The Two Weeks are up– what do I do with the rematching Au Pair now?

by cv harquail on October 20, 2010

Sometimes we host parents make all the right moves, and still get stuck. This host dad did his best to make a good match, got an au pair who couldn’t drive, did his best to get her to learn, got clarity that learning wouldn’t happen, did his best to initiate rematch, and now is stuck with his outgoing au pair since there is no one around who can help her. …

I’m a single dad with a 6 1/2 year old son. I hired an au pair through an agency (one of ‘the 12’) and she arrived 5 weeks ago.

Despite the fact that she has a driver’s license from her home country, she can’t drive. My primary reason for getting an au pair was to have someone drive my son to school and back in the morning and afternoon. I took her out driving the first week she was here and within minutes of starting, we had a ‘gas instead of brakes’ incident. I then had a friend of mine take her out for 1-2 hour driving lessons 4-5 days per week for three weeks. The last day he took her out, she had stopped in the middle of an intersection and, with cars whizzing around her, didn’t know what to do next. I was going to send her to driving school, but then I realized that it would probably be another 4 months until she could drive safely enough that I’d want her taking my son out.

In the meantime, I’ve had a neighbor driving him to school and back every day.

So, finally I bit the bullet and 10 days ago went into ‘rematch’ mode. She is having a hard time matching because… shocker… she can’t drive! Finally, yesterday, the agency got her infant certification information and they are trying to get her a new family.

But Monday (5 days from now) is two weeks. The agency is telling me I can keep her here after Monday and not pay her (if she doesn’t work) or pay her (if she ‘works’). Or I can drive her to the airport…but they wouldn’t start working on finding her an airline ticket until Monday. And they aren’t going to help her find a place to stay in the mean time.

My local rep is in the hospital, having just delivered her first child. She had only been on the job for about 3 weeks. The person who was a rep before that apparently is totally out of the loop now.

What should I do?

I see the following options.

1. Be a total jerk and say “Monday’s the cutoff…what hotel do you want to go to?”
2. Be a total pushover and say “Stay as long as you need to until you find a job… enjoy the free room and board!”
3. Be somewhat of a pushover and say “You can stay, keep aupairing in whatever limited way you can and I’ll keep paying you.”
4. Any other ideas?

HELP! It’s only 5 days more!


Drew, I’ve got to hand it to you for all the steps you’ve taken so far. Seems you acted quickly, with high hopes, and have come to terms with the overall next step.

If I were you, I’d beĀ  irked at the agency. Sure, your counselor is unavailable to help– but your agency should have a back-up, and they should be more helpful to you. You are, unfortunately, responsible to keep her until Monday, but after that sending her to the airport is not such a bad idea.

If you were to keep her on, at your house, I think this would cause three problems:

First, it keeps things too open-ended. If she isn’t pushed to leave, and if the agency isn’t in any hurry to move her on, who knows when she’d actually depart? And in the meantime, the pressure is on you to be the good guy even though your needs are not being met.

The second, and more important issue to me is that having your departing au pair stay any longer makes it harder on your son. He is stuck in limbo, where he may want to grow a connection with her even if she’s leaving. And, if he wants to keep emotionally separate from the au pair, that ongoing friction won’t help either.

Finally, having her at your house just makes it harder for you and your son to move on to a better childcare arrangement. you don’t mention whether you have found another au pair or not, but either way you need to get real help– the kind you signed up for in the first place.

I know I’m taking the host parent side here, but that’s my ‘job’. If you have done all of what you are contracted to do, and been kind and friendly to your au pair even though this is just a rotten situation for you, you have done your best.

I vote 1.5: Tell the agency Monday is the cutoff and she needs a plane ticket home. If they balk, and it seems like they won’t make plans in time, pradtice kind assertiveness and pressure them some more. Ask them what hotel to send her to.


Dales October 20, 2010 at 9:51 pm

When her two weeks are up – let the agency worry. Your primary responsibility is your child. An aupair should be up front from the beginning. If she could’nt drive – then she couldn’t drive. That should have been clearly stated.

