Use Everyday Math Skills to calulate our rematch percentage

by cv harquail on July 1, 2010

Rather than wait until I find a polling tool that can divide as well as count, let’s use our everyday match skills to get a sense of the percentage of rematches AMONG AuPairMom readers.

[Remember, this is a poll of the special group of host parents that reads AuPairMom. Our results will not be the same as the results in the general population of host families, b/c we are not average host families <  wink  > ]

In the meantime I’ll look for a better tool.

– – – – – – – – –

Please tell us how many matches your family has had (where the au pair actually ended up coming to the US). Then, tell us how many rematches you’ve had.

Both of these replies are absolute numbers… then we use our math skills to calculate a running percentage… (by adding up all the matches, and the rematches, and dividing the one into the other).

How many matches has your family had?

View Results

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How many REmatches has your family had?

View Results

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[Interim Results:

July 2,with 33 responses, 19% .  Yikes!
July 5, with 65 responses, 39%  208 matches, 83 rematches.

Remember, it’s a *rough & dirty* estimate]


cv harquail July 1, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Did someone actually have more than 7 rematches? In one host family? pls. confirm…..

DarthaStewart July 1, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Yep. I have. 8….

Host Mommy Dearest July 2, 2010 at 9:48 am

Holy 8 rematches Batman!

darthastewart July 2, 2010 at 10:56 pm

When you count the ones that came and went in a single week, went awol, and factor in that at times I’ve had 2 au-pairs at once, over a period of 12 years. Yep. I’ve also had a couple who were okay, but just decided they didn’t want to finish the year (both males I’ve had)… Technically rematches, but how do you count that?

MommyMia July 1, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Maybe my brain is just a little fuzzy at the moment from the meds I’m taking, but could you clarify…for example, would you count as a “rematch” an extension au pair who came to us about two months after someone we sent into rematch? Or are we just counting APs who came to us from “transition” after leaving another family?

MeAgain July 1, 2010 at 8:52 pm

I think you count the ones that didn’t work out so you sent into rematch….

Host Mommy Dearest July 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm

I was thinking rematches would be the # of APs who did not make it to the end of his/her term either b/c s/he left early or the HF sent the AP into rematch.

West Coast Mom July 2, 2010 at 2:22 am

I’m also taking it to mean … an AP who didn’t make it to the end of her year with original HF. In our case, she was not sent to another family, but was sent home. I still counted it as a rematch. Which makes us 1-for-1, sadly. But we have high hopes for the new AP who arrives in August.

Taking a Computer Lunch July 1, 2010 at 8:57 pm

You didn’t offer zero as a rematch possiblity. I’ve never been in rematch. On the other hand, I’ve put up at least 1 and sometimes up to 3 women a year in rematch – most of them I’ve liked as people and thought they had been given a bum deal. Others were a bad match for the AP program and I was ultimately unhappy at having them in my house.

Host Mommy Dearest July 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

I think “Really?” equals zero.

Taking a Computer Lunch July 1, 2010 at 9:19 pm

Oh, I just assumed since the numbers scaled up, that it meant a lot of rematches.

Host Mommy Dearest July 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Yes, I think you and CrazyLady are right – Really? is for more than 7. Does it skew the numbers if 0 is not a choice? We can figure out the 0’s using subtraction, but should the %s incorporate those too?

cv harquail July 2, 2010 at 6:47 am

Oops, sorry. I’ll add ‘zero’. And, by “really?” I was trying to find a funny way to express 7+. cv

Dorsi July 2, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I helped screw things up. I have had two matches, and the first completed her year. We anticipate the second one will. I thought “Really?”–we don’t need to rematch! I figured I needed to vote to make the numbers add up correctly. Maybe we could pick how many matches we have had, and how many have successfully completed a year (or more).

HMinWI July 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm

Add me to the zero list! I’ve had 4 au pairs and 0 rematches.

