Wouldn’t it be nice if you could meet a really terrific young person from anther country, discover that you had complementary world views, and THEN go through an official agency to engage him or her as an au pair?
From time to time, we get questions from either parents or potential au pairs about how to go about with “pre-matching”, and I’d love to hear what any of you all have learned about that process.
Please note – let’s talk about pre-matching and then using an Agency to keep things legal and to provide support.
(Save “Can we sneak in an au pair without a program?” for another conversation.)
What’s the best way to pre-match with a family and then find an agency?
Dear Au Pair Mom,
I’m Tiara, a young woman based in Australia who just spent a wonderful creative summer in San Francisco. I’ve been looking at coming back and au pairing seems like an option – I’ve done childcare before as well as lived with host families of all sorts so I think I can adjust well.
I was wondering if it was possible for au pairs to prearrange host family placements.
In my SF stay I spent quite a bit of time with members of alternative families – queer, sex-positive, kinky, poly, and so on. Many of them are recent parents and would appreciate help that was friendly towards their alternative family arrangements. However, because they are not very mainstream they may not be open to registering for an au pair service. Indeed, while looking through au pair sponsor orgs, I’ve noticed that many veer towards the conventional and traditional, and wasn’t sure who would be open to non-conventional families.
I thought that I could get in touch with the families I met in San Francisco, ask if they would be happy with me as an au pair, and then have the sponsor company help organise the paperwork between us. Is that possible?
I understand that many companies do family screenings; would the alternative bent be a huge rejection factor? Alternatively, are there agencies you could suggest that are more alternative-lifestyle-friendly and could place me in an appropriate setting?
Thanks for your advice!