Host Mom in VA October 20, 2010 at 10:08 pm

I would call the agency today and inform them that on Monday you will drop the au pair off at the local coordinator’s house with all her belongings. It is their problem to deal with the situation of where she sleeps, if she rematches, or when she returns home. You’ve gone above and beyond. It is time to put your family first.

Drew October 20, 2010 at 10:09 pm

One note on the above: The day after she arrived, she looked on my laptop where I had her application. She read it and came into the living room with tears in her eyes and said “this isn’t what I said to them. I am so sorry that you got this information…” (it said she could both drive and swim, which she couldn’t)… So I don’t think this was a case of ‘willful lying’ of any sort.
Second… I think about what I’d want if she were my son… if he was abroad and was in this sort of situation, I’d hope that someone would reach out and help him. My spirituality also points me towards helping those who are visitors in my home… I know it may sound ridiculous to some people, but that’s just how my God is talking to me now.

However… Two other things occurred to me tonight…
1. Can she work with another agency to get placed by them? She asked a local rep from another agency if she could, and she said that she needed to go home, reapply for a visa and then could come back… but I’m not sure if that’s true…I don’t know how the visas work.
2. The agency didn’t have an area representative within an hour of my house when she arrived… I’m pretty sure that’s not legal… any thoughts of using that for leverage with the agency to help this girl out?

Thank you!

JBLV October 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I think your instincts are good ones. I would probably be inclined to take the au pair at her word and trust that she did not intentionally lie about her ability to drive as there is no evidence to the contrary. (As an aside, it seems to be the case that au pairs from South America and Asia can drive in their own countries, but because of differences in systems find they cannot drive in the U.S. once they arrive.)

Are you getting a new au pair? If so, consider getting someone from Northern Europe, particularly Germany, where driving standards are very similar to the U.S., and where young people are required to go through strenuous training and exams to receive their driver’s licenses. Ask pointed questions in your interview with your next AP about her driving abilities. (For how long has she driven? Does she drive every day? Has she ever been in an accident? etc.) Additionally, if you are expecting a new au pair to arrive in the next week, then you must speak with the agency now about transitioning your current au pair out of the house. There are usually back-up LCC’s – even in neighboring states.

I suspect, however, that you are not getting a new au pair in the next few days, and that is why your agency is not moving quickly on rematching or removing your current au pair. You can probably stop paying her at the end of the five days if she is not caring for your son by driving him to or from school, or being with him while you are away. You would pay for her board (food) if you decide to house her, but it may not be that great of an expense when it comes down to it. If she stays with you in your home, it is important to set a deadline for when she will need to leave, and communicate that deadline to the au pair and, especially, the agency. The amount of time is up to you, but a deadline is necessary so that you, your son and your au pair can “move on” in a reasonable time frame. You simply can’t host this young woman indefinitely. It seems to me that if they are just starting to look at potential host family candidates for your current au pair, it could take a two weeks to find her a host family replacement (which seems reasonable). You may also want to make it clear to the AP that while she stays with you she is expected to keep her bedroom and bathroom clean, that she is expected to help prepare family meals (since she will be eating them) and help clean dishes, etc. These are not things that you would need to pay her for.

Last, sit down with your son and explain exactly what has happened, and that you are trying to help your current au pair go to a home that can use her skills and abilities so that he doesn’t feel too much angst at her departure if they have bonded.

JBLV October 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Also, I was without an LCC for a significant period of time. We used it as leverage to get out of our contract with our au pair and move to a new agency. If you really want this young woman out of your home, ask the agency to place her with a nearby LCC.

hOstCDmom October 20, 2010 at 10:25 pm

I think that you may need to be firmer with what you tell the agency you will do, and what you convey to the agency that you expect from it and how you spin what you “plan to do come Monday” than with what you may actually do with the AP….
…. There isn’t a rule that you can’t firmly tell the agency that they MUST come up with a solution for the au pair as of Monday and that they must inform you of the back up coordinator’s address to whom you should transport the au pair (or probably even demand the name of the back up coordinator who will be coming to pick up the au pair at your home) but know in the back of your kind hearted mind that you aren’t going to dump the girl on someone’s doorstep sans plan, nor are you going to abandon her at an airport if the agency hasn’t provided a ticket and itinerary. Basically, you don’t need to be consistent in how harsh you are — you can be a cold, no-nonsense, exacting client of the agency, but remain a civil, kind and caring person to your AP, especially since it seems a case of bad luck and poor communication/misinformation. I don’t even think this is “bluffing” with the agency in the true sense of the word — you just need to light a fire under them by pushing your issue to the top of their list.