CrazyLady July 1, 2010 at 10:05 pm

We’ve had 5 matches and 0 rematches. I took “really?” to mean the same thing as Taking a Computer Lunch did. I thought it meant, “Really, you’ve had more than 7 matches? Whoa.”, so I didn’t vote on that part.

used to be an AP July 2, 2010 at 2:33 am

I just got a double MA degree in English and mathematics and worked on different evaluation as a grad student, so I’ll comment on the question concerning “0”. (btw, I just wrote this off the top of my head, so if there are other statiscians/researchers etc. on here, feel free to tell me if there are mistakes in it)

It does skew the numbers if you don’t put zero as an option (statistically speaking). You could of course do the subtraction as HMD suggested and then count the difference as “zero” rematches. Calculate the percentages based on that, unless you are only interested in the percentages of numbers of rematches including the precondition that there has been at least one rematch in that family. If you want the survey to be “correct” you have to put in “0” as a possibitliy and take out the “really” as that can be misunderstood and skew the survey that way. Also, not having “0” as an option for rematches could lead some people (this is just generally speaking) to not fill out the questionnaire, as they might think that they are not part of the target group if they had zero rematches.
These are of course all theoretical assumptions that have to be taken into consideration if you want to create a scientifically valid survey. As this is just to get an idea of the percentages of the HP with rematches on ( a very narrow group anyway because of the number of contributors compared to the number of HFs in the US and because of the fact the contributors here really make an effort to make the AP program work out and are thus not representative of the whole group), you could just leave it the way it is.
Sorry for the long “technical” post.

Taking a Computer Lunch July 2, 2010 at 7:26 am

I would also think it would skew the results if you didn’t do a 1:1 correlation. For example, if the 1st match led to more than 1 rematches in the course of the year, that’s different than 2 rematches in 5 or 10 years.

For example, in the 8 1/2 years I have hosted APs, only did I make a choice that I wasn’t 100% satisfied, but seemed like the best choice at the time (instead of saying, this is going to take longer and going back into the pool of available APs). It turned out that not being 100% satisfied is an indicator of a difficult year for me, so I bolstered the questionnaire and really gave consideration to what is important for me – having an extrovert with actual special needs experience. It’s not that my current AP is a bad egg, but I should have gone into rematch right away (even though I had an exhibition that was about to open and no free time), because her introverted and timid personality was a bad fit for me.

darthastewart July 2, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Most of my rematches have come in “bunches”.

For instance, at the start of my third year, I had one leave after a week, then we had a temporary au-pair, then we got an au-pair who went awol after 2 months.
We had 2 au-pairs starting later that year (second baby), and the second au-pair also broke the match with us. But then, we had almost 5 years of no problems.

Southern Host Mom July 2, 2010 at 9:56 am

I indicated two rematches. We had an Au Pair choose to leave our family after only 2 weeks, so that sent us into rematch. (We would have requested a rematch if she hadn’t.) We then matched with a “rematch” Au Pair who was unable to complete her year because she became quite ill. While this unexpected departure left us to struggle through the rematch process again, the situation was quite different than the first. Not every rematch necessarily involves a disasterous Au Pair. However, I would characterize both rematches as creating a better situation for our family.

Calif Mom July 2, 2010 at 11:14 am

I think someone falling ill doesn’t really count as a “bad match”.

Hey CV, it strikes me that what we’re trying to dig out is some sort of collective rate of wonderful relationships vs. lousy relationships, right?

Maybe we could ask it that way? It might be “cleaner”:

number of times we welcomed a great au pair
number of times we welcomed an au pair who did not suit our family. at. all.

Do we then need the total number of au pair relationships established per family (whether good or bad)?

This way, families who sucked it up but had a lousy year would be able to count that as a bad experience. And families like Southern HM whose AP didn’t end up finishing her year b/c of an extenuating circumstance would still count as a good match.

(I’m hearing Fiddler on the Roof in my head now!)

Should be working July 2, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I think CV’s way of putting it in terms of percentage of matches ending in rematch, or ratio of rematches to matches, is clearer–because certainly many rematches, including mine, are not lousy experiences (e.g. drunken, reckless, uncaring AP) but just not-good-enough or not-good-fit experiences. The difference between the fit being not good AT ALL and just not-good-enough is a big difference, but the result would be the same, i.e. rematch.

And I’m not sure about TaCL’s recommendation; 2 rematches in one year is bad luck, but I still think the ratio of rematches to total number of matches (for her, 2:9, I believe) is a more telling statistic, even if she had 5-10 years of good luck with no rematches.

