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Winning Au Pair Agencies!

In the new world of globalization and technological change, the Au Pair Industry is rapidly changing. 
 

Globe SearchThe Information Age has forever changed our personal and economic lives.  It has changed the environment in which businesses run their companies, and for those companies who have not kept up with the rapid and vast changes the Information Age has incurred, they have met with economic disaster.

Just until recently, companies, like Ford, were falling hopelessly behind.  America's entire car industry was in danger of becoming extinct!  Our new economic age must keep pace with the way customers have changed. 

How au pair agencies retain and expand their customer base, while they invent new products and maintain their bottom line, is the subject of this article.

To understand the power customers have for businesses, it is important to understand what customers demand today in the Information Age.  Today's customer is tech savvy, and because of the power of the internet, they are are well-informed and engaged by cyberspace.  This makes customers very powerful and their wants and demands must be met by businesses, otherwise the companies will quickly fall behind their competitors and eventually, fail. 

So, what do today's powerful, engaged and tech savvy customers want? 

According to Richard W. Oliver, author of "The Shape of Things to Come, " they want just five things:

  • Speed
  • Variety
  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service

If you are a host parent, and you desire the Top Five customer service demands listed above, you may be a keystroke away from finding the au pair agency that will deliver them. 

  • In today's economic climate, au pair agencies are being rated and reviewed for the first time by third parties. 
  • Host parents have the capability to register their complaints, testimonials and demands online. This is a first for the au pair industry! 
  • For au pair companies, the twenty-first century customer's "Top Five" list is a challenging one. 
  • Au pair agencies that cannot deliver these 5 things will lose customers and face failure. 

For years, the au pair companies marketed themselves as "putting the customer first" but few agencies actually followed through 100% of the time.  Host families got used to settling for what the agencies provided, rather than what they needed and wanted.   

Agencies that learn how to deliver speed, quality, variety, excellent service and cost-effective pricing to their customers, will enjoy strong economic growth and success.

Let's take a look at each of the Top Five Things today's customers demand and expect from businesses and apply each one to the au pair industry:

SPEED

What about "speed?"  According to current economists, the ability of a company to improve their "response time" to customers is critical and the key to success today.  Customers want instant gratification! 
 

  • How do au pair companies respond to their customers' demand for speed?  How fast can an agency interview and accept a new family?  What is the turn-around time receiving applications?  To enter a match?  How quickly do staff respond to customers' questions, complaints, requests?  Busy, demanding families don't want any "wait time" today! 

When au pair companies first started in 1986, all business was conducted by phone and the USA postal service!  Today, it is not unusual to fill out an application online and start to receive au pair profiles in 24 hours.  Family interviews with their local LCCs and counselors can be scheduled within 24 hours and matches can be had in less than a week of application! 

  • However, for those companies who still lag behind on the internet, with slow and outdated websites, coupled with slow response times, market share will continue to suffer. 

VARIETY

Host parents today are very demanding, but that is a postive thing.  Demanding host parents create program niches that au pair agencies never considered before, and if you can fill these business opportunities, you are on your way to developing a great company.

For example, let's look at one of the leading au pair companies in the United States, and how they stepped-up to fill a much-needed demand for trained infant care workers.  

For decades, host parents tried to match with trained au pairs who could take care of their babies successfully.  Leading au pair agencies only offered au pairs who were "infant qualified," however, all this meant was the au pair had to show she had "200 hours of infant care or experience."  They were not required to have any formal training or educational classes in infant care.

Host parents began to demand more training, education and specific orientation of infant care au pairs.  As a result, an infant care "au pair" niche developed. 

  • Even though this infant care niche was placed in right in front of their noses, au pair agencies ignored the need, despite the continued clamoring of desperate parents who had to leave their babies at home, while more mothers entered the workplace full-time. 

Au Pair Care stepped up and met the challenge by filling that need with their Infant Specialized Program.  Their new program, that is priced well and provides unique infant care training, meets host parents' demand for qualilty and specialized infant care service. 