Gianna October 20, 2010 at 11:35 pm

I don’t think this situation is as dire as it seems to you at this dark moment. It sounds like the agency is going to buy your aupair a ticket but they are just waiting until they are required to do or until you blink. Don’t blink. You have really been very gracious.
Purchasing a ticket cannot be a difficult task for an aupair agency – they do it all the time. It sounds to me like they are just not going to do it until they must do so.
They probably have some obligation to the aupair to try as long and as hard as they can to find her another family. So, take a deep breath and just tell them that you cannot continue to wait for her to get a family beyond the contractual two week period.
I have tremendous respect for your spiritual and moral convictions and my guess is that you are not going to have to play hard ball with anyone. I think what has happened is that you thought that she would leave your home on Monday and the agency is planning to ” work on this until Monday”. I think it is upsetting because you have never been through this before and you feel sorry for the aupair. I think that these things ( aupair having to return home ) happen for a reason which neither you, she or anyone else may understand now but is for the greater good. Maybe business is just slow and the agency doesn’t have a lot of families coupled by the fact that she has some shortcomings.
I would not anticipate the worst. Just send an email to the CEO saying that you fully exspect them to honor their contract and purchase a ticket for the aupair on Monday if she doesn’t have a new family. Then , you will have to think about how she is getting to the airport , another whole ball of wax.
Personally, I think your greatest leverage would be your status as a future customer – are you getting another aupair ? I didn’t pick up on that in your letter – maybe I missed something.

HRHM October 21, 2010 at 1:54 am

I would also suggest that you make it clear to the agency, that in the event that AP doesn’t have a ticket on MONDAY, then you will be bringing her to the LCC’s house to stay the rest of her time while she waits. If they think that you will house her indefinitely, they have NO impetus to put out the money on her ticket.

Also, if you have decided against an AP for now (and I wouldn’t blame you – I had a similar problem with AP2 only she outright lied) then you will need to play hardball to get your money back. The fact that they broke SD rules with not having a local LCC and now no apparent back up, put you somewhat in a position of power that you may be able to leverage to get a reasonable refund.

If you are getting a replacement, you may want to read the posts about APs and driving…unfortunately, there are a lot of APs out there that have either bought their license or have had one but never use it. Most countries outside the US are not the car-culture we are, so you have to screen carefully in the interview. So if the app says she has never driven in snow, ask what her winters are like – very snowy? Hmm – strange. And it says she’s a daily driver? Ask about her current job/school – how does she get there every day – bikes/walks/buses? Again, dicy. I find that the application is just the tool I use to thin the interview pool. It (and sometimes the agency/AP herself) can’t be trusted. We all try to paint the best picture of ourselves when applying for a job.

Good luck!

momto2 October 21, 2010 at 7:38 am

We had the same experience the very 1st time we matched with an AP. We didn’t know to drill heavily into driving questions during the interview, and we accepted the check-ed box on the application as solid information about driving skills. We realized we were duped when she arrived and during a test drive, she didn’t have a clue where to insert the key to start the car.

A driver’s ed teacher refused to work with her after a near collision occurred two blocks from the house…. The girl would just not STOP when told to do so, in both English and her native language which the instructor also spoke. She just kept driving into oncoming traffic, bopping along like the red stop light was just a pretty decoration to make the intersection look pretty. The girl hadn’t the foggiest idea of how to drive.

After a couple of weeks, we had to rematch, and it was during the holidays. After our two week transition was up, nobody from the company wanted to add the AP to their holiday plans, but they didn’t want to ship her home during Christmas. (Flights were also an issue). The company told us we were obligated to host her until they could continue to find her a new family after the new year…..meanwhile our new AP was arriving, and it was two days before Christmas.

Fortunately, the 1st AP had a shirt-tail cousin/aunt by marriage living in the United States whom we were able to speak with, and we made arrangements for the AP to stay with the relative during the holidays. The AP eventually did find a new family, but it took over a month. It would not have been good for anybody to keep the AP in our house for that long.

