Cultural Care Au PairAwful experience

T

This agency is a sham operation. They specialize in trafficking young international women as au pairs and placing them in U.S. homes for childcare. They are not trained or experienced to do so. Their applications are falsified and references are from family members, not real childcare refs. They charge large amounts of money to the host family and the au pair for this "service". Once the au pair arrives in the family's home, the agency "goes dark" when you contact them about a problem. You won't get a call or helpful response from the local personnel, Boston office, etc. They put children at risk of neglectful childcare, the au pairs in inappropriate situations with minimal English and the family's are left to pay the high price of no service when it all goes wrong. This agency only responds when a State Dept rule is broken or a lawsuit is filed. They should be shut down. They are the same agency that placed Louise Woodward, the Boston au pair, on trial for shaking an infant who died in her care. They changed their name after this court case from EF Educ to Cultural Care Au Pair.

Responses

  • Ro
    rob cota Oct 04, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Those are are very strong words...As we all know, when you are dealing with humans, there are always going to be situations that aren't perfect. My wife and I signed up with Cultural Care Au Pair over a year ago and received top notch service and a wonderful au pair that was trained by them for 4 days in New York, referrences were checked and a criminal background check was done by a representative in her country. When we called the headquarters, we always reached somebody, but rarely needed to because we had a local childcare coordinator just miles away that was representing our family...

    My wife and I are now on our second au pair and are now the local childcare coordinators for our South Bay group in California, representing over 30 au pairs and thier families...As I mentioned, problems do arise, and when they do, we are here to remedy them and the Boston office has a team to back us up. Cultural Caere places thousands and thousands of au pairs every year, they are the biggest because they care...in fact nerly 70% of thier business is from referrals or repeating families.

    As a father of two and a man of principle, I would not defend a company that I thought would in any way put children or au pairs for that matter at risk..

    ABOUT US: Rob and Tracy Cota are parents to two wonderful children, host family to a excellent au pair from Mexico, Paola, and represent Cultural Care Au Pair Agency as local childcare coordinators. We have extensive experience in placing au pairs, conflict resolution, and setting reasonable guidlines for a successful experience. If we can assist you in any of these areas, call or email us and we’d love to help. Rob and Tracy Cota, Local Childcare Coordinators, Cultural Care Au Pair, [protected], [protected], Email: [email protected], Website: http://t-johnsoncota.local.culturalcare.com/default.asp

    1 Votes
  • Ja
    Janine Thompson Oct 05, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    As a hostmother of a different organization, I happen to witness one of the most outrageous situations here in Westchester over the past week. A friend of our au-pair was refused help from Cultural care who responded simply by canceling her visa as well as threatened her with deportation. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS. This girl has had to endure verbal abuse for months, is absolutely scared of her hostfamily, and is now faced with extradition.

    Anybody who can assist in helping this girl, please contact me.

    -3 Votes
  • So
    soccermom Nov 14, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Cultural Care Au Pair is a terrible agency. They placed us with a Thai Au Pair who was a NIGHTMARE. She was very, very dirty leaving stains all over the carpet and bed in her ro0m. She would stay up all night going out to the bars and then would start work the next day exhausted. Her "uncle" would call us from Thailand every Saturday and Sunday leaving threatening voicemail messages on our home phone because she evidently owed him money. On one occasion, he suggested in the most horrible language that she was likely to be having sexual relations with my husband.

    She would nap when she was supposed to be watching our kids. The final straw was when my teenage son came home to discover they had removed their diapers and were running around bedroom to bedroom tearing up the house while she slept peacefully in her bedroom. After we confronted her, she slipped out of the house in the middle of the night, leaving us in the lurch.

    We got absolutely NO SUPPORT from the agency. They did not even bother to return our phone calls until 24 hours later. When we asked for a refund from fees to be paid up front, they refused, instead offering to send us another au pair.

    What this previous person described is absolutely true. They are not responsive and they do not screen au pairs. They are only interested in the bottom line. Check the web, you will find many lawsuits and complaints regarding this agency. BE WARNED. There are plenty of hard working nannies in the US if you just post notices in your church or in community newspapers. You can easily run a background check through other companies based here in the US. I will tell my story over and over again to any one who will listen. Cultural Care Au Pair is not recommended.

