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Au Pair Agency Reviews & Ratings
Au Pair Expert Advice and Quality Reviews
We Rate All of the 15 Au Pair Agencies on the Following Features:
- Geographical Location and Services Areas: not all agencies service all parts of the United States. Popular areas that most agencies service are mainly on the East and West coasts, including hot spots such as Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and major cities (Chicago, NYC, Boston, etc.)
- Fee Structure: we identity application fees, program fees across specialized au pair programs, domestic travel fees and hidden costs. Our Quick Glance Program Fees handout is very useful when researching au pair agencies.
- Phone Service Ratings: we call each agency quarterly to review their phone service and report on friendliness, usefulness and helpfulness. We also tell you if they use a live person to answer their prospective host family calls or depend on a machine to get your phone number.
- Specialized Programs: several of the au pair agencies offer different programs with graduated levels of au pair childcare experience and expertise working with infants and special needs children. We identify the best programs and review them on an ongoing basis.
- Matching Services: Not all agencies are the same! Each has different matching services, some are better and more efficient than others. Read host parent ratings of the best Matching Services.
- Au Pair Quality Screening: we identify which agencies recruit the best au pairs.
- Strengths & Weaknesses: Comprehensive list of agency highlights and what they get 'right' and what where they fail.
- German Au Pairs: which agencies still recruit from Germany and other popular au pairs from China, South America and Japan.
- Best Drivers: we identify which agencies have the Best Drivers!
- Best Counselors: ratings on best local support.
- Best English Skills: need an au pair with good English? We have the ratings for agencies with the best English speaking au pairs.
Au Pair Care has a 20-year reputation and status as an industry leader is was one of the first au pair agencies designated and regulated by the U.S. Department of State. Au Pair Care has placed more than 40,000 au pairs from more than 40 countries with families nationwide. Read how host parents rate them on customer service and well-screened au pairs and more!
Located in San Francisco, this small "boutique" agency is starting to grow and now services over 500 families a year. Smaller agencies often give great customer service - does this agency deliver? Find out how Au Pair Clearinghouse rated their costs, phone service and au pair screening methods. If you don't want to get an au pair who smokes, this agency may be for you! Newly upgraded website.
This smaller agency, located in Novata, California, receives mixed ratings for phone service - but they are improving their services. For example, they just updated their au pair screening methods and are not using a standardized psychometric au pair test. They do recruit Japanese au pairs, who are known for their patience, hard work and love of children. Read how their host parents rated them for 2012.
One of the larger agencies, this New England based program has mixed reviews and ratings. Find out what their strengths and weaknesses are before you sign up. Website is not easy to navigate and information is not organized as well as it could be. Read about their Chinese au pairs!
Located in Colorado, this small, 'boutique' agency focuses on customer service and are one of the mid-range priced programs. You can match with an Au Pair Professional - an au pair who has either a formal childcare degree or a minimum of 2 years documented childcare experience. Host parents give them mixed ratings.
Their phone service and host family ratings are mixed. Located in New York, they offer their au pairs a 5 day training orientation in the Big Apple, near Times Square and the Empire State Building. Au pairs love this feature. Newly updated website includes a new look and easier navigation. One of their Japanese au pairs won the prestigious Au Pair of the Year Award for 2010!
Located in San Anselmo, California, this smaller agency has knowledgeable and friendly staff who is more than happy to spend lots of time explaining the au pair program to new parents. They are one of the few programs that offer male au pairs and the office will send you au pair applications to review before you even apply. No other agency does this! Their motto is "One-on-one, quality customer service."
The largest agency in the industry, Cultural Care is located in Cambridge, MA. They are one of the oldest agency (established in 1989) and they enjoy a high level of brand name recognition here in the U.S., and abroad. Great website and lots of user friendly features. VP Natalie Jordan has been very approachable and willing to share news about her agency with us - we have interviewed her twice! Find out why they have mixed reviews for both customer service and quality of au pairs.
Located in Laguna Beach, California, EurAuPair receives mixed ratings from their host parents. Find out why and what they need to work on if they want to compete with the bigger agencies.
One of the newer agencies (2006) that services all of Florida, this program focuses on great customer service and recruiting quality au pairs. They do service other parts of the United States, but their CEO, Mark Gaulter, said they want to grow slowly so they don't lose their goal of providing quality service to their host families. Find out why they slipped off our Top Agency Picks list.
Located in Murray, Utah and founded in 1989, this smaller agency is growing. They have several programs, including Au Pair Plus, Educare and Premiere Au Pairs. Host parents give them high marks on several criteria, including Best English Skills. We expect to see great things from this expanding program!
THIS AGENCY APPEARS TO BE CLOSED. AS OF JUNE 15 2012, NO ONE IS ANSWERING THE PHONES. THEIR WEBSITE IS STILL UP AND RUNNING BUT THE 800 # IS NO LONGER WORKING. The newest member of the Department of State regulated au pair agencies, TIAPE was located on the West Coast, a highly desirable destination for au pairs. They received their designation in June, 2010. Host parents gave this new agency mixed ratings. May 2014 UPDATE: we called and they said they were a "sister agency of Pro Au Pair" but they were very unclear about how and why these two agencies merged and are now working together. If you want to apply to TIAPE, they will email you an application.
Pro Au Pair
For the second time in 2011, another new au pair agency has opened up its doors to the American public. Based in San Clemente, California, ProAuPair’s speciality is recruiting older, experienced au pairs, many of them who have professional degrees in pediatric nursing, teaching and early childhood education, etc. Susan Asay, Founder & CEO of ProAuPair, has a keen interest in matching au pairs with families who have a special needs child.
There is an increase in families with special needs children, particularly as the number of children diagnosed with autism climbs, parents are frantic to find the appropriate childcare. ProAuPair’s mission statement is to “match experienced, bilingual au pairs from Germany and other European countries with host families.”
A smaller, 'boutique' agency that services under 500 host families a year. Because of their small size, the contact you have with their staff should be above par. In 2011, they were sued by one of their German au pairs for one million dollars related to alleged sexual abuse by host father. They are located in Oregon and their fees are among the lowest in the au pair industry. PLEASE read their review before you sign up with this agency - they were recently in the news and are being sued by a former au pair.
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