Taking a Computer Lunch July 2, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I’m actually 8 1/2 years with no rematches. On the other hand, the year we gutted our house to make a handicapped accessible wing for The Camel, we went through 25 nurses in 9 months, including the 5 I refused to permit to return because they failed to show up for shift altogether without so much as a phone call, leaving either my pregnant or elderly neighbors to take her off the bus (amount of times that happened with an AP – zero!). As for the nurses, on school holidays, I quickly learned to tell the manager to ask the nurse if she were coming off a night shift – I didn’t want anyone who had been working for 8 hours to think they could come to my daughter and take a nap (not when the house was being upended below us!).

StephinBoston July 2, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Oops! Can I fix my vote? I voted “really?” last night because I thought it meant 0 rematches.. Sorry! Have had 3 au pairs, 4th coming soon and no rematches.. (so far :-)

PA AP mom July 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I have also had 2 matches and 0 rematches.

Numbers Don't Lie HM July 2, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I responded 6 matches and 2 rematches.

My first 4 matches all stayed a year. Before her arrival, I thought my 5th match was going to be my best AP yet. She had incredible English, smart, personable, etc. She was lighter on experience, but I thought it would be ok since my kids were out of the toddler stage and I thought she could pick it up quickly. She struggled with homesickness and we all worked hard to overcome that she was initially overwhelmed by the job. Three months into her year she decided she wanted to go home, and while I was disappointed in her lack of committment, but offered to stay until we found a new match and we parted on amicable terms. We still keep in touch with her, and she claimed we were the best possible match for her, but that being an AP was the wrong thing for her. She didn’t officially go into transition, and although I know our LCC tried to get her to say whether we had something to do with her departure, she claimed it was totally her. I still consider her 1 of our 2 rematches. I did feel pressured to find a replacement quickly for various reasons, and did not go through my normal stringent matching process. The in-country selection was pretty slim too.

I chose my 6th AP in about 2 weeks, and she had already spent 3 months with her family before they sent her into transition. We kept her for 5 months, putting off transition waaay too long, and another family matched with her for her last 4 months despite my honest recommendation (or lack there of). I would feel guilty, but I was honest about all the things she did – lies, having a strange guy over while on duty and trying to hide it, ignoring curfew with the car and not calling/picking up the cell after curfew, and the list goes on. I did say if they wanted a warm body who was mostly on time and could safely drive she fit the bill. I was pretty shocked they took her, then again, she only had a few months left on her year.

We painted ourselves into a corner because we had already matched with AP7 for around when AP6 finished her year, and AP7 could not come sooner and we did not want to break our match since of course we think AP7 will be great and it’s not her fault AP6 didn’t work out. We have had to piece together nannies and the like to cover the few month gap.

Long explanation of our rematches!

NoVA Host Mom July 3, 2010 at 1:11 am

Yup, we are a 1 for 1 family. We did one match (international phone calls, emails, all sorts of things) trying to find “just the right AP for our little growing family”. That lasted 4 months, which looking back now at my novice self was about 2 months too long. We went into rematch, choose an AP in rematch herself, and have been thrilled with her ever since. Is everything perfect, nope! But frankly it’s not like we are the Cleavers either.

Still, a 1 for 1 record may not look that great to some. If it helps make us look a little better, our rematch extended with us!

MTR July 5, 2010 at 3:11 pm

Don’t worry about looking good. My first AP went into rematch after 5 months, 3 months too late. Then we got another AP form the pool of rematches and she lasted with us 5 months, which was 4 months and 3 weeks too long. Then we were left without an AP for 6 weeks while I was swiching the agency and looking for a new AP from overseas. That girls has been with us now for 13 months and will be finishing her second year with us and we could not have been happier.

Pa Host mom of two Au-pairs July 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm

darthastewart: Can you add more feedback about the male au-pairs leaving? I am hosting a male next month and would like to ensure that I covered all the bases to have a successful year. I also know of another male au-pair in our junction that left early and went back home. What country where they from? what kind are area do you live in? what was the reasoning? I think I remember one of the AP’s saying this male au-pair left because he was bored. He only had the host children every other week the HP were divorced and the HD is a doctor not home much.

darthastewart July 3, 2010 at 8:46 pm

I had one from Belgium, and one from Mexico. Both were older.
The Belgian went home for a “family” emergency. I think it just wasn’t what he wanted- party boy. Once again- bored, I think? But he never really said.
The Mexican went AWOL at about 4.5 months. He went home on vacation to Mexico, and I found out through the grapevine that he had gone home and found out he was a father- but I don’t know for sure, since he never told me what happened.