    2 Votes
  • Du
    ducky141 Nov 14, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    As this is a complaint board, I do not expect to see any positive reactions. I know several Au Pairs and Host Families, as they live in my area, and have found that frequently it is the host family that is the problem, not the Au Pair. I have talked to other Cultural Care host families that have said point blank “some families treat these girls like slaves.” As I have seen how some host families treat the Au Pairs, I feel that the Au Pairs are sometimes a bigger person that I would be, given the situations that I have seen them in.
    That said, sometimes there are Au Pairs who make poor judgment calls or should not be in the program. This could also be said for every business that hires people. It is even more difficult as an Au Pair/Host Family relationship because the person is living with you in your home and providing a very personal service. In my relationships, I have found that happy Au Pairs and Host Families outnumber the unhappy, however it should be stressed that this is a Cultural exchange as well as someone providing a service. An Au Pair is a person as well, someone who chose to be in the program to learn about America, broaden their horizons and develop lasting relationships with their host family.

    3 Votes
  • Sm
    Smokeey Jan 05, 2009

    I am also an Au pair in the US and do believe that Cultural care Doesnt care at all about either people, the Au pair or the host family. If an Au pair/ host family is happy with each other they're amongst the Lucky ones.
    The families make promises over the phones while we are in our Home Country telling Us about HOw lovely and wonderfull they are but only to treat us like Maids and Gardeners when we get her. This families are only happy when their children are safe and happy but dont give any considerations on how we feel. Sometimes there's no food in the house and you have to prepare food for there kids and we just give them whatever thats in the house, the kids will tell you Ewwww. We are expected to carry on with our duties and still give the kids choices on what to eat even thou there's no food in the house. they dont appreciate a thing .The agency tells us we can change families if we are not happy, but you wait for that family to come, you can wait 2-3 weeks for a family with no pay and again the LCC's dont do much work to help you. they just tell you to talk to them, how is a person expected to talk when she/ he's afraid of the family.

    0 Votes
  • Ed
    edina stone Jan 07, 2009

    Hi - I am responding to the complaints against Cultural Care Au Pair Agency. This is a big agency, recruiting more au pairs than their competitors, and there is bound to be more problems just in terms of vast numbers. That said, you need to also consider the quality of your counselor - and her manager. Many times these staff are young and inexperienced as the pay scale is low (probably due to the fact that these positions are largely held by women). When I worked in the au pair industry, I had to deal with young, inexperienced managers who had no professional training in dealing with adolscent and young adult populations (and these au pairs are very young) and they also didn't understand the psychological development of young girls - so when a problem arose, they didn't know how to handle it except to put a bandaid on it or rematch the girl to another family.

    Also, consider where and by whom these girls are interviewed and screened by: foreign agents who recruit mostly through travel agencies. They are hired on a commission basis by the au pair agencies and built into this system is a "conflict of interest" - the more au pairs are signed up, the bigger the commission check!

    So, you need to interview both the counselor in your area first and find out from the agency as much as you can about the country you desire an au pair from and ask the manager about the agent who does the screening, etc. Some are great, some mediocre and some outright bad.

    Even with these precautions, it is very difficult to get factual information from these au pair agencies, because the bottom line does come first! Numbers are important and competition between agencies has become fierce. Try to find a small, caring agency that calls you back and has experienced counselors and managers. Expert Au Pair is one of these agenices (USA) and Smartaupair.com is another (London).

    After 10 years in the au pair industry, I retired and started my own website that is a clearinghouse for host parents on the au pair agencies. We review and share information, current news stories, federal regulations, host family comments, complaints and testimonials.

    Visit my site at www.aupairclearinghouse.com to see our Top Ten Agency Picks for 2009 and Top Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing an Au Pair and Cultural Differences, and much more.

    I saw many happy experiences during my decade long tenure in the au pair industry, and I also saw disasaters. My mission is to provide free information that is factual and unbiased so host families can make the best choice for their family and to keep children safe and happy.

