankfurt AP Boy, this is a perfect example of why sometimes the voice of the international AP community does not resonate at all with the intended audience of this blog: American host parents. Most of us would agree that no, adults should probably not swear other than in private adult settings. Not in front of children, and not on a grown up respectable blog like this one. And that does not make us emotionally unbalanced. And no one on the side of the Atlantic would say Blimey, btw.

Frankfurt AP Boy December 19, 2016 at 12:30 pm

Urg I didn’t phrase it correctly. I don’t have a problem with people that don’t swear.

I meant that she will have to find one those families that do say extremely minor swear words in some situations (namely adult only situations such as this forum). Then she and the family will be equally as “emotionally unbalanced”.

exaupair December 21, 2016 at 6:08 am

There’s no requirement to LOVE the job, but how can you do your job if you don’t LIKE it at least? Must be a torture, and frankly, I can see how a ‘tormented’ AP releases her frustration on the children thus ‘harming’ them in a way.

Reply

Amy-AP December 15, 2016 at 6:33 am

I’m thinking maybe the au pair said she hates small children because she wanted an excuse to go into rematch (telling the agency that you don’t like where the host family lives isn’t seen as a valid reason to leave that family). It seems as though this particular au pair isn’t in it for the work/spirit of the program but sees this as a means to an end, she probably wanted to go on vacation and in her mind thought this would be an easy gig. What the OP can do is be honest when she’s writing a reference letter, and potential families can do with it what they want. 3 rematches in 6 months and she’s the common denominator, most families will really look into that and hopefully see through whatever facade she’s putting on. Now is the time to cut your losses and direct your energy to something/someone else – this au pair has already wasted enough of your time.

Reply

Meg December 15, 2016 at 5:26 pm

Do you really mean that you “hated” children? Or did you intend something else? I ask in case English is not your first language. If you mean just what you said, I am glad it worked out ok but I think that there is a good chance that some day, maybe when you have kids, I think that you will look back and have a little more sympathy for the kids in situations like this and a little bit less for the AP. She may be young, but she is an adult and can be accountable for her mistake. The children did nothing wrong and don’t deserve to have their well being gambled with on the change this woman overcomes her dishonesty, dislike for children and lack of responsibility.

Reply

AP in Ireland December 17, 2016 at 8:33 pm

see above my reply to Anna.

Reply

Batmum December 16, 2016 at 6:59 am

I’m frankly disgusted with this reply. You ‘hated’ small children but for your own selfish intentions you decided to represent your self as someone willing to act as a ‘big sister’ and care for young vulnerable kids? I presume you had to lie then to your host family and deceive them into taking you in. The fact that you developed an affection for kids is irrelevant. These people took you into their home and trusted you with the care of their children. If you didn’t magically discover that you actually loved kids, you could have made their lives miserable – just like the OPs aupair. (and considering how unregulated the aupair situation in Ireland is you could have ended up on the street). Like the OPs aupair, you made very poor decisions and you were dishonest and acted very immaturely. Not the qualities most host families look for in an aupair. I think potential host families should be made aware of the character of an aupair if she is so unsuitable for the position. So I would contact the mum she is messaging. Let her make her decision based on the facts.

Reply

West Mom December 16, 2016 at 10:25 am

While I completely agree with you on the shameful misrepresentation, I think it’s a fine line between what we think is providing ‘facts’ as opposed to ‘opinion’.

If I had facts that AP had or could have caused harm to my children or my property, either knowingly or through negligence, then I would actively seek out and warn prospective families. (But really, she should be removed from the program anyway, right?).

If I have the opinion that AP as a poor attitude, communication skills, the poor judgement to ask for presents, extra days off and to tell me she is not available to work, I’ll be happy to let families know *if* they reach me to inquire. I don’t think it’s up to me to actively reach out and give my personal, sometimes emotional opinion of another person I had a disagreement with, and who might be trying to do better under different circumstances.

Only OP really knows if the information she has consists of facts or opinions. The possible facts here are: How did AP make bad decisions regarding the children’s care, what did she lie about, and how did she exhibit hostility towards our children?