The Infant Specialized Program is now a highly successful program that fills a once empty business niche created by host parents!  The remaining au pair companies that ignored this niche missed out on a very profitable opportunity and as a result, they now lag behind this innovative agency when it comes to infant care -  an area that continues to grow as more young couples pursue dual careers!

QUALITY

You only have to look at the success of Japanese cars to understand what the term "quality" means today.  With their drive for quality, the Japanese car companies were able to gain global market share of the auto industry, while other auto companies slipped and lost the foothold they had held for decades.   USA companies and other car manufacturers were slow to follow suit, but other industries and businesses jumped on the "quality" bandwagon and put into place "quality assurance teams" that researched how to improve the quality of their products and services. 

As a result, the concept of "quality" has taken on a global dimension and customers now demand high quality of all products and services they pay for.  But, how do economists define "quality" today?  

Richard W. Oliver ("The Shape of Things to Come") states that companies need to find out what their customers define as "quality" and not what the company sees as "quality."  This means listening to your customers, making sure they have access to the company so they can let them know what they "expect" in terms of a product, service or consumer goods. 

  • If au pair agencies strive to meet their customers' expectations of what quality services mean to them, but then begin to exceed these expectations, their high quality services and products will trounce any competitor!  

Today's business mantra "Give it to them their way, or don't bother" replaces the old mantra "The customer is always right."  If you cannot meet your customers' needs, the way they want it, they will find another agency that will! 

For years, a leading au pair agency refused to release au pair profiles to new host families until the family interview was done by their local counselor.  It made good sense, since the company wanted to ensure that families were in good standing and would take good care of their au pairs.  The interview had to wait until the counselor scheduled the meeting, which could take between 24 hours to 2 weeks or even longer!  Then, as other companies began to immediately send new host families au pair profiles before the interview date, all new customers expected the same service at this agency.

Customers saw the company's refusal to show them profiles while they waited as poor quality service and lack of "response speed" and  many of them switched to other agencies. 

  • This leading au pair agency lost market share - they refused to listen to their customers and improve the quality of the application process until it was too late - several agencies had already changed their application process and many new customers were lost to these more adept companies that listened and learned from customers about what they demanded and expected. 

Read about this agency now

PRICE

As twenty-first century customers, we demand the best price in almost every product or service we buy.  A well-known corporate name is no longer a guarantee of quality and brand loyalty among customers is fleeting.  If companies focus on value with quality, they win!  

  • A high-quality, low-price au pair agency, like Expert Au Pair, enables them to take on industry giants.  Not only do they provide competitive pricing (they have the lowest fees in the USA and the best health insurance for their au pairs), they also provide good customer service and high quality programs.  They are a smaller agency, but they are one of the better, smaller programs in the industry, due to their high-quality and lower-price strategy.  

Customers demand best cost deals with high quality.  Au pair agencies that continue to increase prices, while at the same stand by and do nothing to improve the quality of their services, will fail miserably.

SERVICE

Customer service is very important to the continued success of any au pair agency.  Service can be broken down into several parts:  accountability or response to complaints/problems, anticipation of potential problems and the "preemptive" solutions to potential problems.  How can an agency collect this kind of information before potential problems ensue?  Interviews, surveys, service questionnaires, etc. are the traditional methods of collecting these data. 

However, sophisticated companies are using advanced information and focused employee training to capture  customers' anticipated or potential problems!   If companies collect information on who their customers are (and their unique needs) and then train their staff to meet these needs, potential problems are lessened and service dramatically improves.

For example, Home Depot knows their customers, through detailed interviews and online research, they know their customer is a home owner who wants to try his hand at "fix-it" jobs around the home.  Customers want staff to help them with questions they have about how to do this and what is the best product to get the job done.  Staff are trained to be experts in their respective departments: paint, lumber, electricity, gardening, etc.  If they don't know the answer to your question, they radio someone who does.  They will also walk you to the aisle where they will show you either a range of appropriate products or the one that should do the job.  Staff are trained to be competent, friendly and helpful, far exceeding customer expectations! 

