Many Host Families interview Rematch Au Pairs.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term, “Rematch,” it refers to an Au Pair who’s looking for a new Host Family because their first placement didn’t work out.
It may seem surprising at first that there’s a demand for hiring Rematch Au Pairs. It’s easy to think that if things didn’t work out during the Au Pair’s last placement, maybe they shouldn’t be an Au Pair.
You may be wondering why and how to interview Rematch Au Pairs… why would families take the risk?
But think about the wide array of Host Families and Au Pairs who join the program, from all different walks of life and corners of the world. Personality differences are infinite and inevitable.
Generally speaking, there’s a great match waiting out there for every single person in the program. You simply have to have the diligence and patience to find them.
Before you think about interviewing and hosting an Au Pair who’s in Rematch, it’s important to understand the reasons why Au Pairs decide to look for a new Host Family.
Top Reasons Au Pairs Give Notice
When Au Pairs give notice, it’s often because they’ve tried to make things work with their current Host Family, but things aren’t getting any better. Here are some common reasons Au Pairs decide to Rematch:
- Au Pair doesn’t feel like part of the family
- Required to do things outside of contracted childcare-related duties (against DOS regulations)
- Asked to work more hours than the program allows
- Trouble bonding with children, or children being disrespectful (lack of parenting support)
- Feeling isolated, unable to go out with friends
- Personality differences (with parents, children, or both)
As you can see, some of these reasons for giving notice could cause an Au Pair to feel sad, lonely, overworked, or just plain depressed. Whether the family intended for the Au Pair to feel this way or not, it’s a situation most of us would want to avoid.
In rare cases, Au Pairs give notice because they found themselves in a toxic household. Whenever a situation like this is reported, an in-depth investigation is conducted by the agency. Any family who’s in violation of regulations is discontinued from the program immediately, and the agency works hard to find a new Host Family for the Au Pair.
Similarly, if a Host Family gives notice because the Au Pair wasn’t able to perform safe childcare, the Au Pair is immediately discontinued from the program.
Your Placement Coordinator can give recommendations & insights on Rematch Au Pairs.
The reason for an Au Pair’s Rematch is always visible to Host Families who may want to interview Rematch Au Pairs. You can always talk to your Placement Coordinator if you have questions or concerns about the Au Pair’s past situation.
Au Pairs in Rematch have just 2 weeks to find a new family before their visa becomes invalid. At this point, they must return home.
They deserve a second chance at finding the right family.
Who knows? You could be that family! And a Rematch Au Pair just might be your ideal match.
Top Reasons Host Families Interview Rematch Au Pairs
There are many reasons a Host Family might decide to interview Rematch Au Pairs, but here are some of the most common:
1. Need for immediate childcare
Sometimes, families decide to interview Rematch Au Pairs because they won’t have to wait for visa approval. Plus, Rematch Au Pairs can sometimes arrive at their new host’s home within a few days of matching.
(Keep in mind, if they’ve agreed to provide childcare for their current Host Family during their Rematch period, they may be required to finish the full two weeks).
Even so, an out-of-country Au Pair can take 1-2 months to arrive, so Rematch Au Pairs typically arrive much faster. If you need childcare right away, this could be a great option for you.
2. Help someone who deserves a second chance
While this may not be a primary motivation, many people like the idea of helping provide a great experience to someone whose journey started out a little rougher than normal.
One of the most wonderful benefits of the Au Pair program is knowing that you’ve contributed a great deal toward another person’s goals. You also get the benefit of showing a foreigner why the USA is awesome.
If they’ve had a poor experience with other Americans, you also have the opportunity to show them what American hospitality is really like!
3. May not need to pay as much for a flight
Depending on where your Au Pair is from, a domestic flight may be a lot cheaper than the flight from their home country. Since families are responsible for a large portion of the Au Pair’s flight, this could save you quite a bit.
Some families even have the opportunity to interview Rematch Au Pairs in their state. If you extend an offer to a Rematch Au Pair who’s already living in your state, you may not have to pay for a flight at all. This is pretty rare, but a possibility worth pursuing all the same.