Perhaps your AP knows someone in the U.S. with whom she could stay? (As an aside, we had to cover the cost of the flight to the relative’s house, and the company would not reimburse us. We wrote it off as the cost of having a more peaceful holiday, and we switched companies after completing our year).

anonmom October 21, 2010 at 9:30 am

Wow- you are certainly in a difficult situation. I truly understan the concept of treating the au pair as you would want your child to be treated. However, this does not reflect well on the agency. My friend had a difficult time with the agency with a very similar situation. You need to document. I would also have the au pair write a letter, get it notarized, stating what she told you about not having told the agency those things. Otherwise, they will not refund your money. Find out what they are doing to help her rematch. Has she posted her info on Sometimes that can help mroe than the LCC in finding a family in courtry with an infant or ina a city that she might rematch with.

You also need to contact the head of the agency- do not stop until you do. They will give you the pleasant run around. I am sorry you are going through this, it is very difficult, and not something you should have to worry about/ If you are remathcing, you need to be hyper vigilant about your next au pair. Driving is the main reason why we only choose au pairs from limited countries that have extensive requirements to obtain a license.

Good luck.

azmom October 21, 2010 at 10:44 am

I don’t have advice for you but we’re having our “3 point talk” this weekend and I’m hoping our AP does find another family.

She’s a non-driver and that’s what we need, but we’re heading toward rematch because we got off on a bad foot, she’s not happy in our city (few au pairs in our cluster, as a non-driver that’s not good we’re finding), it took a while for her to bond with our toddler, and we have a newborn, etc). I’m happy to know that 2 weeks isn’t necessarily solid because I hope to get some driving in with our au pair so I can let a new family know if she’s really a non-driver or not :)

CV, Anyway to ask host dad here what agency he’s with? If its the same as us, we probably are in the hunt and a non-driver is not an issue for us if she doesn’t mind biking or asking for a ride (which we’re more than willing to do, but current AP’s personality isn’t that strong so she tends to not even ask, so I have to ask her if she wants to be dropped at the mall (5 minute drive)).

(azmom, I sent him your email so that you can consider the AP…. cv)

Hopeful About Rematch Part 2 October 24, 2010 at 3:53 am

My newly arrived re-matched AP has been with us over a week. The second day she arrived we got her professionally assessed by a driving instructor. Although my #1 criteria was ‘strong driver’, and my agency helped me match with her (3 years experience), she absolutely is NOT a strong driver. I thought it might have been first-day jetlag and jitters, so we got her assessed a couple of days later, and STILL not safe according to the 2nd instructor. We bought her an entire week’s worth of private lessons (5x – daily!) and at the end of that week, a third instructor deemed her ‘absolutely unfit to drive herself let alone your kids’. Damn! We need a strong driver, and really like this AP – she is amazing on ALL other fronts: great with the kids, excellent English, helpful, respectful, proactive, clean and organized, pitches in with dishes and cooking, likes to do laundry, even offered to iron all the kids’ clothes. Wow. Couldn’t complain at all. Now we need to re-match, and feel horrible this AP might have to go back to her country. She said she would feel totally ashamed that she did a bad job. I told her she was great except for the driving, and that she should not market herself as a driving au pair in the future.

I would like to help match her with a new family that does NOT need a driving AP within the next 4-8 weeks. We have identified some possible candidates (all Western European drivers) in our agency’s system, and are hopeful for YET another rematch within the next few months – December at the latest.

IF anyone reading this is in need of a good, kind AP who doesn’t drive, please contact me. I do want to help her out, but am so totally disheartened that I have to go into re-match for a second time in less than 2 months. This AP thing has not been a positive experience for me, and I am almost thinking of giving up and just finding a local live-in nanny!

HRHM October 24, 2010 at 7:09 am


Just out of curiosity (and for the sake of improving ALL our abilities’ to screen for this sort of thing): Does she see her self as a bad driver at this point (since being through 3 instructors) or does she think she is perfectly fine to drive? Does she identify why she is having so much trouble (bigger car, city instead of country like at home, wrong side of the road, insecure navigator)? When you interviewed, did she say she was a daily driver at home and have you since confirmed that her answer was honest/accurate? Is her country one where you can essentially buy a DL or does it have a rigorous testing system?


