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.
This 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?