  • One of the primary objectives of this kind of "preemptive" customer service is to retain customersWhen au pair agencies spend too much time and money on attracting new customers, they overlook the obvious: customer retention is the key to long-term success! 

One of the top leading agencies took their eye off this business model and basically ignored customers' complaints over a long period of time. You can see the complaints that go back to 2005 on the internet, where customers share their stories of not getting assistance with this agency with both minor and major problems.  The agency forgot the often quoted business lesson:  "It costs five times more to attract a new customer than to keep a current one." 

What is the lesson to be learned by au pair agencies today in our global business world?  What are the imperatives for winning in the new world of business?  Learn who your customers are, let them direct your programming, listen to them, provide quality programs with cost-effective, lower pricing, increase the speed in responding to customer complaints/requests, improve websites to make them faster, more efficient,  and, most importantly, provide the best customer service possible. 

All five strategies will not only improve an agency's bottom line, it will drastically improve the quality of childcare for American families nationwide.

 


Read all our reviews of the 14 au pair agencies in the United States

Au Pair Agency Reviews & Ratings 2014

 


 Finding Au Pair Agency on Internet.jpg

 

Au Pair Agency Ratings & Reviews

Read Our Au Pair Agency Reviews and Ratings
Before You Host an Au Pair


Your Children Will Thank You!

An Educated Parent Makes the Best Childcare Choices

Yearly Host Parent Ratings & Reviews

2014    2013    2012 
 


We have taken the "mystery" out of finding an au pair.  Our unbiased surveys, completed by host parents, are collected for 12 months of each year.  Our expert team evaluates and writes up the reviews based on this third party consumer information versus mere "opinions" and biased "reviews" offered by au pair agencies themselves.  

If you have never tried our services before, you are in for a very pleasant surprise.  We have a wealth of information on each of the au pair programs in the USA so parents like yourself can feel confident their child will be safe and well-cared for by their au pair.  

AuPairClearinghouse has revolutionized how parents find the most affordable childcare option available today. 

By offering real consumer reports and reviews on the au pair industry, we have vastly improved your chances of finding a safe, reliable and experienced au pair for your family.

FIND OUT TODAY WHICH AGENCY
IS RIGHT FOR YOUR FAMILY - YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID!

 

 

Top 6 Tips to Avoid Dishonest Au Pairs!

Top 6 Tips to Avoid Dishonest Au Pairs and a Potential Crisis!

Big Headed Woman

  • TIP #1.  Make sure you choose a good, reputable au pair agency - there are 14 agencies in the USA and they are not all alike!  Each one recruits and screens their au pairs and counselors differently - and their customer service, once you match with an au pair, can vary greatly  across each agency.

  • TIP #2.  To avoid matching with an au pair who may have mental health issues or addiction problems, ask your agency what kind of psychometric test they use.  Many tests are "pop" personality tests that au pairs can find on the internet and practice taking.

  • TIP #3.   Interview each au pair well, over at least 2-3 phone calls, use Skype if you can (this will allow you to at least see her as she talks to you) and check all references - don't assume anything. 

  • TIP #4.  Be tough - make sure you tell both your agency and prospective au pairs that certain factors are "deal breakers" and that you will fire/return the au pair if you find the au pair lied about: driving, smoking, drinking, partying, speaking English, childcare experience or lack of a responsible and mature personality. For example, do you know how to screen for an au pair who is in a serious relationship with a boyfriend?

  • TIP #5.  Au pairs and agencies will get away with what they can but if they know you being proactive and there will be a consequence down the road, they will often change their way of dealing with you, for the better. If an au pair who is lying to you knows that you will fire her if she is caught smoking or has a car accident because she really isn't an "experienced driver" she will move on to the next unsuspecting host family!