It is terrible to think an AP would ‘hate’ children. I am sort of taking this one with a grain of salt because I really can’t imagine someone staying in a job they hate this much only to benefit from the other perks that come with it. I am wondering if OP might being overdramatizing here saying she has proof that AP saying she dislikes little kids (which would not be the first person to realize little kids are haaaaard! Guilty as charged!), but summing up by saying ‘AP hates little kids’. That statement takes it to another level.

Reply

Host Mom who posted December 16, 2016 at 4:32 pm

Hey, I totally understand your option. I wanted to follow up with you. There were fundamental issues beyond her dislike of children however factually we had the following:

-au pair left a notebook open on our kitchen table with a list of awful things about our children. The heading read our family name with the words in her native language. While I understand that I shouldn’t have read it, I became concerned and translated it. Information included that: my 1 year old wouldn’t behave when she tried to meet with her friends during work hours and that she is too fat to walk. While this was a silly thing, it began the basis for me investigating this. It said she wants to find children who could be in school or activities because she does not enjoy small children. It said she would have to think of good rematch and might want to say we broke program rules (she didn’t say this). there was a note below it debating how rich we are, if she could find richer people but we treat her to dinner but don’t give fancy vacations.

I also spoke to someone who approached me concerned with her caring for my children. They lived in our town and told me my son played with kids but the au pair did not respond to him and that my 1 year old was ignored while she texted

The au pair also expected that since this is a cultural exchange she could leave me task lists to be responsible for such as: researching her a new computer, esl instruction since I was an educator and a variety of other tasks which as a new host mom (and this may sound dumb) I didn’t realize weren’t customary.

Reply

AP in Ireland December 17, 2016 at 8:20 pm

First of all i would like to say that I discovered that I love children WHILE I WAS STILL in my home country. Au pairs need 200 hours of experience right? well i was working full time with children for A YEAR. Which means that I, in fact never lied to my Host family because by the time I started matching, I already loved children. Sorry for the misunderstanding. And while I was in my home country, I could have easily ended my job. It was a volunteer job so it wasn’t like I Needed the money or anything. I did it because, even though i hated kids at first, i started to genuinely enjoy it.

Reply

Callie December 21, 2016 at 10:19 am

AP in Ireland, I think that is the main difference for your situation and this one. I totally understand what you are saying, I never really liked small children when I was younger either (I wouldn’t say “hate”, but I would bet that’s a language/cultural thing there), until I had children. Even still, I prefer other people’s children to be older and talking (I like mine the ages they are, LoL!).

The difference here, is you realized before starting out in the program that you wanted to care for children, and you took your job seriously. You mentioned how much an AP will change in a year, and I agree. But you are relating your changes over many years, to this girl in months rather than years. And honestly, you may be right that she has changed…except for the fact that she is lying to other HFs about her prior rematches. That is the clincher for me. If she was being honest about the prior experiences, it would show growth and that she is changing. The lying shows that she has not changed at all, and is not learning.

With that said. It takes a village. We HFs and APs are the village. If we don’t help each other through this, then we hurt perfectly good HFs, who will leave the program. APs, think selfishly, the more good HFs that leave the program because they weren’t warned about a bad AP and have a bad experience, the less good HFs are available. This program only works if HFs want to join the program. There are other childcare options in the US to choose from. And HFs, think selfishly, if it were you and your children’s happiness (I won’t even go into safety issues, you want your children to be happy, and small children can’t speak up, so they could be unhappy for a while before you really see the problems) on the line, wouldn’t you want to know that the AP you are considering letting into your home and family is lying to you? I certainly would. This is my life and my children’s life. That’s important to me.

Reply

AP in Ireland December 26, 2016 at 7:08 pm

Ok, I really understand where you are coming from… but honestly, can you blame au pairs for being selfish? because host families are too. au pairs want the best possible host family and will reject families because of small reasons (for example if they do not live in California) but so do host families! If i were her, and i had gone through Personal development, i think i would lie too… not because I haven’t changed but because I know host families are picky and I might never find one if I mention to all that I have had a bad experience and used to hate kids 2 months ago.

