So you’ve decided you want to learn more about au pair childcare—maybe even get started filling out your host family application and getting one step closer to welcoming a reliable, flexible and trustworthy caregiver into your home.
But the question now becomes: How do I choose which au pair agency to work with?
There are many options here in the USA for families looking to host an au pair. Before you pick, though, it’s perhaps most important to ask yourself: What makes a good au pair agency?
Knowing what separates a good au pair agency from an adequate one can make or break your entire au pair experience. It can give you peace of mind as you navigate the matching process, welcome a new member of the family into your home, and address any concerns or obstacles that may pop up during your time together. Choosing an au pair agency that has your best interest at heart is a crucial part of any successful au pair year.
So let’s learn what separates the good from the bad.
#1) An Extensive Support Network
Welcoming a live-in childcare provider into your home is no light decision—it requires lots and lots of research, communication, and preparation. That’s why the best au pair agencies are there for you with advice and guidance, 24/7.
Choose an agency that has support services available for you every step of the way. Someone to explain the program to you and answer every single small and seemingly silly question you have. Another person to help you set up your account and application to attract the best candidates. And of course, another person to help you match with the perfect au pair.
At Cultural Care Au Pair, we offer all this and more. In addition to Matching Specialists that help you find the right au pair for you and your family, we have Account Services Representatives to help you manage every bit of the program from finances, to deadlines, to visa registration.
We also have Customer Relations Managers, whose role is to assist with any issues or concerns that may arise throughout the year. Last but not least, we have an entire network of support for host families across the country in the form of Local Childcare Consultants (LCCs). LCCs are our eyes and ears on the ground—they work with host families and au pairs in their neighborhoods to ensure everyone has a safe and successful year. As a Cultural Care host family, you’ll benefit from the care and attention of a personal LCC all year long.
#2) Au Pair Preparation & Training
Giving all new au pairs the resources they need to adjust to life in the USA, coexist peacefully with your family, and to expertly care for your children is critical. Any au pair agency worth their salt will be supplying their incoming au pairs with a plethora of reading materials, tests, and certifications to ensure they’re adequately prepared.
And as host parents, this is an important part of your peace of mind, right? Knowing that you’ve chosen an au pair who will satisfy all your family’s needs—and keep the safety and well-being of your children at their forefront of their minds and hearts. It’s a must-have.
Now, a good au pair agency will ensure your au pair has everything they need to succeed before they leave their home country and arrive in the USA. A great au pair agency will continue to train them even once they’ve arrived on U.S. soil.
That’s what Cultural Care Au Pair does. Every new au pair on our program spends their first week in the USA at our Au Pair Training School just outside New York City. There, they attend classes that educate them on everything from how to go to the doctor in America, to the best foods to feed growing children, to communication strategies for your family and their friends.
Of course, they’re also given First Aid and CPR certification classes that allow you rest easier knowing that should an emergency ever arise, they’re prepared to handle it with ease.
#3) Au Pair Matching: Quantity & Quality
A vast and varied selection of au pair candidates is important for any agency. They give new families the best chance at finding the exact right match for their lifestyle and needs.
At Cultural Care Au Pair, we are proud to have the largest pool of au pair candidates from more than 20 countries around the world. Our newest matching system has been specially designed to create quicker and higher quality matches—requiring au pairs and host families alike to create robust applications that help them get to know each other well right off the bat.
For example, our newest feature in matching is our Neurocolor personality test; it’s a proven method created by Dr. Helen Fisher of Match.com that Cultural Care has adopted to help create long-lasting and successful matches on our program.
In addition to these latest bells & whistles to our matching process, our agency has been around for more than 30 years—which means we attract top talent and top au pair candidates. As the largest and most experienced agency in the USA, we know what makes a great match. And we will stop at nothing to help you and your family find yours.