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Best Au Pair Counselors For 2015
Best Au Pair Counselors - 2015
We would like to point out a few facts about au pair counselors that may explain some of the lowest scores (a majority host parents score Local Support with the lowest ratings of Satisfaction, making this a hot button issue that au pair agencies need to address):
Au pair counselors are not paid very well. The monetary compensation for au pair counselors or representatives has always been low. Some agencies only pay per host family recruited. This method of compensation can create a "sales orientation" approach instead of a "counseling" or "mediation" approach when dealing with problems or issues. Ask your agency how they compensate your counselor! This will give you some idea of the quality of care they will give to you and your family (and read other host parents' ratings and reviews).
- No benefits or health insurance of any kind. The job of "counselor" is not only a very low paying position, but there are never any benefits offered. A counselor can have over 70 families, and work more than 30 hours a week, but the agency never pays out any kind of health, retirement or vacation benefits.
- Home is reserved for au pair "layovers". Counselors are required to house any au pair when the host family asks the agency to remove their au pair. This can happen several times during the year and putting a great strain on the counselor, both financially (she pays for all food, other expenses on behalf of the au pair) and emotionally. The au pair may be sick, needing care, or suffering from emotional or psychological distress, or waiting to be matched, and the counselor must allow her to live in her home until the issues are resolved. Not many people are willing to open their homes and mix their personal lives with "work" and given the low pay, who can blame them?
- Quality of work suffers. Since this is a tough job with low pay, no benefits and one is required to offer room and board to any au pair at the drop of a hat, quality of workers suffer. To get good, competent people who are willing to work hard for you and your au pair, agencies must pay them more, offer a benefits plan and allow au pairs to be placed in a motel once in a while!
- There are no USA Dept of State regulations. The Dept. of State does not require au pair "counselors" to have a background in mediation or counseling. If they raise the bar, perhaps the local support ratings would increase significantly.
- Highest Rated Au Pair Agencies. We applaud those agencies who are doing all the right things to hire and retain good, quality and knowledgeable au pair counselors! Counselors are very important to both the host family and the au pair - without this critical support, many matches suffer and au pairs and host families split, costing the parents thousands of dollars in lost program fees and overall feelings of disappointment and rejection by both parties.