Au Pair Agencies: What to look for when choosing the right agency for your family
The market is saturated with au pair agencies, all offering the same service – screened au pair and childcare services. Choosing someone else to look after your children is probably one of the most difficult decisions to make, and as such, selecting the right agency is integral to finding the right au pair to suit your family. You need to ensure you choose an honest and professional agency that looks out for the best interest of your children, and provides you with the best child care solutions for your family. Here are a few pointers to look out for when deciding on an au pair agency.
1. Criminal Background Check
It is essential that the au pair agencies conduct criminal background checks in order to ensure you know who you are allowing into your home. Background checks prevent agencies from placing dishonest or previously unlawful candidates in your home, and putting your family at risk. Once a suitable candidate has been selected by the family, SA Cares conducts a thorough criminal and background check on the selected au pair to ensure the safety and security of your family.
2. Fake References and Dishonest CV’s? How Can You Tell?
It is fundamental that CVs are triple checked, and relevant references are contacted. Sometimes au pair agencies can receive CVs from candidates appearing to have exceptional experience and qualifications, but this may not always be true. Often times individuals include childcare experience with friends and family. The problem with this is that they do not have the professional experience needed for our selection process. Additionally, these references can often be subjective or biased.
Additionally, candidates have been seen to make up past experience entirely, or present false care-related qualifications in order to look impressive. For example, individuals may falsify their qualifications in first aid, or childhood development. It may be difficult to recognise these red flags if you are a parent looking for an au pair. As such, it is vital you can trust that your au pair agency will conduct the necessary checks to ensure your family is receiving the best possible care. Here at SA Cares, we are professional and meticulous about our background checks, criminal clearances and careful psychometric testing. This way we ensure you receive only the best care for your family.
3. Face-to-face interviews with the candidate
This is very important. Au pair agencies should conduct face-to-face interviews with each and every candidate in order to gain richer awareness and judgement of the applicant. Chatting to someone via text or e-mail does not provide for a genuine impression of an individual. Organising a video call, Zoom meeting or Skype session can provide more insight into an individual. Along these lines, it is essential that candidates undergo a thorough screening and assessment process before being connected with families. We organise virtual meetings to gain valuable insight into the potential candidates we are bringing onboard the SA Cares family. SA Cares takes a personal, and invested interest in meeting with a candidate.
We go above and beyond by conducting stringent psychometric assessments to gain a complete understanding of a candidate from beginning to end. This assists us in highlighting optimal personality characteristics that support suitable placement with the right family. In our 10+ years of placing au pairs with families, we believe that basic screening of candidates is simply insufficient. Instead, SA Cares has gone a step further, and considers the candidate’s personality and disposition when pairing them with our families. We ensure the perfect fit between our child minders and your family. This ensures we are able to safeguard the longevity of a working relationship and allows us to highlight relevant character traits to allow optimal placement. Moreover, we also place importance on the stability and consistency of your family life.
4. Mothers Intuition!
Although this isn’t directly related to au pair agencies, it is worth a mention. A mother’s intuition is one of the most accurate and powerful tools we have in our arsenal. Moms just know when something is not right. It is important to trust your gut and acknowledge when you feel alarm bells ringing. After all, it is the well-being and safety of your family that is the number one priority. This is when you can revert back to your au pair agency with any necessary questions, or to request a replacement candidate.
5. Replacement Guarantee
Thorough agencies will stand behind their candidates, and ensure that each and every au pair that is hired has undergone the necessary background checks and assessments. With this said however, there are situations where families and au pairs can run into trouble. Sometimes families and/or au pairs can experience tension or discord. On occasion, the au pair is still not the right fit for your family. If this is the case, your au pair agency should guarantee a replacement child-carer for your family. Here at SA Cares, we offer a three-month guarantee on all permanent placements so that should this placement not work out for whatever reason, we will offer you a free placement.
Here at SA Cares, we help families find au pairs, tutors, home-school teachers, babysitters and nannies that are carefully selected to complement your family’s needs. We adhere to necessary and stringent guidelines in order to provide you with the perfect fit for your family. Get in touch today to find out how SA Cares can help you.