(Keep in mind, some Au Pairs leave the state to stay with friends if they can’t stay with their Host Family during their Rematch. Confirm the Au Pair’s location so you can be prepared for potential flight expenses).
4. Au Pair might already be in your state
If the Rematch Au Pair is already living in your state, there are additional benefits outside of saving money on their flight. Depending on how long they’ve been in the U.S., they may already feel comfortable driving in your area.
Plus, the Au Pair may already have friends in your state, making the transition much easier for them. You can even schedule an in-person interview if you’d like. Host Parents don’t’ get to do this very often, and it can be a great way to really get to know the Au Pair.
5. Au Pair is likely more experienced
Not only does the Au Pair have exposure to U.S. culture and expectations that an out-of-country Au Pair might not have, but they now know what it takes to be successful in a placement.
Though parenting styles are bound to differ, Rematch Au Pairs also have experience watching American children. Our parenting styles can be very different from other cultures,’ so this gives you an added advantage during the adjustment period.
6. Au Pair may be more dedicated to success
Rematch Au Pairs tend to be more dedicated to having a good experience. They are often open & honest about their experience because they don’t want a repeat of their last placement.
Many Au Pairs come to the U.S. to achieve life and career goals. This means there’s more at stake for them than just the opportunity to travel and experience a new culture. If you decide to interview Rematch Au Pairs, ask what a successful year would look like for them. The answer could lend insight into their motivations for staying in the program.
7. Host Parents are ready to host now
Particularly when Host Families already have a guest bedroom that can be quickly converted to an Au Pair bedroom, it’s easy to welcome a Rematch Au Pair on short notice.
Rematch Au Pairs can arrive very quickly. Thus, it’s important to consider whether you’re ready to start hosting within the next two weeks or so.
How to Interview Rematch Au Pairs
Now that you understand why Host Families interview Rematch Au Pairs, let’s talk about how you can go about finding a Rematch Au Pair who’s a good fit.
1. Find out why Au Pair is in Rematch
Any Au Pair the agency is allowing to Rematch deserves a second chance. But it’s important to understand the situation which led to their Rematch. This helps you determine whether the Au Pair will be a good fit for your family.
Talk to Your Placement Coordinator (PC)
Call or email your PC and let them know you’re interested in looking into Rematch Au Pairs. Your PC is familiar with the current pool of Rematch Au Pairs and can give recommendations that fit within your family’s needs.
Additionally, PCs can offer an unbiased view of the situation the Au Pair is coming from. This will help you determine who you would like to interview.
Be sure to ask your PC how much longer the Au Pair has to Rematch, too. If the Au Pair only has a few days left, inquire about whether an extension is an option. (A few days may not be enough time for you to make an informed decision– though it can be, it depends on the family, the person, and how long it takes to conduct interviews).
Also ask your PC if they will put you in touch with the Au Pair’s current Local Area Representative. Talking to someone who’s met with the Au Pair in person can help you get a full understanding of who they are.
Talk to the Au Pair
Once you’ve determined which Au Pair(s) you would like to interview, start chatting with them. You can include questions about the Rematch in your first interview to gain a greater understanding of the Au Pair’s experience.
Here are some sample questions I used myself when interviewing Rematch Au Pairs:
- If you could have changed one thing in your last placement, what would it be?
- What was your relationship like with your Host Kids?
- Did you give notice, or did your Host Family? What was the reason? (If Host Family gave notice, how do you feel about the reason?)
- What is the #1 thing you feel you could improve upon? How can we help you with this?
Talk to the Au Pair’s Local Area Rep (LAR)
The Au Pair’s LAR has been in contact with both the Au Pair and Host Family during the placement. Often, the LAR knows the Au Pair on a more personal level and can give more details about personality than your PC can.
Talking to the Au Pair’s current LAR will help you gain an understanding of the situation and make the final decision on whether the Au Pair is right for you.
2. Consider why you decided to interview Rematch Au Pairs
Don’t rush into something because of an immediate need for childcare. There are always other solutions in the short term, and the last thing you want is to make a bad match because you rushed. Look into temporary backup childcare or notify your boss you may need time off if it comes down to it.
Remember that there are always available Au Pairs, and it’s better to have a good match than to have an Au Pair arrive quickly.