Alexandra Summers November 2, 2010 at 4:12 pm

curious – what kind of company did you use to have a professional assessment?? Very smart idea, something I would like to do as well!

mammamia October 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

We are first time host parents and have quickly learned that our local coordinator is completely useless, and that you absolutely have to push the agency (which they don’t like — they want the LCs to handle any “issues”) to get assistance. I agree with the person who said that you have to take a hard line with the agency, but can remain civil with the AP. I’m so disappointed with our LC, I told that agency that we most certainly will not use them again if she remains the LC for our area (an area she knows nothing about, btw, despite having lived here for at least a decade). The fact that there is no LC stand-in while yours is giving birth is completely illegal and totally unacceptable.

My 2 cents: present your bottom line to the agency, and don’t be afraid to tell them that you will contact the SD if they don’t help you.

maleaupairmommy October 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Somehow I get to know a lot of au pairs in the particular organization before they go. I think it is through my male searching I get to know them. I always match on my own and driving is one of them. Anyhow knew of a girl who couldn’t drive and her two weeks were up Monday. She had 5 families look at her and nothing. Sunday afternoon by some miracle she got matched and instead of leaving Monday to her country she went with the new host family where she is doing good as behavior wasn’t an issue it was driving. So you just never know and really is a few days going to be a big deal? Just tell the agency on Monday that you are done and she needs a plane ticket i’m sure she will be outta of there in a few days. You sound like a nice man who puts yourself in their place. I guess I would just let them stay a few days extra timeline set with agency and move on from there. Good luck and be patient

Karin Six October 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm

I am an LCC… After two weeks in rematch or when another au pair arrives, your current au pair needs to go to your LCC’s house. (That is what we do at my agency.) If your LCC is not available, there should be another LCC who is standing in for her. (This is required! On the flip side, I love to house rematch au pairs. They often cook dinner or play with the kids!) As for driving… There are many au pairs who want to learn to drive but do not have the practice. Extension au pairs are great for this situation as they usually come with a DL and experience on American roads. Also, Western Europeans (esp German au pairs) may be a wise choice next time. If you want to chance it with an au pair, ask them if they would pay for their own lessons (but this is only done when a host family has the time to give. It is wise to get an objective opinion on an au pair’s driving.)

Note: We do ask host families to take their au pair to the airport if their au pair has been re-matched within the 2 week transition period. That is just part of the program. Sometimes, it can sometimes be arranged on the same date/time the new au pair arrives.

calif mom October 21, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Snarky remarks: It’s no wonder she hasn’t found a new host; the agency hasn’t lifted a finger for her! And it’s on the agency to have back up for an LCC who is going on maternity leave. Surely, if they hired her 3 weeks ago, they had an inkling that she would not be available at some point in the near future (even if her baby came unexpectedly early, it’s WHAT THEY GET PAID FOR. Yes, lean on the agency! I’ve had fantasies of calling the State Dept when the au pair agency has been unresponsive historically, but usually when I have one of those “fierce” conversations, they realize they can’t ignore me anymore and people get their act together.

Do you have replacement, long-term childcare figured out then? You might look on Yahoo groups for a listserv of host parents in your metro area and see if you can spread the word– both to find a family for her and an AP for you.

Sounds like your kid will be okay with however you handle this. I’m big on “X is a nice person, but just not the right au pair for us” and leave it at that. Make sure kid knows it’s not their fault.

good luck! So sorry about this–it stinks, but always works out better in the long run.

franzi October 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm

i’m with karin six – and this is the rule that was communicated to me when i was in rematch: the family and the AP have 2 weeks to find a new placement. if the family finds an AP that can start sooner the old AP needs to move to the LCC (or new family if a match has been made). if the AP finds a family sooner s/he needs to stay for the full two weeks in the old family or until a new AP arrives whichever comes first.

do not feel bad for your AP. yes, she is in a predicament but she’s new to the country and with a full year ahead i do think she will be able to match (there are families who do not require driving). you on the other hand requested someone able to drive safely – and this is not what you got. so stand your ground and be firm when you talk to the agency and make it clear that when the two weeks are over you will drop the AP off at your LCCs house with her belongings. inform your LCC on this, the regional coordinator and the headquarter.
of course you should also tell your AP because she should put some pressure on these people as well!