  • TIP #6.  Interview your prospective counselors/LCCs!  If you don't "click" she may not be for you - and you should assess if the "counselor" is a salesperson first or a true mediator.  You don't want a salesperson to help you when you have serious issue with your au pair - she will not know what to do, nor will she want to get involved. Match with an au pair agency that recruits and hires great au pair representatives/counselors!

 

 

 

Find An Au Pair

Au Pairs in America - What You Need to Know about Au Pairs!

If you are reading this, you may be thinking about hosting an au pair to care for your children.  Many parents are not really sure what an au pair is.  Most think an au pair is a young nanny - not so!

Let's explain what an au pair is (and what she is not):  Au Pair is a French phrase that translates, loosely, "as an equal" or "on par."  She is not considered a nanny, she is not even considered an "employee" - an au pair is a young foreign woman, who desires to come abroad for a year, live with an American family, experience a new culture, travel and make American friends. 

Note: young foreign men are also au pairs, but to facilitate ease of writing and reading, when we refer to "she" we mean both sexes.  Male au pairs are usually referred to as "Mannies."
 
In "exchange" for living with an American family, au pairs understand that they are required to give you up to 45 hours of childcare a week, but no more than 10 hours a day.  You will "host" the au pair by providing a room, food, a car, cell phone and a weekly stipend of approximately $190 a week.
 
This arrangement is referred to as the Cultural Exchange Program that began in 1986 and is under the supervision and guidance of the United States Department of State. The U.S. government makes clear that au pairs are not employees:
  • When you sign a contract with an agency, you are not "hiring" an au pair,  you are "hosting" her for 12 months.
  • You are not required to pay childcare taxes; her stipend is not "pay" and she is therefore not required to pay taxes.
  • Your au pair's J1Visa will expire in a year. You will have to start your search again for another au pair for the new year. 

Eiffel Tower

The Cultural Exchange Program started with 300 au pairs, most of them coming from 2 or 3 countries (England and Ireland were the two most popular countries in the 80s). 

Since the 1990's, 30,000 au pairs in any single year.  In addition, au pairs are now recruited from over 60 countries!  The majority of au pairs no longer come from England and Ireland - most are arriving from Western Europe, parts of Asia and Eastern Europe.  

The Cultural Exchange Program is a highly innovative and very cost-effective way for busy parents to provide safe and reliable childcare for their young families.  There are 15 U.S.A. au pair agencies operating in America at this time. 
 
  • The 15 Agencies are also referred to as the "legal" au pair programs because they operate within the government regulations of the Dept. of State and they must adhere to their rules and requirements. 
  • In exchange for joining the Dept. of State list, the au pair agencies agree to provide au pairs with medical insurance; basic training; legal services (if required); local support during the year; crisis intervention and mediation and air fare. 
  • Au pair agencies also agree to provide host parents with well-screened au pairs (including criminal background checks, psychometric testing, medical clearance and references); assistance with finding and matching with an appropriate au pair; local support during the year; crisis intervention and mediation and 24 hour emergency 800 number.
  • There are other ways to hire an au pair, and in order to avoid paying "program fees" parents can search online and find an au pair through non-government regulated programs. If you choose this route, you are basically on your own for the flight, care and management of the au pair. 
  • If something goes wrong with the au pair, or the relationship between you and the au pair turns sour, you are now the responsible party and you must solve the problem(s) than can and do arise when you have a young, often inexperienced, childcare giver living in your home.  When using these kinds of companies, do beware of Internet au pair scams. 

Not all au pair agencies are the same!  

AuPairClearinghouse is the first and only National Consumer Website for Parents that offers practical and much-needed information on all legal agencies - parents need to know which agencies are program leaders; which agencies offers new and innovative programs with the best matching services; find out which agency recruits the best drivers; and what agency websites have all the technology "bells & whistles!" 
 
