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Awful au pair agency experience

(15 Posts)
SlimSchadee Fri 05-May-17 18:22:21


Just wanted to pass along notes on a horrendous au pair agency experience I had earlier this year, and also what I learned from it.

I used Heavenly Aupairs earlier this year (paying £500) and had an absolutely catastrophic placement. The young woman was not mentally healthy enough to have this job - she tore my daughter's homework in frustration several times when my daughter did not sit down to dinner immediately, was constantly telling me how horrible my child was, did not awaken until 2 or 3 in the afternoon and asked us to be quiet before then so she could sleep and, ultimately, slapped my child. Other mothers in the class and their children mentioned to me how unpleasant she was. I asked Heavenly for help, initially, and they offered up some ridiculous platitudes about 'adjusting'. I also asked how this person passed through their screening. They explained that if they were going to thoroughly screen the candidates, it would have to cost £5000. I think they screen to ensure the person actually exists and perhaps doesn't have a criminal record in their home nation, but who knows, really?

In the end, they offered me another placement for £150 but said that it wasn't the 'au pair season' so that there wouldn't be anyone available. Utter rubbish. I had 35 applicants on AuPairWorld within 24 hours, and a new au pair, complete with checkable, English-speaking references, within five days' time.

Heavenly are an awful agency, to be sure, but after investigating further I cannot see the point of any of them, really. They do not screen candidates in any way that will actually be helpful and useful to a family. You can easily do much better yourself.

Am now working with my MP's advisers to put together some policy guidelines so these agencies will need to fully explain their screening and candidate acquisition processes BEFORE taking money from families.

GiGiraffe Fri 05-May-17 19:35:26

I had an awful experience with another agency. I now use Aupair world and screen my Aupairs myself. The agencies are completely useless if it goes wrong and just try to 'onsell' the next Aupair

Good luck on putting better structure round this, it's needed!

snorymcsnoreson Fri 05-May-17 19:44:17

Yep - another useless agency experience. Recruited myself though aupair world.

underneaththeash Fri 05-May-17 21:25:40

I've posted this several times, but DO NOT USE AN AU PAIR AGENCY.

I do not know anyone in RL who has had a good experience with an au pair agencies. Its so important to get a good fit between you and the au pair and the agencies do not have enough candidates to facilitate this.

Please don't waste your money.

AnneofGreenGablesAgain Tue 09-May-17 19:53:05

I've had a good experience with an agency (not this one) - the advantage is at least you know the girls are genuinely available. We kept being let down at the last minute on ap world this year though I've used it before and found it great (and cheaper!)

blackteasplease Thu 28-Sep-17 23:24:15

We've had vg experiences with agency. Not Heavenly though l.

Jenni363 Fri 29-Sep-17 20:09:18

I had a terrible experience with Busy Bees aupairs. Terrible candidate. She was horrible to my kids. She left, they couldn't find a replacement. We were left £700 out of pocket! Will never use an agency again.

farfallarocks Thu 12-Oct-17 12:03:51

Sadly, a lack of decent childcare at all levels is another unintended consequence of Brexit. There is a huge shortage of nannies and au pairs at the moment which will mean prices will become even more unaffordable for working families.

Tika77 Sun 15-Oct-17 15:47:21

farfallarocks, I don't think it has anything to do with Brexit. I know many girls from my home country who'd happily do au-pair work (not personally but from FB pages). If anything, Brexit might help finding au-pairs later as it's essentially not a job.

Iamagreyhoundhearmeroar Sun 15-Oct-17 15:49:22

What are they charging £500 for, if not screening? shock

Ttbb Sun 15-Oct-17 15:51:13

I hope that you reportedher to the police for assault.

simonisnotme Tue 12-Dec-17 19:03:55

What utter cobblers farfallarocks why is lack of decent childcare anything to do with Brexit
surely its a matter of using a decent/reputable agency

roses2 Tue 12-Dec-17 22:04:51

simonisnotme, when was the last time you looked to hire an au pair? There are significantly less applicants as the months pass and it all started just after Brexit.

If you search on this forum you'll see a number of people have mentioned the lack of applicants this year compared to last year.

OVienna Fri 15-Dec-17 23:09:06

We've had au pair candidates express concern about Brexit. Why wouldn't they?

blackteasplease Wed 20-Dec-17 01:19:24

Yep they are all off to Ireland and who could blame them.

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