Taking a Computer Lunch October 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm

I don’t have much to add here to the good advice that has already been given, except that weak driving skills sometimes squeak through the best HF telephone interview. We have found ways to ask questions, and yes there are APs in countries that we will no longer approach. I, too, have found European APs to be the best drivers, but I’ve also had Brazilian APs who were excellent drivers (one became so on my watch). Hosting can be a steep learning curve.

While I personally wouldn’t want to be mean to a young woman who has just arrived from another country, I wouldn’t want to house her indefinitely either. Put pressure to bear on the agency to help her rematch and to house her in the interim, once your two-week period ends. If you have a new AP coming, then you don’t want a lot of overlap – it will confuse your son.

Finally, I would also put pressure on the agency for false advertising. Who along the way, either checked the driving skills on the AP application or convinced her to do so? While we all understand there is a certain amount of exaggeration in applications (just as there may be in our own resumes) it doesn’t mean we should tolerate outright deception.

igelwelch October 21, 2010 at 4:12 pm

Drew, she cannot go through another agency–her visa is specific to your organization. If she returns home, she will need to wait two years to reapply to return to the US as an au pair. We went through a similar situation recently and housed our au pair for 3 weeks (working, mostly) before she went home. What concerns me more is that your organization is not actively looking for new situations for both of you. That’s not the local coordinators job–it’s the organization. You need to start complaining, loudly. If you want a good driver, Germany is probably one of the best ways to go. Start calling the organization and demanding action. It will be the best for you and your au pair. At a certain point, though, if she has to go home, you just need to separate. It will be a learning experience for her, even though you may feel like you let her down a little. Our new au pair is hands down so much better than the one who rematched. Things will get better soon!

Deb Schwarz October 21, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Everyone’s advice is very sound – it’s the agency’s issue to deal with after two weeks. Having been in transition in the past myself (and also an LCC), the two weeks can be tense enough – but to have it extended isn’t reasonable (or according to the contract). You pointed out earlier that your LCC wasn’t at your house within an hour of your au pair’s arrival. My agency (Cultural Care), and I believe also the State Dept. requires a phone call to the au pair within 48 hours and an in person meeting within two weeks of the au pair’s arrival. Good luck – I’m sure it will all work out. (and be careful on the driving front in the future – oh – and I would definitely communicate the issue that the au pair’s information on the application wasn’t accurate – that is worrisome and should be addressed).


hOstCDmom October 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm

I think he meant that the LCC didn’t LIVE within 1hr’s travel distance of his house, not that she wasn’t there to greet the AP within an hour of her arrival. I’m not familiar with this requirement — is it a requirement? – we live in the North Eastern Corridor, so if I throw a stone I will hit an LCC ;-)

MommyMia November 5, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Yes, it is a requirement. In some suburban areas, the APs have to travel quite a distance for their monthly cluster meetings (and even to take classes – very important that candidates know this up front when matching!) And our agency says that there must be a meeting between LCC and AP within the first two weeks of arrival, which isn’t always followed. One hour would be completely unreasonable!

au pair life October 22, 2010 at 1:53 pm

make sure you ll be straight up with your au pair. She is a grown up woman she can take it if you want to have her out of the house, because if I dont feel confortable or home in a hostfamilies house I dont want to be there anyway..

massaupairmom October 22, 2010 at 2:18 pm

We had an au pair in re-match stay with us, and when the time came, I believe the agency booked the flight within a couple of days of her departure, so I wouldn’t worry too much that they haven’t bought hers yet – they can do it quickly, and don’t want to get stuck with a ticket if she finds a family at the last minute. If it were me, and the au pair was pleasant enough to have around, I’d give her the option to stay another week to try to find a new family, particularly since the agency was slow to get her infant credentials. I wouldn’t allow her to work, though.