    Edina Stone
    CEO & President
    www.aupairclearinghouse.com

    0 Votes
  • ??? Jan 18, 2009

    My best friend is an au pair with this agency. His host family here recently had to move on to another state due to the effects of the economy. So, he went into transition, which means that he needed to find another host family somewhere within 2 weeks or face deportation. He luckily found a host family. He just arrived at this new host family 2 days ago. Upon arrival, the conditions were so deplorable that he absolutely couldn't believe it. It has only been (barely) 2 days, and he has already contacted Cultural Care and asked to be transfered. This means that he will once again go in to transition. This is a situation in which he had no control, and now, if he doesn't find another host family, he will be sent back to his country! He is an extremely courteous, intelligent and responsible person. He's very good at what he does, however, he has just had the misfortune now of being sent into a situation that is unacceptable by many standards! He is worried that he will not find a new host family, and he will be sent back to his country! He is absolutely fantastic at what he does!! If anyone knows of someone who is looking for a top notch au pair, please let me know ASAP! He needs to find a good host family! Please respond if you know of a family who may be able to help him out!!! If you need more information about anything I have said, I would be glad to give you more details!!! Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter!!! Please contact [protected]

    0 Votes
  • Mo
    mom of four Feb 22, 2009

    Cultural Care is an utterly UNETHICAL agency. They recruit inexperienced girls and tell them not to worry it is a cake walk taking care of American children. Our first au pair was sweet, but spoke hardly any English and was an absolutely frightening driver. We even considered driving lessons, but after the first lesson the teacher said he would not let her drive children. She also had a boyfriend here and made it clear she would be going illegal soon. They placed her with another family and now she is pregnant! Mysecond au pair arrived wanting to know when the vacations would start. All she cared about was the $ and learning English and she unabashedly admitted this. She thought an 8 hour day was too exhausting and kept requesting breaks. They all lie about taking care of children and my au pair let it slip that the only experience she really had was that she had a younger sister. And btw they are allowed to use relatives as references!!! I had my Polish babysitter (who we had for 5 years, but decided it was a financially better for us to hire an au pair- huge mistake!) interview a lot of the candidates for us as she spoke several languages and many of the girls told her 1. they only wanted to be with a working mom (not a good sign) 2. they only wanted to live in Cali or FLa 3. they would never go to a family with more than 2 kids (we have 4). My au pair was so lazy and entitled, requested breaks all the time, complained constantly, damaged our car, lied, broke numerous items, ate ridiculous amounts of food often leaving my husband and I with no dinner. These things were irritating, but the hassle of switching is truly overwhelming especially if you have already done it before. It is disruptive not only to you, but to your children who are trying to bond with a new person. So we tried to make it work. The final straw was when we had to go to the dr 2x in 1 week because our 16 month old baby fell. The second fall was so awful they had to pull her 2 front teeth, stitch up a gaping cut in her mouth and she fractured her jaw bone. My au pair was apparently chatting with her friend when this happened, yet she felt no remorse or responsibility at all. When we told her she had to leave all she could say was, "well, i'll need the car then- i have a lot of shopping to do if i'm leaving." (we of course said NO WAY!) I am not the only one though, I could go on and on about the other stories I have heard from friends...one got pregnant, one threatened the family, one left the kids alone (3 & 5) while she went out shopping. These girls think it's going to be all fun and easy work and are ofcourse dissappointed when they learn that the host families actually expect them to work. The only thing worse than the low quality au pairs is the CC orginization which is where the problem starts. They are completely unethical. When we were in transition, they sent us candidates who had been through multiple families and had HIT children and one who was a suspected bulimic, etc.etc. Once they have your $- they are gone. There is no support just a lot of "I understand" and "we take this very seriously". Well my husband and I are taking this very seriously too and are filing a federal law suit. RUN FROM THIS COMPANY! I have other friends who have used au pair in America and have not had any of these types of problems.