AuPairClearinghouse reviews and rates all U.S.A au pair agencies and lets parents choose which agency best fits their childcare needs.  Until now, no parent had access to this kind of program comparison and ratings!  
  • Need to know which au pair agency receives high ratings for overall customer service?  Or best quality au pairs?  Best drivers, au pairs that speak good, clear English?  We give you that information by collecting host parents' reviews and ratings on our yearly Host Family Au Pair Agency Satisfaction Survey!
AuPairClearinghouse compare costs and post daily discounts, alerts you to hikes in program fees; prints all au pair news stories and agency press releases and offers an interactive blog and Family Forum where host parents share their advice, complaints, testimonials and au pair expertise!
 
Our Mission is to provide the best professional tips and advice on how to navigate the Cultural Exchange Program so you can make the best au pair choice for your children.  
  • We have more ratings and reviews on all au pair agencies than any other website available today.  
  • We are growing to serve you better with a wealth of information on hosting au pairs! 
Our information pages below provide agency information; au pair resources and cultural information on the most popular countries au pairs are recruited from. 

An Educated Parent Makes the Best Childcare Consumer!


Read More About Au Pairs:

Let's Talk Au Pairs - All the Au Pair Articles!

Hosting An Au Pair - How to Get Started!

Do's & Don'ts When Considering Au Pairs

Au Pairs And Not Nannies

Most Popular Childcare Options

Host Family Interview - What to Expect?

Au Pairs & Boyfriends

Mistake #4:  Matching with an Au Pair that has a Serious Boyfriend!

 

Couple Walking

Many au pairs sign up for the program even though are in a committed relationship with a boyfriend. They both think they can be apart for 12 months, but eventually, the couple starts to miss each other. They may spend a lot of time and money calling and emailing each other multiple times a day.  The boyfriend may start to tell your au pair she made a mistake – and if he “wins” the day, you lose big time because your au pair very will break the match and return home to him! 

If she doesn’t go home, and tries to stick out the long 12 months, she may end up miserable and unhappy. In that case, your lovesick au pair’s concentration may be impaired. When this happens, your children may be placed at considerable risk. Either way, you will lose money, time and peace of mind if you match with a girl who has a serious boyfriend waiting for her back home.  Ask her nicely during the interview “Do you have a boyfriend?”  If she says yes, our advice is to pass on her, even if she seems terrific. We have seen many good matches break over the “boyfriend” issue. 

Tip: Agents and au pairs are becoming aware that experienced host families do not match with girls who are involved with a boyfriend at home.   The au pairs are advised to deny they have a boyfriend if the host parents inquiry, but there is a way around this.  It sounds a little sneaky, but it works.  If after the au pair says “no” to the question “Do you have a boyfriend” drop it and come back to it again, unexpectedly.  Later, in the conversation, ask, “What does your boyfriend think about that?”  Usually, caught off guard and if the girl is honest and not used to fabricating stories, she will answer in the affirmative “Well, my boyfriend thinks …

This tip is from our popular articles, 10 Mistakes to Avoid when Matching with an Au Pair

New Au Pair Agency Opens!

Good and exciting news for our readers!  We have a new au pair agency in the country - Great Au Pair USA.  I know Jamie and Shannon, the married couple that owns Great Au Pair (the matching service platform they opened in 2011) and now they opened an agency comparable to the other 13 USA au pair agencies.  We wrote up a review for them, with only the basics, since we have no host family surveys completed since they are so new (opened in 2013).  

They are very friendly, have a great website, that is fast, professionally done and full of information host parents need and want.  When you call them, they are very helpful, warm and there is no sales pitch whatsoever!  

If you live in Texas, you might want to give them a call (they do service other states, but they are just starting out with one or two families at a time).

We would like to share Great Au Pair USA's current write up for our readers!  If you do consider them, expect good old Texan hospitality and great customer service!

