How to Choose for Your Needs
Choosing the right Au Pair Agency is a big decision for both families and au pairs. You need to think about things like the agency’s reputation, how much they charge, the details in their contracts, and other important factors.
At The Au Pair Club, we want to help you pick the best agency that fits what you need and works well with your family. Before we get into our guide, it’s good to know exactly what you’re looking for.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Location: Do you want an agency close to where you live, or are you looking for one that works internationally?
- Employment: What job are you after? Are you aiming to be an au pair, nanny, or tutor? Some agencies offer different kinds of jobs.
- Trust: Would you rather go with an agency that’s been around for a long time, or a newer one that’s up-to-date with the latest trends in au pairing? Just because an agency has been around for years doesn’t automatically make it the best choice. They might be set in their old ways, which isn’t great if you’re trying to stand out in a competitive job market.
- Salary: Think about how much money you want to make. Different agencies offer different salaries, so it’s a good idea to compare what you could earn with each one.
Along with the questions already mentioned, here are a few more that can help in making an informed decision:
- What kind of support does the agency offer? It’s important to know how much help and guidance you’ll get from the agency once you’re placed. Do they provide ongoing support, advice, or check-ins?
- What is their success rate? Ask about the agency’s track record. How successful are they in matching au pairs with families? A high success rate can be a good indicator of their expertise and efficiency.
- What are their safety and background check procedures? Safety is paramount. Find out how the agency screens its au pairs and families. This is crucial for ensuring a safe and secure environment for both parties.
- What are the terms of the contract? Understand the details of the contract, including the duration of placement, working hours, responsibilities, and any termination clauses. This helps in setting clear expectations from the start.
- How flexible is the agency with placements? Life can be unpredictable. Check how flexible the agency is in terms of changing families or au pairs if the initial match isn’t a good fit.
- What training or qualifications do they require from their au pairs? This is particularly important for families. Knowing the level of training or qualifications the agency requires can give you confidence in the quality of care your children will receive.
- What are the costs involved? For au pairs, it’s important to understand any fees they might need to pay. For families, knowing the cost of using the agency’s services is crucial for budgeting purposes.
- Can they provide references or testimonials? Hearing from others who have used the agency can provide valuable insights into their experience and satisfaction levels.
By considering these additional questions, both families and au pairs can make a more informed decision when choosing an au pair agency.
It is crucial to choose a recruitment company that instills a sense of comfort, listens to your concerns, and understands your requirements.
You want to avoid a situation where you are placed with an unsuitable Au Pair and cannot dismiss them immediately. Similarly, as an Au Pair, you want to ensure that you are matched with a supportive and reputable Family. Therefore, selecting a company that values your best interests is of utmost importance.
Before applying to any company, it is essential to conduct thorough research:
- Read past experiences and feedback from others.
- Take note of how the company addresses and responds to negative comments.
- Consider the frequency and recency of reviews. Are there more positive than negative reviews?
Remember, being an Agency is no easy task, so it’s essential to exercise understanding and patience. Finding high-quality Au Pairs can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth it to ensure a positive Au Pairing experience.
Key Factors to Consider
When deciding on a recruitment company, pay attention to the following aspects:
- Are thorough reference checks conducted by the company?
- Does the agency conduct face-to-face interviews with candidates?
- Availability of refunds or placement guarantees?
- Criminal background checks performed on candidates?
- Social media screening to ensure suitability?
- Verification of a legitimate driver’s license?
- Safety checks on the candidate’s vehicle?
- Confirmation of the candidate’s qualifications?
If you are answering those questions with a ‘no’ then you may want to reconsider that particular agency you’ve been looking at.
Assessing the Owner
Many Au Pairs and Families overlook the fact that they can conduct reference checks on Agencies, just as they do on candidates. The owner’s conduct and reputation can provide valuable insights into the agency’s professionalism, treatment of employees and candidates, and how they will handle your concerns.
Consider the following:
- Do they pay their employees promptly? (This includes nannies, gardeners, au pairs, and tutors.)
- Is the owner friendly, helpful, and kind? (If they are rude, it’s best to explore other agencies.)
- Are they patient and willing to address your questions?
- Do they respond to inquiries in a timely manner (usually within 48-72 hours)?
- Does the agency frequently change locations?
- Does the agency frequently change ownership? I.e there are always new owners in the business. You are not dealing with the same people.
- Are there positive reviews of the owner and the Au Pair Agency?
- Do they actively engage with the community on platforms like Facebook?
- Are there negative reviews on their Google business listings? (While some negative reviews are expected, fewer is generally better.)
Au Pair Club Tip: 💡 Be sure to check Hello Peter, a South African online review platform, where individuals can provide feedback on companies. You can also have a look at TrustPilot for all EU Au Pairs. This can offer further insights on the Agency you are about to contact.
If you feel like you need additional support, you are welcome to download our FREE Au Pair Handbook for additional guidance.
Let’s move on to the Au Pair Experience.
The Au Pair Experience
Finding the right Au Pair or family should be an enjoyable and fulfilling experience. It involves welcoming someone into your home, your children’s lives, and your family. Look for a recruitment company that makes the process stress-free and understands your unique needs.
Involve Your Children in the Process
Your child’s comfort with the Au Pair is crucial. Once the company has identified a suitable candidate, consider conducting the interview from the comfort of your home. This approach ensures that both you and your child can assess the candidate’s compatibility and interaction style.
It is vital for your child to feel included in the decision-making process since they will be spending considerable time with the chosen Au Pair.
List of Companies
To simplify your research, here is a comprehensive list of both local and international Agencies.
Agencies in South Africa:
- Au Pair Extraordinaire
- Domestic Angels
- Exceptional Au Pairs
- Tip-Top Agency
- Jozi Cares
- Pretoria Cares
- Fab Au Pair Agency
- Cultural Care
- Clementines Au Pair & Nanny
- Vip Nannies & Au Pairs
- Au Pair At Home
- Au Pair Plus
- Prestigious Prep Tutors and Au Pairs
- SA Au Pair
- Au Pairs and Tutors
- Au Pair Travel
- Absolute Au Pairs
- R.A.S Au Pairs
- Au Pairs At Work
- Go Au Pair
- Great Au Pair
- Find Your Jane
- Little Sunshines
- Carla’s Au Pairs
- Au Pair International
- Taking Abroad
- Au Pair World
- Bianca’s Au Pairs
- Au Pair Care
- Au Pair in America
- Nina Care
If you want to protect yourself as an Au Pair and learn more about contracts, medical leave, child behaviour management, and other valuable information, consider enrolling in our Online Au Pair Course, suitable for both local and international students.
Alternatively, download our FREE Au Pair Handbook for helpful insights and guidance.