    1 Votes
  • Me
    mercedes Mar 15, 2009

    This agency promises too much to families. That being a reliable person who wants to work. And add with children, and drives. The girls they recruit do not have the experience or referneces promised. We had two au pairs from this agency. The first was a nightmare without childcare experience and a really bad case of ADD.
    She had an amazing sense of entitilement. We had to dismiss her. The agency sent us another au pair. Seemed great for two weeks until she started driving around town in our BMW pretending that she was "new to the area". Stupid little girl, went to a hair salon in our small town and claimed she had just moved here, and used our address as her own. The owner of the salon called me to let me know what happened. Boundaries set, no remorse from this chick. One week later, she puts the moves on my husband. At 10:30pm when I am upstair and he is in his office alone, she creeps up the stairs to give him a very personal birthday present. My husband was so freaked out by this he told me immediately. I confronted her and she is gone.

    The agency wants to send us another one. Right.

    Inexperienced, delusional girls who will sleep with your husband. Run fast.

    2 Votes
  • Mi
    mikey Mar 17, 2009

    I worked for ccap for 4 years and finally quit due to the fact that they knowingly place bad girls in good homes or good girls in bad homes. Its all about profit and money, people do not fit in to the companies equation. On numerous times i told my regional director that a family or girl was unfit to be in the program and i was told to be quiet- you see if they send a girl home or have to give a refund they lose money and that's something that is unacceptable to them. Steer clear of this organization- they are greedy, unscrupulous and will not support you when they place a nightmare in your home or place a nice girl in a bad home. I'll give a few examples- one host dad was continuously hitting on the AP- i removed the girl and recommended that the family be removed from the program- they placed another girl in the home- guess what- he did it again, she was removed and they placed another girl there. After 4 girls they finally listened to me and dropped the family. Another example was that i discovered that an AP was working as a prostitute while off duty- i removed her from the home, but the company tried to coerce me not to tell the family the reason for removal because they may get bad press and the family might look for a refund- this is what CCAP is all about people--stay away..do your self a favor

    0 Votes
  • Co
    concerned mom Apr 06, 2009

    Bad company, really bad screening - we recieved a refund (1/3 of the program fee) after having issues with our AP - she spoke very little english, didn't even have a license (after saying she could drive in the US) and had no real experience with babies - the first time she changed my son's diaper she put it on backwards?? I'm pretty sure pampers are international... As soon as I would get home from work she would go to her room and keep the door shut - talk with friends on phone/computer/skype and would not interact unless she was "on" duty. The clincher is that she would give the kids what ever they asked for - one time my 4 yr old asked for a bowl of whipped cream with sugar on top and she got it from our wonderful AP! When I asked her why she gave that to my daughter she said she already had breakfast so she thought it was ok. This set up an environment of melt downs when I would actually say no to my kids. After our exit interview she left our house to stay with her friend and "vanished" from the CCAP radar??? I would recommend a local au pair you can meet in person and perform a background check on yourself or from real references. When I complained about her lack of experience with children the CCAP manager said I could have called and checked the references myself - like someone wouldn't lie for her in Thailand and I would know the difference - isn't that why THEY are supposed to screen the APs? Not worth the risk!

    1 Votes
  • Ss
    S.S. May 08, 2009

    This agency is a legal SCAM. I hosted 2 au pairs in my home. They both lied in her applications, one about everything, another one about serious mental issues. Cultural Care never screened them properly, and kept recycling them through different families. I went through too many calamities, too long to tell, and you'll find similar experiences in most of the negative reviews: illegal behavior, seriously neglected children, and inferior customer service. They will mask any genuine conflict under "cultural differences", so don't trust a word they will say about any potential candidate.

    Here goes a piece of advice if you are considering an au pair: do not use Cultural Care.

    Here goes a piece of advice if you did use Cultural Care and want your money back: get matched with an au pair that only has a few weeks left in the program. You will be fully refunded for the weeks of service that you won't be receiving. And if you're supposed to cover it, don't pay for the au pair's vacation and educational component until the very end (although it's really up to you to pay for this).

