One of the biggest questions for families is how do they match with an au pair? How do you choose someone who will be a good fit for your family? As the nation’s first legal au pair program, we have nearly 30 years of experience connecting families with the right au pair. We sat down with Placement Manager Lorraine Somma-Mates to answer these common questions and discuss Expert Match, Au Pair in America’s flexible and personalized approach to matching families with the right au pair.
What is Expert Match?
Expert Match is a customized approach to the matching process. Each family is different, from what their child care needs are to their schedule to how they approach their search for an au pair. Our experienced Placement Team and Community Counselors provide families with choice and flexibility throughout the process, and pay close attention to each family’s specific needs.
How is this approach helpful for families?
Availability: We know how busy families are, so availability is very important to us. Consultations are available 7 days a week, until 8pm during the week and until 6pm on the weekend. That way parents can take the time to sit down and discuss their child care needs with their Placement Coordinator at a time that is convenient for them.
24/7 Search: Our matching process, and our search features specifically, are one of the many things that set us apart from other agencies. Families can login and search all available au pairs. We have multi-faceted search features so families can browse by country, age, driving experience, interests, sports, language, dietary preferences and more.
Support: The placement team has a Placement Assistant who works specifically on the technical aspect of connecting families and au pairs. With families all over the U.S., and au pairs from Chile to China and everywhere in between, getting in touch and setting a time to talk can be a challenge. We liaise with the au pairs and overseas offices to set appointments for families, we provide connection services for international phone calls, and just generally ensure communication flows as smoothly a
s possible and nothing is lost in translation or time difference!
Personalized: Each family is different: some parents like to do their own searches and contact au pairs directly, others really appreciate the assistance and advice from their Placement Coordinator. And often, it’s a mix of both. After a consultation, our Placement Coordinators will hand select au pair profiles and place them in a folder (in our Host Family portal) for the family to review.
And not only do families have the assistance of our Placement Team, they also have the support of the local Community Counselor in their area. Counselors pro-actively search the database, and can connect families with au pairs in the country who are looking to extend or rematch.
Post Placement: Once a family and an au pair have matched, what happens next? Another aspect of Expert Match is the post placement support. The Placement Team and the local Community Counselor provide information and walk families through what to expect in the year ahead.
Lastly, what advice would you give to families just starting the process?
- Be positive and speak slowly at first to make sure the au pair feels comfortable. Ask open ended questions.
- Ask the kids to join in on the second or third call, having them involved too is important.
- Be as honest as you can about your family and what you are looking for, the more you are, the more likely you will find the right au pair for your family
- And be in touch with your Placement Coordinator and local Community Counselor. Even if you like searching on your own, our team can provide practical advice and assistance whenever you may need it.
- Give au pairs the chance to interview you!
We are available 7 days a week to answer your questions and discuss your child care needs. Schedule a consult with us, at a time that’s convenient for you, or view au pairs available now on our website.