Please be very diligent in vetting Au Pairs especially ones in the rematch pool. Be very worry of believing Au Pair Care Local Area Director if you decide to end an aupair's assignment and not rematch. Our aupair (21 years old, from Colombia, Advanced Swimmer, Cared for two 8 year olds one with special needs) whom we took the step of ending her assignment as of 12/25/2018 due to:
(1) Ongoing lying (through the last day of work), which she eventually admits to whenever we verify. Examples: kids' feeding/meals preparations, amount of screen time for kids when we are away, contacting the DMV to schedule driving test, her whereabouts, personal car use/mileage reporting, use of our personal items and belongings in the house, planning and scheduling for her education classes, and performing tasks related to her child care duties. This overall problem area has been a daily challenge for our family given that our special needs child can not "re-tell" what happens when we are not around.
(2) Carelessness with child care duties. This includes letting our special needs child step out of the house while the Au Pair was inside the house tending to other things, caught on our home security system, missing morning bus drop off, and missing bus pick up. It also includes ongoing and constant use of the cellphone for personal calls and texting while on childcare duty at home and away (public parks and public places with the kids), despite our many requests to her to discontinue this. The most recent incident was on the last day of work while supervising our special needs daughter at our local park. This specific incident was witnessed by 12 adults who were present at the time.
(3) Ongoing forgetfulness of daily items related the kids, despite our best effort to help, including creating for her reminders, daily task sheets, and weekly calendars and lists. Examples include forgetting to prepare school bags, practice bags, kids' away/school meals, clothing, etc.
(4) Clear lack of interest in connecting or bonding with our kids, despite our best efforts to help her in this area. She simply seemed disinterested at all times. She has flat out told us that she is in the US only learn English to become a flight attendant for Emirates Airlines.
(5) The Au pair's unusually poor English skills made it particularly challenging to communicate verbally. Much of the daily basics had to be communicated in writing and translated over text/googling. This includes an incident when our child fell and hurt his knee and when we let her know she started laughing until we went through the process of physically showing her what "hurt" meant. We are surprised this Au Pair met the basic proficiency standard of spoken English required by the State Department. How is it possible for a clear requirement of the program to be neglected by this Agency.
(6) Lack of interest in learning about the American culture, a pillar of the aupair program.
After informing the Local Area Director of our decision of ending the aupair assignment as well as our lack of interest in continuing the program since this Au pair since this was the second Au pair with a significantly negative experience for our family, she immediately let us know that she will not be able to do anything until January 1st or January 2nd. She had also refused to listen to any of our reasons for ending the assignment so we resorted to sending her the above reasons in an email along with a statement indicating that we understand that it is ultimately the choice of Aupair Care to rematch or not to rematch a candidate, but that we felt obliged to share with them the above information and advise Aupair Care not to rematch this candidate for the reasons stated above, and in particular with families whose kids have special needs or are not yet verbal. And that we are available any time for Aupair Care or other families to contact us for any questions regarding this candidate.
This morning, the Area Director asked us to unlock our side gate to allow her to visit the Aupair for a meeting (the Aupair lives in the in law unit on our property). On the way in, she said hi. To our complete shock, four minutes after the area director entered our property, she walked out through the same side gate with the aupair with her luggage fully packed with her room cleared including her belongings in the main house while keeping our house keys, cellphone sim card and who knows what else. To make things worse, as captured on our security cameras, the area director was cheering perfect repeatedly in a celebratory tone in front of our front door. Her voice is very loud and clear in the video. Needless to say, we are left with a filthy fridge with rotten food. This was a fridge designated for the AuPair's personal use.
To our knowledge this Aupair has already been allowed to rematch as we have been contacted by a family that found us through an online search. So much for the agency's care about kids' safety and wellbeing
Product or Service Mentioned: Aupaircare Child Care Program.
Reason of review: Carelessness about Child safety. Abuse of property.