    1 Votes
  • Au
    Aus Au Pair May 09, 2009

    As a repeat au pair with this company i find a lot of these stories hard to believe. Even as an applicant who had already completed her au pair year in 2004 and been back in my home country for four years i still had to complete the full screening process again. All my references were checked and i was in constant contact with my home office providing extra information and basically confirming what was written in my application.
    While i know from experience that there are some au pairs who lie on their applications or mislead potential host families do not assume that all au pairs do!
    As an au pair who went into transition during my first yer and was successfully rematched for the remaining 7 months i can honestly say that the misleading goes both ways. While working for my first host family i was constantly working 12 or 13 hour days and being asked to perform duties not within the scope of normal light tidying and cleaning up after the children. When i finally got the nerve to talk to my Local Childcare Coordinator about it - not easy for a very shy 18 year old - she immediately made a time to talk to me face to face about my problems and to talk to the host family and when it was decided that i would go into transition both she and the Boston office were in contact with me helping me find a new and wonderful host family.

    So yes, there are a lot of complaints about this company. But there are also a lot of positive stories too.

    3 Votes
  • 3b
    3boys1girl Jun 13, 2009

    This is so sad to hear about all the complaints regarding CCAP. We will be getting our 3rd au pair from this country. Our local LCC is fantastic and always returns my calls promptly. All have been in transition au pairs. I think this is really the key to finding a successful au pair. We were able to contact the US host family and ask every question under the sun, like driving issues, the au pairs disposition, interaction with the kids, common sense skills. By the time these girls did their second year with us, they were fluent in English, driving skills were solid, understood the basic running of a household, in addition to being able to diffuse those sibling conflicts.
    The one thing to look for regarding the driving, is the application asks if the au pair has ever been in an accident, you need go beyond that and ask the ap directly if she has had any type of driving violation or car damage. Our last ap was never in an accident, but she also didn't tells us that she had numerous speeding tickets in her home country. Needless to say, getting car insurance was expensive and challenging. I hear a lot of posts about the Thai being inexperienced drivers, so I know I will never have a Thai au pair. I tend to look for aps from countries that have stringent driving programs / difficult driving conditions, like Austria, Germany, Switzerland.

    See Edina Stone's website, www.aupairclearinghouse.com. I really thought she had a lot of great tips on a variety of issues. Also I have taken the time to get to know other ap that were friends with the ones we had and the stories some of these girls told me about how the host family treated them was shocking and disappointing. There were numerous times when I had other au pairs stay with us on the weekends because the host families were a nightmare. It mainly centered around treating these girls like the hired help and not a family member and the children being disrespectful to the ap. I personally feel that when I take in ap she is my responsibility in all areas, almost like a surrogate mom or big sister.

    Whichever agency you go with, In the end you really have to do your homework. Not only ask for references on your ap, but ones for your local coordinator as well. This is our LCC's only job, so I know she focuses all her time and attention to her clients. Having an ap has been a great experience and I encourage anyone to pursue it. Best luck to all.

    1 Votes
  • 3b
    3boys1girl Jun 13, 2009

    Ooops, I meant to say: we will be getting our 3rd au pair from this agency, CCAP. We are a host family in California.

    0 Votes
  • Ff
    ffrmerlcc Jul 19, 2009

    I agree- not a good company- how do i know?? I worked for them and quit due to the way they treated the girls and families. Understand one thing- families are $$$ to them and the au pairs are just a human product that they sell and swap. They could care less about you and give very little support when there is a problem. The terms "flesh peddler" and "au pair pimp" are common terms used amonst their lcc's - they think its funny. The lcc's are paid on how many families sign up, so they will sign up anyone- the good the bad and the ugly- some of these poor girls end up in homes i wouldnt send a dog to none the less a 19 yr old girl. The company on the other hand only cares about sales- then they recruit girls, some who shouldnt be taking care of children, and send them to "school" (3 1/2 days) to learn childcare- wow a whole 3 1/2 days. Another thing they dont want you to know is that they dont investigate the girls from some countries, they use recruiters or agents to do this. So why is this bad you may ask- these agents get paid on the amount of girls that "pass" the investigation- get the point??? They dont investigate anything, they just sign up anyone interested and you then get stuck with a girl that doesnt speak english, cant drive. has no childcare experience and just wants to come here to illegally live- ask any CCAP LCC how many girls in their group have gone "underground" ( a CCAP term)? If they say 1 or 2 add 5 to that and its the right number. Ask the LCC how many girls have packed up and left in the middle of the night??? Trust me its alot. I will monotor this page and answer any questions as a former LCC but i dont want to leave my email as this company is also known to cause people who say bad things a real hard time- very vindictive...