Great Au Pair USA

Will Your Au Pair Be Screened for Psychological Problems?

We received an email from Germaine, a host mom from NJ.  She said: "How can I tell my au pair is not suffering from a mental disorder, like depression?  How can I know she or he will not abuse my child?"

I can understand Germaine's parents worry "Will my au pair be of sound mind?" "Does she have mental health issues, like depression, anxiety or an eating disorder?"  "Will they be pedophiles (sexual abusers)?"

Parents should know how effective screening tests are in pinpointing mental health problems.

First, let's take a look at the issue of psychological screening. If the agency has been designated by the Department of State, then yes, the agency is required to do both a criminal background check and a psychological screening.

The tests the agencies use vary - there is no one test required by the Department of State. All the tests vary along types (some are personality tests, some are cultural adaptability inventories). There are no statistics available to the consumer regarding the results of the psychological scores, for example, how many au pairs pass; how many fail; how many are accepted if they have marginal results and what are the criteria by which the agency accepts or rejects an au pair using these methods.

BrainTherein lies the problem - where is the reliability of a U.S. government sanctioned test that has passed muster?

Secondly, not all tests can rule out all mental health issues. Only a few psychological profiles flag a potential child abuser and there is no indication that the tests used by the au pair agencies include this feature.  In the case of the infamous Swiss au pair, who took at least one pornographic photo of the child touching her genitals and posted it on a website in Sweden, did the test she apparently "passed" screen for Pedophilia?

Who is looking at these tests? Who reads the results and consults with the agencies regarding potential red flags? What are the person's qualifications interpreting test results?

Pedophilia is defined as a psychological disorder in which an adult has a sexual desire only for children. Main features of this disorder are recurrent sexual urges and fantasies about children that leads to child sexual abuse, including child pornography. Most pedophiles take excessive photographs of children and they can be of a sexual nature, or show nudity.

We typically think of males as pedophiles but research indicates that female pedophiles preying on children in their care is much higher than previously thought. Over 6% of pedophiles are women (Natalie O'Brien, NEWS.com.au, & The Australian, March 7, 2006). The study also indicated that female predators were less likely to be charged and prosecuted for crimes against children compared to male predators (so, this 6% might in fact be much higher).

The study noted that female pedophiles typically abuse girls, at twice the rate they abused boys. Yet, male childcare workers and male au pairs face much more discrimination and scrutiny compared to their female counterparts. Au pair agencies and childcare workers clearly should be screening both sexes for potential child abuse!

The good news is that the majority of au pairs coming into the government regulated agencies are not child abusers and the incidence of reported cases is extremely low.

We will continue to follow this disturbing and timely topic and report related incidents in the news as they unfold. Please send us your comments and thoughts regarding psychological screening of au pairs.

Read our article on the Warning Signs of a Pedophile.


Take Charge of Your Au Pair Screening and Matching Decisions NOW!

Unsure about the prospective au pair you are considering for your children?  Wish you had a way to find out more about her? We can help!

Until all au pair agencies begin to use a universal au pair psychological test that has been proven to be effective in the appropriate screening of au pairs, we encourage all of our readers to educate themselves regarding which agency uses a test proven to test the childcare abilities of prospective au pairs. 

  • Know More, Choose Better!  Start by reading our exclusive interview with Dr. Flowers, who developed one of the better psychometric tests on the market for screening au pairs.
  • Read our list of au pair agencies and the psychometric tests they DO USE!  We identify, describe and comment on the different tests used today by the private au pair agencies:  Psychological Screening Tests 101 

Most Popular Au Pairs

Most Popular Au Pairs

Who are the most popular au pairs families clamor for today?  Why are they in such high demand? 

Generally, the most sought after au pairs from our Top 7 Most Popular Nationalities have what American families expect and demand for their childcare needs:

Driving – if you need a good, safe driver, you need to know who these au pairs are.