I agree, change doesn’t happen in such a short time. She probably is still the same. Of course! But if you don’t want to leave the country, and this is the only family who is interviewing you in rematch? I’d probably do the same. It’s not right. it’s a wrong thing to do to the au pair program. It’s not fair. One should be honest. But… it’s a loophole one can use. Unfortunately it’s a bad thing people can do and mostly get away with. I guess the thing that bothers me most is that this host mom is going out of her way to make sure this au pair won’t find a new family. Making sure she gets sant home WITHOUT even letting her explain herself first. Not talking to her and asking her why she is lying to other host families. Not giving her a chance to say her side of the story. Of course, she’s doing something wrong… but she deserves to explain herself BEFORE her former host mom comes back to haunt her and not letting her find a new family

WestMom December 14, 2016 at 9:46 am

I think that if you had an au pair who put you put your children at risk, and the agency chose to put her back in the pool, you should do everything possible to alert other parents of the situation (and dump the agency, and spread the word that they are doing a horrible job).

In this case, this AP might have been a poor match for the family (or the program at large), but it doesn’t sound like her behavior puts anyone at risk. At some point, you just have to let it go and hope that other parents will do their homework, i.e.- call the previous families, call the previous LCC and take their time interviewing to see the real motivation for this candidate.

You can’t save everyone from themselves. And you can’t be 100% sure that this girl won’t find a family that could be a better fit, and that can help her grow into a better, more mature and loving person.

Reply

TwiceBurned December 19, 2016 at 4:51 pm

Unfortunately, though I agree with this approach in general, I think it gives far too much credit to the agencies,their screening processes, and their transition procedures. ALL of the agencies err on the side of allowing APs to rematch rather than be sent home – so if you dump one for this reason, you might as well decide not to have an AP at all. And in many cases, it’s not a question of prospective families not doing their homework, or not being sufficiently diligent in their interviewing – they simply aren’t aware it’s even an option to contact a previous host family.

Transition documents will suggest previous host families don’t want to be contacted, or they’ve “left the program.” And in at least one agency’s case, if you say you would NOT recommend the AP to another host family, they automatically put down that you aren’t willing to be contacted. The other option is to say you *would* recommend, even if you know that’s not true, so your contact information will be shared.

Many of the APs are extremely well networked, and word gets around about families. I think there’s a significant information imbalance, and the agencies are exacerbating it because they have a financial incentive always to rematch APs, barring a police report or actual proof of criminal activity. If I were the new host in OP’s scenario, I would be grateful for the additional perspective in what’s often a lonely and bewildering experience if you aren’t plugged in with other HFs.

Reply

WarmStateMomma December 22, 2016 at 8:40 am

**Interesting insight** HF leaving the program doesn’t mean what you think it means.

Our AP announced last week she is leaving the program to start school next month. *We* are list as “leaving the program” and here’s how we have the label:

Our next AP was already scheduled to start when the current AP’s year ends (in 3 months). The agency didn’t have any APs with a few months left to complete current AP’s term. So they listed us as leaving the program.

Lesson: accept nothing at face value.

Reply

DMMom December 14, 2016 at 11:29 am

I am going to side with the host family on this one. I would try and reach out and alert the family. I understand that there are two sides to every story, but when small children are involved and their care may be compromised that is it. I would want and hope that some responsible adult (previous host mom, LLC, etc) would alert me if they saw I was making this mistake. An Au Pair who hates small children is most likely neglectful and quite possibly dangerous. Alert potential host mom ASAP. There are many Au Pairs for that family, no need for them to try one that is most likely not going to be successful.

Reply

Anna December 14, 2016 at 11:45 am

I am forever grateful to a fellow host mom who alerted me to what could be seen as a small lie by my au pair (she was a “nonsmoker” who smoked in her home).

I rematched and after she left I found out she has been endangering my small children routinely, and it is a miracle they were not hurt yet (as in leaving them unsupervised while she skyped in her room on the other level of the house, leaving my baby in the car inside a carseat on the parking lot while she was picking up another child, despite me instructing her repeatedly on never ever leaving a child in the car.. instinct perhaps?). Other stories started coming out from other adults and my own older kid who apparently was afraid to tell me things while the au pair was with us.

So yes, I would view it as my responsibility to protect small kids from someone who has a potential to put them in danger, whether or not you have observed it in your home already, or if their character makes it likely. Seems like your au pair lied to you and keeps lying to others; I CANNOT trust small children who cannot tell me what is going on to someone who is not truthful in other areas of their lives. To me this is common sense, trust and safety.