    2 Votes
  • Su
    suzip1970 Jul 29, 2009

    The last post on this site is completely outrageous. I just received my new au pair from this company. . . and I did my research. What this "former LCC" claims is just not true! Cultural Care Au Pair has been in business for 20+ years and has grown to be the largest agency. Their screening, au pair school and local support are the best that I have experienced (we were with AP Care. . .and had a bad experience) I run a business and know that there is always more to the story of a "disgruntled employee" Why did"ffrmerlcc" really leave the company? You do the math.
    My experience has been stellar so far with Cultural CAre. . . I am living that experience now.

    Don't let a disgruntled employee tell you which agency to chose. .. chose for yourself.

    -1 Votes
  • Go
    GoodDad Aug 06, 2009

    suzip1970,

    Easy for you to say how stellar your experience has been, having just received a new au pair (who will be on their best behavior right now). Wait until you have a problem. I do hope you don't. We've been a host family for over 5 years, and we've seen our share of problems. We've also had a few FANTASTIC au pairs we got through this agency. But, when I say problems, I mean big problems. An au pair leaving to go "underground" is not at all uncommon. One of ours did, and many we've known have disappeared.

    While you are paying over $7000 to this agency, and the main service they offer you is screening, I can tell you that depending on the country the au pair is from, you may get some legitimate screening all the way to no screening and what appears to be collusion in lying. We even had one au pair have friends pose as references to state she had child care experience (she bragged to us later she did not), and another au pair who had a friend do the phone interview so we'd think she spoke English. Imagine our surprise when she arrived and despite her 4 out of 5 English scores from CC, and our phone conversation, she spoke no English! And that's the least of the problems we've had. Again, we have had a few that were wonderful people, who will be family friends forever, but many more that have been a shocking problem and Cultural Care has to take at least part of the blame.

    1 Votes
  • At
    atawka3 Aug 12, 2009

    wow...I'm already registered as an Au-Pair in the Cultural Care...omg...now i'm really dissapointed, and don't now what should i do..(((

    2 Votes
  • Au
    Aus Au Pair Aug 13, 2009

    Stay with them. Just make sure that you take the time to decide about the families you get matched with and don't just take the first one you talk to because you're worried you might not get a better one. I'm a repeat au pair and i wouldn't have signed up with this company a second time if i didn't believe that they were good at what they do. So yeah right now you're reading a lot of horror stories about CCAP but once you get over here and make friends with au pairs from other agencies you'll realise that none of the agencies are perfect and bad au pairs/families/LCC's happen to all of them occasionally.

    1 Votes
  • He
    hellokitty15 Sep 07, 2009

    with reference to the latter. I am an au pair too and wouldn't advise any other woman or man to do this.
    i have a good family but not without pitfalls i think i have struggled most with the notion that these parents entrust their kids to foreigners and they work you for each minute.
    my family wants me to extend because i am good at what i do and i have proven my loyalty which is a hinderence for me now because that allows the mom [who never mentioned they were divorcing while we were matched and that made it really hard for me to deal with upon arrival] to go away for nights and have me work overnights with 3 boys one being an infant.
    working 11 hour days because i was made to believe when the baby naps while im working that was my break for the day, having to cook for her as well, dealing with utterly disrespectful kids, being thought of as an individual who deosnt know better just because im South African.
    i cant get how because you are at liberty to work 45 hour weeks up to 10hours a day a mother who is unemployed "is always busy" i get that i decided to take the challenge and experience american life but all i see is parents who can't deal, reprimand, discipline and spend real time with their own children.
    as for the for the stipend i get paid its not worth it dealing with 3 kids from 2-11 years old.