English Skills – most host families demand an au pair who they can communicate with easily and for those who have young children, good English skills are a must!  Young children easily become frustrated with their au pairs who cannot understand them and when they must repeat their questions, etc.

Culturally Adaptable – the au pair industry has identified nationalities that adapt more quickly and easily into American culture.  Au pairs who adapt easily into American family life and culture experience less anxiety, less depression and suffer less homesickness. 

Cultural Shock can often disrupt your au pair’s general well-being and negatively affect your entire family. If you want an au pair who can hit the ground running, check our list of "Most Popular Au Pairs".   

Positive Personality Styles:  Which countries produce au pairs with warm, sunny personalities?  Which cultures are known for au pairs with energy and loving ways with children? 

We identify those au pairs who are family-oriented and fit right into large American families.  Here are just a few highlights from Most Popular Au Pairs:

  • Dutch au pairs generally speak a third language, either French or German.
  • Japanese au pairs are catching on in America and -won the coveted Au Pair of the Year Award in 2010, the first time an Asian received this honor.  Find out more why Japanese au pairs are great with young children. 
  • There is a dramatic increase in the recruitment of au pairs from South America - why? 
  • Which nationality did the Senior VP of Cultural Care, Natalie Jordan, describe as their most popular and asked for au pair?

Don't Hire An Au Pair Before You Read Most Popular Au Pairs.

Early Childhood Development and Au Pairs

Do Au Pairs Enrich Early Childhood Development?

By Summer Blackhurst

Hosting an au pair to leverage learning in early childhood may prove beneficial in school and later in your child’s profession.  One overwhelming theme from my conversations with host families is that parents host foreign au pairs (instead of daycare or nannies) in order to teach their children about cultural diversity and to expose them to a second language. 

Well-known child psychologist Jean Piaget’s work showed social interaction and environmental experience lends to the child’s ability to learn. Piaget’s concept, cognitive disequilibrium, categorized five stages of learning children move that ultimately contribute to their learning and development.  The stages are: new situations, disequilibrium, accommodation, assimilation and equilibration.  Hosting an au pair from a different culture introduces experiential learning that challenges a child’s way of thinking and promotes growth.

Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky’s work seems to support Piaget’s findings. Vygotsky said children develop based on their surrounding culture and social agents. He notes learning always precedes development and believes children move on to the next development step once they are exposed to new information. He agrees that social interactions, like interactions with someone from a different culture, can speed up a child’s development.

This learning process is stimulated even more for host families asking their au pairs to expose their children to two languages everyday. A report given by the director of the district's Bilingual Education and World Languages Department, Dr. Joanne H. Urrutia, stated “…bilingual children scored significantly higher than their monolingual peers in verbal and math-standardized tests.” One explanation for scoring higher on the tests can be that cultural differences encourage language development.

Finally, while not a lot of research has actually been done on the impact a foreign au pair might have on a young child, plenty of research has been done with college students who participate in cultural exchange. A study published in the Journal of International Students* shows college students who interact frequently with cultural exchange students perform at higher levels than their peers and go on to be more successful in their career endeavors.

Host Parents may be on to something when they say they bring in their au pair for more reasons than just childcare. They may be getting a lot more for their child than just babysitting – their Au Pair may actually enrich the learning processes in early childhood development years. Ultimately, hosting an au pair may lead to your child’s academic success and in their future careers.

 

*Lou, J. & Jamieson-Drake, D. (2013). Examining the Educational Benefits of Interacting with International Students. Journal of International Students, ISSN: 2162-3104 Print/ ISSN: 2166-3750 Online Volume 3, Issue 2  (2013), 85-101, Copyright 2013-2014 JIS http://jistudents.org/


Summer Blackhurst Bio

Go Au Pair Host Parent Comments - 2014

Read some sample comments from Go Au Pair's Host Parents from our 2014 Host Family Satisfaction Survey!

Most of the host families are very positive - and reflect their hard work improving customer service and recruiting the best au pairs that they can. 

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