Reply

NBHostMom December 14, 2016 at 12:32 pm

As a host mom who’s just gone through rematch, I would be very grateful if another host parent reached out to me.

OP said they have stumbled upon this online. Why not send a neutral note to the new host family along the lines of…. “small world, by happenstance I found out through xyz forum that you may be matching with our previous au pair. Message me if you’d like to discuss.”

You’ve opened the door but left it to the new prospective family as to if they want more details.

Reply

HRHM December 15, 2016 at 3:43 pm

I think this is a GREAT compromise position – they can reach out to you if they want but you aren’t just dumping a bunch of badness in their lap unsolicited. If they have any common sense, of course they will want to know what you have to say.

I will remark, though, that I’ve talked to potential new HFs, told them the negative things that I felt would not recommend out 2nd AP, and they chose to match with her anyway. She lasted with them for 2 weeks (cloth diapers!!!) and then rematched again in Chicago where she apparently finished out her time and then got married and became an LCC! You can never tell how things will work out.

Reply

WarmStateMomma December 15, 2016 at 12:50 pm

I wouldn’t intervene unless I thought the AP posed a risk to others. Not a risk of damaged bathrooms, but a risk to the health or safety of others.

If the HPs do reach out, be honest but stick to hard facts (example: she did X but told me Y). If you sound too emotional, you’re going to come across as the crazy people the AP is telling them you are.

Reply

PhillyMom December 15, 2016 at 6:01 pm

I would be very greatfull as well, if another host mom reached out to me to warn about potential bad Au Pair. Unfortunately, based upon previous experiences , I believe that people do not change.

Reply

AZMom December 16, 2016 at 2:03 am

I made the mistake of hiring a young man who represented himself as 22 years old to take care of my children. His prior family did not keep him and he chose to terminate with his au pair agency and I did not get the details. Upon interviewing him, I decided to hire him, only to find out that his mother falsified his birth certificate and he is 4 years younger than he stated. He is only 18 years old. For my children, I specifically was looking for someone older as my kids are pre-teens/teens. Something didn’t ring true based on his immaturity. I am terminating him as I found out he does not have a valid visa (the au pair agency terminated his J-1 visa) and he misrepresented his age. He has been advertising on a local website as a 22 year old and I feel like I should comment so that other families do not place their confidence in this boy to watch their children.

Reply

WarmStateMomma December 22, 2016 at 8:46 am

In the US, au pairs can only be hired through an approved agency. The visa only allows them to work through the agency that brought them into the US. If you aren’t dealing with an agency approved by the State Department, you aren’t legally hosting an au pair.

Reply

WestMom December 23, 2016 at 11:56 am

And you should. What this person is doing is illegal and the legal implications of his actions could put you or any other family in trouble.

Reply

Frankfurt AP Boy December 23, 2016 at 3:11 pm

I wonder what country that AP is from. Falsification of public documents is a very serious offense. How stupid of him and his mum.

Reply

CO Host Mom December 19, 2016 at 11:21 pm

To the OP – do you see any situation where she might be successful? We had a horrible match with our first AP. She was not the right match for us at all. She hit everyone one of my hot buttons. We also have younger kiddos but I think she might have been okay with a family that had only kids and mainly needed a driver. Do you think a situation like that might work for your former AP?

Reply

TexasHM December 19, 2016 at 11:45 pm

This is tough. We too had a rematch situation that ended badly (AP was in way over her head, we had several major safety issues and then once we went into rematch – jointly agreed but we initiated – she lied, manipulated, spread rumors and took things that she hadn’t paid for at the advice of a nightmare LC).

In our case, once I went over the LCs head to corporate because I discovered the LC was painting us the problem and someone from corporate called us and I had everything not only documented (reset docs, emails with LC, and messages from AP admitting she bold faced lied to agency multiple times – she wasn’t the brightest) but forwarded at their request and I later learned she was sent home.

Long story to basically say if you truly feel she is a threat (forget if she likes kids or not right now) you need to escalate with the agency. Especially if your LC agrees. In our case the LC backed the AP but once the agency heard what really happened and saw the emails (note to other host parents if you are having bumps – no matter how small – always document!!!) they sent her home immediately as there was no question she was not suitable for the program. If you truly believe this is the case, I would go higher at the agency first. Especially now that she has failed at another match and is looking at kids similar ages I think it would be natural to reach out up the chain and share your concerns.