used to be an AP October 24, 2010 at 12:04 pm

I agree with massaupairmom. If it is possible for you (no new AP arriving yet, you like the AP at least to some extent etc.) let her stay with you for one more week. She probably put a lot of effort and money (the application process is pretty expensive for APs, it can cost up to 1500 dollars) into becoming an AP. Being able to come to the US for one or two years has probably been a dream coming true for her and now it is not working out and from what you say, she doesn’t seem to be completely unfit for the job, the main problem seems to be the driving. However, as that is what you need her to do, I understand that you need either a new AP or a different form of child care as soon as possible.
I did not go into rematch but from what I’ve heard it depends on the LCC whether the agency tries to find another agency for her not, so maybe you could suggest to her to call the AD herself to find out if there are even looking for a family for her.

azmom November 5, 2010 at 1:42 pm

We had our final meeting yesterday. Our agency apparently works it like this:

You host the girl for 2 weeks while she is interviewed by new family. If she doesn’t match, the AP has 5 days from that 2 weeks to book her own ticket home. Our AP apparently said she plans to change her visa to a student visa. Not sure how or what, but good luck to that. She’s meeting an AP friend who did the same thing. This time around we’re not matching with a girl who has tons of friends who were APs – now heading back to read the post on the contract effect :)

azmom November 5, 2010 at 1:45 pm

I wanted to clarify, some girls won’t have to do their own ticket home, but it is on a case by case basis as to whether the agency will book the ticket for them.

Should be working November 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Wait, so the AP has to pay her own return ticket? This doesn’t seem right. It would seem to me that a deposit should cover that, for instance. What if she doesn’t have money, or comes from a family where a few hundred dollars is a whole month’s or year’s income?

MommyMia November 5, 2010 at 3:51 pm

The way I understand our agency’s contract is that the “completion deposit” is returned to the AP when they successfully finish their program, twelve months for the first year (plus any extension term they sign up for: 6, 9 or 12 months), including their proof of completion of the education component. In our case, a former AP only lasted eight months with us then at her request went into rematch; they found a temporary, 2-month placement for her, and then the agency did pay for her return ticket. Chances were not good of her finding another short-term placement at that time, so they probably figured it was in everyone’s best interest to act as if she had completed satisfactorily, although I don’t know what would happen if she tried to return in the future for another AP year. I believe in many countries, the affiliate agencies do counsel the girls to have some money saved for just such an occurence – if a family emergency comes up, for example, and they decide to leave early, I’m pretty sure the agency doesn’t pay for their return flight in that case, either. I agree, it doesn’t seem right, but that’s the way the program runs.

Gianna November 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm

You know, the fact of the aupair having to pay for her own ticket home doesn’t seem to me to automatically be such a bad thing. Host families have a lot invested in making a go of it and the aupairs do too. They stand to lose their deposit and risk having to buy a ticket home if they don’t make a success of it. Under the best of circumstances, they’ve taken on a challenging job and I think a lot of aupairs would just throw in the towel on a minutes notice if they have a bad day if it did not entail a financial penalty. If a family just drops out of a program there is a financial loss , too.
I think many host families would call it quits on a bad day, if it were easier to do that from a financial point of view. Of course, there are always case specific differences .

Chev November 6, 2010 at 1:05 am

With my agency if you go into rematch and are unable to find a family because you’re too limited – like you want to stay in the same area or can’t drive or won’t take families with specific pets, then the AP pays for her flight home. If the AP tries to find a new family and interviews and is willing to go new places and try new situations but for some reason doesn’t find a new match then the company pays for your flight home.

Drew November 12, 2010 at 8:47 pm

Sorry I didn’t give the final bit of this story sooner… The agency finally got the fact out there that she was infant qualified and she had a match within 24 hours. In fact, I got an e-mail at work on a Monday saying ‘can you have her to the airport for a departing flight at 7 a.m. tomorrow?’

All’s well that ends well, but it was a stressful way for it all to go down.

I’m still feeling REALLY hesitant about getting a new au pair and am looking into locals who can do the driving and care… although it removes all the spontanaeity and night-time care that I was hoping for occasionally.

thank you all for your help.


azmom November 13, 2010 at 1:15 am

Are you able to switch agencies (get your other fee back?) — there’s a very strong driver available from my agency that we’re not going to take up on who is available now. Since we communicated before, I’ll send you a message.

Comments on this entry are closed.