3. Follow “Top 5 Things to Ask About During Your First Au Pair Interview”
This article gives a comprehensive breakdown of all the things you’ll need to consider before matching with an Au Pair. The same thought process applies to Rematch Au Pairs.
Also be sure to consider what your PC has told you about the Au Pair’s last placement. If you have questions or want to get more clarification, be sure to ask during the interview.
4. Start interviewing
Once you have your questions prepared, it’s time to start scheduling interviews!
When you’re talking to Rematch Au Pairs, keep in mind the situation they’ve just experienced. Communicate to them how your family is different, how much you want them to have a better experience.
Rarely, Rematch Au Pairs who’ve struggled to get an interview feel pressure to match with the first Host Family that comes along. In this case, some Au Pairs feel the need to say whatever they think you want to hear. Encourage them to be open and honest with you so that you can have a successful placement. Tell them how much you value honesty and want them to have a good year, and they’ll likely open up to you.
And always, if you’re unsure about something, feel free to talk to your PC or the Au Pair’s current LAR again. They are always happy to give you their honest impressions and help you find the best match for your family.
5. Review interviews & notes
Review your interview notes with your spouse and any other adults in the household. It’s common to forget to ask something or to run out of time. Determine what you need to know for your next interview and let the Au Pair(s) in whom you’re interested know that you’d like to schedule a second interview.
If you’re confident that you liked a particular Au Pair, start asking what makes them feel at home. This way, you can start planning to have food and amenities prepared for their arrival.
6. Start preparing to welcome your Au Pair
Even if you haven’t made a final decision, if you’re confident that you’re going to be hosting a Rematch Au Pair, you’ll want to prepare your home within a few days.
Since Rematch Au Pairs are already in the U.S., they can arrive within two weeks of accepting your offer. Sometimes, they can even arrive on the same day!
Being prepared now can help you avoid a headache if the match happens faster than you expected.
Immediate Au Pair needs:
As you know from when you registered, your Au Pair needs a private bedroom with a door. Ideally, the door should have a lock so your Au Pair can have privacy when getting dressed or sleeping. (I don’t know about you, but my kids aren’t very good at leaving our Au Pair alone. The lock is a must for us!)
You will also need bed sheets, blankets, a comforter, pillows, etc. (We actually had to rush to the store for this stuff right before picking our Au Pair up from the airport– not fun!)
Here are some other basic necessities your Au Pair’s bedroom:
- Hangars in closet
- Blinds/ curtains
- Dresser/ chest of drawers
- Desk and chair for studying (not required, but nice)
- Sticky tack for hanging pictures
- Laundry hamper and basket
- Trash can
- Lamp, fan, space heater (optional)
If you don’t have everything at 100% when your Au Pair arrives, it won’t be the end of the world. Communicating with your Au Pair beforehand about what you have prepared and what you still need to do can ensure that your Au Pair doesn’t feel forgotten or disrespected.
It’s easy to assume you have everything your Au Pair might need in the bathroom already. But, if it’s a bathroom your kids use, or a bathroom that isn’t used often, it’s a good idea to stock up on some basics.
Your Au Pair will need:
- Shampoo, conditioner, soap
- Clean towels, washcloths
- Feminine hygine products
- Drawer(s) or basket(s) for storing personal items
Kitchen & common areas
If you don’t have time to run to the grocery store, that’s understandable. But it’s nice if you’re able to stock up on food your Au Pair might enjoy before they arrive.
It’s also a good idea to make sure any common living areas are clean and inviting. Again, don’t worry about making things perfect. But if you have a huge pile of laundry on the couch, your Au Pair may feel awkward about using the living room.
Vehicle & insurance
If you have an immediate need for a driver, you’ll want to have a vehicle and car insurance ready to go if you can.
Call your car insurance company and find out what will be needed to add your Au Pair to your insurance policy.
Family rules/ handbook
It’s a good idea to go over your most important family and household rules during the first couple of interviews. However, there’s often information your Au Pair will need to know, which isn’t necessary to bring up during the interview.
Creating a handbook of information for reference (even if you’ve already talked about it) can be a great resource for your Au Pair. This gives them something to look back on if they have questions and you aren’t around.