I personally am not a huge fan of bashing anyone (APs or HFs) in online forums because there are always at least 3 sides to the story, HFs often are not totally candid with each other even when you do call for references and it gives the appearance of pursuit. Once I sent all the documentation to someone at corporate that I knew read it (she responded with a few additional questions) I made peace with washing my hands of the whole thing and told them I didn’t need an update on their course of action and thanked them for the time and diligence. I have seen several instances though where HMs couldn’t let it go and demanded status updates on APs after they were out of their house, tried to find and block them online etc and I have found that the agencies tend to back the AP and give them more time/grace in those instances because it looks like they are a victim in that situation and as another poster above said – makes you look crazed and vindictive and then nobody (potential future HF, agency, LC, etc) listens to a word you have to say anyway!

I really wish there was a better way to handle rematches. I wish all rematch APs went into a single pool and that the same exit interview was given by an independent party (DOS?) so that there would be more transparency and consistency overall with the added side benefit of more healthy matches in general. I have no doubt there are great APs that have been sent home because they didn’t find a new family and that there are perhaps not ideal AP candidates that have lucked out and stayed and had too many opportunities but until there is a new system your fate (and your ex APs and future HFs) are in the hands of the agency – often corporate – that often has very little context in terms of what is actually happening on the ground. We learned this all too well ourselves when we went from the poster HF at that agency to “unfit for the program” within weeks in a rematch situation.

You never know though – lid for every pot and I have seen some APs that I was shocked were accepted into the program find an equally nuts HF and live happily ever after! As long as goals are aligned you would be amazed what HFs and APs will live with! But if it gives you peace of mind – I might have another HM friend online message the future family and say “hey, I am friends with AP’s previous host mom if you want to message her I am sure she would be happy to talk to you about her experience with that AP – her name is XYZ mom on this page” and then you are squeaky clean, not pursuing and it was still offered. Good luck!

Reply

Taking a Computer Lunch December 20, 2016 at 10:29 pm

I want to second the advice to back-up every reset-your-attitude conversation with an email – even if your AP is a native English speaker. First, most APs read much better than they are able to listen – especially when they first arrive. If you need to reinforce the rules, correct bad habits, reinforce the work routine, enforce improved communication, then you want to email your working points – as well as the goals on which you have both (seemingly) agreed to your AP. In addition, bcc your LCC. I haven’t had to have many of these conversations in the 15 3/4 years I’ve been hosting, but believe me, when I have, not only does the LCC receive a bcc to any email I send the AP, she also receives a telephone call or email from me about what happened that led to the conversation taking place.

If you have a good LCC, then listen to her advice. For example, when I could not get a Chinese AP to take a test to get her state license, my LCC advised me at month 6 to stop and to use it as a reason not to extend with the AP at month 8. It worked wonders for my pscyhe! I could let go, and I’m sure the AP was grateful that things suddenly seemed more peaceful. When AP #8 did a series of stupid little things, my LCC warned me that common sense could not be learned in a year – and yup – the AP continued to make judgment errors right up until the end. I’ve never had to move up the chain of command, but I can imagine, being able to prove that you also communicated separately with the LCC can work wonders.

Nevertheless, if my only attitude is that I’m willing to throw the AP under the bus, then I warn the LCC that if she thinks the AP would be a good/okay/great match for another family, then to make it clear that prospective HF should not talk to me. I’ve only had one rematch – the AP was with at least two other families before the end of her year. (Remember, as the parent of a special needs child, I have a high tolerance for bad behavior because I know I’m going out-of-country for a new AP and there will be at least a 4-week gap in AP care.

Reply

HMAdvice December 20, 2016 at 10:16 am

Honestly, This sounds like there might be some negligence on the part of the agency. I think if the HF contacts you for a reference you have to be honest about it. I have mixed feelings about you being put in the situation of “Au Pair police” though. This seems like it should be the agency’s job. I mean as HF we are paying them to find qualified candidates. Have you asked your LCC why this person is still in the program? I would probably put a little pressure on the agency to follow up on this because at the end of the day, even if this isn’t affecting your family it could affect someone else’s. I am sorry you are being put in such a horrible position.

Reply

Leave a Comment