    i have pro's like i have a "cool" host mom we get on and i dont have a curfew and so forth. my issue with her and i have raised it in her and her ex-husband's is their total disregard to spend quality time with their kids. you would swear they have hours to achieve because with me on the "clock" taking your 5year old son to catch the bus for kindergarten cant be done while you watch your 2yr old run on the grass you have to have your au pair there as a fixture, like an accessory.
    i love the friends i have made the country and what it has brought me.

    my discontent is with the agency and parents.

    for what we get paid, yes we have food exp and rent inclusive, the emotional trauma you sometimes are faced with is not worth it. being called a [censored] by a 5year old, being called "black. servant. "you work for me" by an 11year old whose own parents have no control over is not a nice environment, being expected to work 10 hours straight a day and if you happen to request a break you have to work that back. no one said it was easy i didnt expect it to be but i also didnt expect it to be a form of new-age slavery where by you are offering a service that should be a pleasant one.
    so in all we are all fooled because sometimes integrity is such a simple thing to have and in life we discover not many people have it.

    i am a good au pair, i do a good job and that's why i ahd my host mom in tears begging me to stay. I am very soft and was taken advantage off and am still in a sense but i voiced my opnions and feelings. we come to a new country not knowing what to expect all alone, whether you are 18 or 26 years old leaving what you call home is tough. the picture snad videos on teh CC website is all happy and fabulous. some au pairs strike it lucky all around others like me take time to make it work for them, for thsoe who are faced with a bad, sad situation get out get rematched the saem applies to the parenst. human instincts goes a long way.

    thanks

    0 Votes
  • Cl
    Claire234 Oct 28, 2009

    I do not have an au pair neither have been one but I have lived in this country since I was fifteen and therefore raised my children here. Having said that I also have half of my family in the old country and we visit them frequently. I know both systems and I know that many young people dream with cars and travels and a better life. Unfortunately these kids, their families and the screeners seem to have no regard to the fact that when you come as an au air you are going to WORK and that to succeed in your work you have to be prepared. I have two nieces that will be coming to the states with this agency. Neither one of them has EVER taken care of childre. In fact one of them avoided them at family gatherings alltogether. Their parents have thought that helping them gain confidence has been to give them a sense of entitlement and I know for a fact that they know these girls cheat at school and they are OK with it. For their video they had to ask friends of friends to lend them some toddlers to play with them. I was visiting family during the summer and my husband who is American, fluent in our language and has worked in South America and South East Asia offered to sit down with them and explain differences in how children are raised differently in both countries. They flat out refused with the mother of these kids saying they will be trained in NY for a week when they arrive ONE WEEK!!! one week to learn how to care for toddlers, because both of them have been placed in families with small children.

    Where is the screener? Getting a fat check and traveling to the Greek Islands with her family. All my nieces and their mother talk about is how they are going to travel, how their host families "will love them as if they would be their own daughters" . It seems that the screener has no ethical obligation in bringing these women into reality. The screener is their neighbour and knows they have no experience.

    Just to end and to give you the full scope of their delusion, one of the host families told them they travel frequently to Chicago. I have a son who studies there. My niece's commment was " as soon as I get there I will call him so we can hit the town" RUUUUUNNNNN AWAY!!!

    0 Votes
  • Au
    aussienannie Oct 31, 2009

    ive been a nanny for four years and i have just signed up with cultural care au pair. im from australia and here they really screen you quite thoroughly i hope with my experience and qualifications i will find a great host family. im really excited so im just going to think positively and do my best. i didnt provide friends or family as refs i provided all my employers and the cultural care au pair office even called some back twice to double check, which i thinks great it shows that there on the ball!
    i hope everyone has better experiences with au-pairs, were not all bad! im promise! get to know you au pair a little first and also i reckon when you are matched google your au pairs name or face book them then you will see what the "real" them is like
    :)
    thanks and i believe its halloween in america soooo HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEEEEEN!

    0 Votes
  • Ba
    bay area host mom Nov 04, 2009

    The agency lies to both families and au pairs promising quality experienced childcare to one side and a kind of all-expenses-paid American vacation to the other. My family is extremely disappointed with the agency but we are locked for the year since their refund policy is nothing to brag about either.

