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Great Au Pair USA Agency REVIEW - New Au Pair Program 2014
GreatAuPair USA, LLC
6836 Bee Caves Road
2014 Yearly Costs (standard au pair only): $18,079 (includes program fees & au pair stipend)
Although GreatAuPair USA is a newly designated au pair agency, it is not new to the au pair business. GreatAuPair has been successfully matching au pairs since 2001. Shannon and Jamie Pitts, owners of the agency, decided to venture into the J-1 au pair business because they wanted to provide American families with the opportunity for cultural enrichment while simultaneously receiving quality, one-one-one childcare for their children.
Phone Service Rating: Fair - Good
Initially, we were connected to the Great Au Pair Matching Service (not the au pair program) so there was some confusion, but the woman quickly transferred us to Carey, who was answering phones for Great Au Pair USA. Carey was very helpful and knew about the au pair program. She looked up our state and let us know if there was a counselor nearby (they have to be 60 minutes or less away from any host family).
Psychometric Screening of Au Pairs
They use the DISC Assessment (read more about the importance of psychometric testing)
Emergency On-Call Policy
We were told that there is a 24/7 hotline, but when pressed, she admitted we would have to "...leave a message on a Sunday night and they would get back to us the next day."
WE HAVE NO 2014 HOST FAMILY RATINGS FOR GREAT AU PAIR PROGRAM SINCE THEY ARE A NEW AGENCY AS OF 2013.
Major Agency Strengths
1. Professional and User-Friendly Website
Terrific website with a modern design that is user friendly! Easy to click around and find things, like costs, which are upfront and transparent. You can't view the entire profile of each au pair, until you register.
2. Their Au Pairs Arrive Early
Great Au Pair claims that they are "setting a new standard for quality au pair training and arrivals." They have their au pairs complete their required U.S Dept. of State's orientation training prior to coming to the U.S. They say, "This simplifies the process and eliminates additional expenses by saving you about $450 in domestic airfare. Once you match, you can request your au pair's arrival within just three weeks. This allows your au pair to arrive ready to assist your family in record time."
3. Prior Au Pair Industry Experience
Great Au Pair USA is an extension of the Great Au Pair business, which is an online au pair/host family matching business that has been running successfully since 2001. So, the owners, ____ know their stuff and they are hard working and caring parents who know how difficult it is to work and have children! Check out the working couple and what they have to say about Great Au Pair in their About Us Video!
4. FastMatch System that Streamlines Matching
Unique within the industry is GreatAuPair's comprehensive FastMatch™ system that helps families and caregivers find the best possible two-way match through proprietary matching algorithms, personalized searches and detailed profiles including background checks, online interviews, references, reviews, photos and videos. We have no comprehensive reviews of this system as yet, but we have heard that is works well and host parents are happy with it.
5. Au Pair Clearinghouse Endorsement
We wish Great Au Pair USA well - we feel they will do a great job because we know they care! They care about children, families and au pairs. How do we know? They are only one of 3 au pair programs to stand up for au pairs by supporting P.E.A.P.(Prevent Exploitation of Au Pairs). We sent out emails and phone calls to all of the 15 au pair agencies, and Great Au Pair was the first to say, "Of course we will support P.E.A.P., why not?" See our Profile on Great Au Pair.
Major Agency Weaknesses
1. Very New Agency
Great Au Pair USA is an inexperienced au pair agency because they just became a designated au pair program. It takes time and much experience matching host families with au pairs to get it right! However, since they are not new to the au pair industry, we feel they have more knowledge and experience dealing with overseas agents (recruitment of au pairs) than the average, new U.S. au pair agency breaking into the industry.
2. No Host Parent Satisfaction Data
We have not received any surveys for 2014 since this agency just opened up its doors - so the real measure of how well this agency does, and will do, is still out. Next year, in 2015, we will have more host family feedback - they are also added to our new survey, so please, if you have used this agency or are currently using this agency, would you please complete our very short Host Family Satisfaction Survey? Thank you!