Both were okay while they were with us.

PA mama July 3, 2010 at 12:57 pm

I wold love to contribute, but I have no idea how to fill this out without screwing up the statistic. My first two au pairs were rematch au pairs, both went into rematch from me. The first wuit the program and went home, the second we let go because of finances–no one’s fault. I finally have gotten an au pair from overseas for the first time, and she has only been here two weeks, but things look good! So if I filled out the numbers, I had 1 match and 2 rematches, though not in that order.

Should be working July 3, 2010 at 2:44 pm

PA mama, I think CV would count it that you had THREE matches (total of all matches ever, regardless of how they turned out) and two rematches. Doesn’t matter if the AP comes out of rematch or not, just whether you didn’t keep them yourself.

Dorsi July 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I agree — which is why we might need to rephrase this to be more explicit:

1. How many Au Pairs have you welcomed into your home?

2. How many of those AP’s have stayed for the planned amount of time? (So, if you have a rematch AP who only has 4 months, and you have a great 4 months with her, that is a good match, etc.).

We might even do this in text form because the narratives are interesting.

Host Mommy Dearest July 3, 2010 at 9:40 pm

I agree with Dorsi that is what we are after. For question 1 the only variation would be if you had an AP finish one “term” (whether it be a full year or partial b/c she started her first year elsewhere) and then extended for another “term.” I think that one AP would count as 2 in this instance for the purposes of question 1.

The real confusion comes with question #2 when we all are considering “rematches” differently. I think for #2 we want the number of APs who came to your home and did NOT finish their contracted term – regardless of why the AP left early & regardless of whether the HF “rematched” or went to an alternative form of childcare. Question #2 needs to have 0 so that everyone is able to respond to both questions, and based on adding up the #APs from question 1 and comparing to the # of incomplete terms from question 2, we will be able to state the rate of incomplete terms.

It is very interesting to hear the narratives about matches/rematches.

SotaGal July 3, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Opps! Clearly I can’t read. We’ve had 5 matches, 4 ended in rematch. Not sure why I felt compelled to answer that we’ve had 2 matches is beyond me. Guess I shouldn’t have been typing while still sick. In fact, it was this holiday weekend last year that really seemed to start our downward spiral into the nightmare of rematching. And matching, then rematching and matching again, then going into rematch one last time…

Should be working July 4, 2010 at 1:34 am

Whoa, 4 out of 5 matches ended in rematch–now that is a scary statistic. That sort of thing makes me more certain that it is not the ‘proprietary info’ (CCAP) that agencies are trying to protect in not publishing their rematch stats, but instead it’s about bad publicity and customer dissatisfaction.

Cat July 4, 2010 at 2:24 am

Hi, As an aupaircare area director, I’ve managed over 80 placements in two years and have had 12 placement changes for various reasons including a family leaving the program for financial reasons or au pairs leaving the program due to a death/sickness/illness in the family.

I love what I do and for the crazy stories I can tell, I have many other au pairs that I love love love and wish them all the best!!!

NJMom July 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

We’re zero rematches two out of three matches. The last two have extended: One for six months and one for 9. Overall, very excellent! I wasn’t sure how to count that in there either as “zero” so didn’t vote

CCDC Mom July 6, 2010 at 3:45 pm

We’ve had 14 matches, beginning when our son was 3 months old (he is now 10). 11 stayed, and 3 did not work out. Our first 6 au pairs were great. Some we liked personally more than others, but really that’s to be expected and all had lots to recommend them. Then we had an au pair arrive and stay one week, whereupon she went back home because she was just too homesick (in particular for her brand-new boyfriend). We rematched with an in-country au pair who was not good, but we felt we had little choice and we stuck it through till the end of her contract time. The next au pair was thoroughly incompetent, but a nice young woman. We sent her packing and rematched with an in-country au pair who was actively hostile to our kids. She left, and we juggled until our next au pair was scheduled to arrive (unlike some others on this board, in-country rematches have not worked well for us). Since then we’ve welcomed 4 more au pairs without rematching. All of our 3 rematches happened within the space of 1 year, and the rest of the time I believe we’ve had quite good luck. Of the 11 au pairs who stayed, I would say that 4 have been absolute gems, 3 have been very good, one it’s too early to tell (she just arrived), 2 have been acceptable and 1 we should have booted.

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