    0 Votes
  • Ve
    velocycle Nov 29, 2009

    We were host families for almost 3 years and we have finally given up on the company. We should have done so a long time ago. Even though it appears as if you save a lot of money by using their very young and inexperienced au pairs, in the end, you receive very inferior care giving for your children, costly setup (and exit) fees, and unsympathetic management. No matter how hard you try to match with an au pair, you can never tell if you have a perfect match until they actually arrive at your house. By then a month has passed by without any care giving service. If the au pair doesn't work out, you are stuck with them for at least a month until you find another au pair and then you wait another month or so for the new one! During that time, you have to deal with the situation with unsympathetic au pair coordinators whose main job is to get another au pair in your house as soon as possible, whether or not they are a good match for your home. We had one au pair who immediately left to be an illegal alien, two German au pairs who didn't know how to deal with small children and no regard to your valuables, and an Australian au pair who left after one week (and forced by Cultural Care to pay their own way back home!). We know other host families who have had much worse experiences, with one au pair stealing from the host family, and another au pair physically endangering their children. If you truly care about your children, you are better off in the long-run, quality-wise and financially, with more mature and trained nannies that you can meet in person. Your children will thank you.

    0 Votes
  • Ho
    hostmom/lcc Dec 03, 2009

    I must agree with the ffrmrlcc ! As I also am a former LCC, and no I'm not a "disgruntled employee" because you see, we weren't "employees" of CCAP, we were "contractors". No benefits, no taxes taken out of checks, no Social Security payments..nothing that a "normal employee" receives. We are padi by the number of families in your group, a bonus when you bring on new families - even if you don't want to bring on a family after you do the interview you still ahve to - and a per au pair rate that attends your monthly meeting. They honestly don't follow up on the family interviews either all the time...when covering an area I was asked to run and do 3 host family interviews the week the au pairs were arriving. So what did that mean ?? It means no one saw the condition of the home the au pair was going to, the room the au pair would be living in or what the host family really thought they were signing up for.

    Their "training school" is a joke - ask any au pair that has been there...they all attack host families food when they arrive because most don't eat while they are there ! Several au pairs where even told by friends that were here already to bring food with them so they did starve. Yes, they do feed them, but the quality of the food was outrageous. The bathroom conditions where gross, no one cleans the bathrooms the entire week they are there. Several au pairs have had personal belongings and money stolen while in the "classes". The 4 day schedule is really 2 - au pairs arrive Sunday & Monday all day, Tuesday & Wednesday are classes, Thursday is a $30 bus trip to NY city and Friday they all leave to go to the families...so do the Math...they get 2 days training, an no CPR is not part of their training.

    When an LCC cares for families or au pairs, they are not the "liked" LCC's. If you try to push for the protection of an au pair or remove an au pair for the protection of the family you are fought tooth and nail.

    Money is all they care about...if that wasn't true why would their "National Meetings & Training" be an incentive for LCC's ? That's right, you have to earn your place at a National Training by brining in so many families and placing au pairs with those families within a certain time frame in order to qualify to attend. That's some great training for the LCC's...and guess what they train you on??? Yup...how to sell more families the au pair program ! "International Adventures" - that's another incentive for LCC's - travel expense free (yup on the families money) if you bring in so many sales with placing an au pair in all those families within a certain time period.

    I took the position as an LCC because my LCC quit while I had an au pair. There were a group of girls with no one to talk to, no support, and the families had no one to call for 6 months ! I finally applied in addition to 2 other jobs I was holding at the time as a temporary fill in until they found someone to take the job. 3 years later I resigned after I stopped getting au pairs for my own childcare - that being after an au pair hit my child and pushed her into a wall - and was placed with another family. Even working for the company I wasn't able to convince them that the au pair should not be placed with a new family. Every family that called me I told them the truth about the au pair, I was called by the Boston office and asked to lie to potential families so they could place the au pair. I refused to lie and the au pair was placed after a family was told that the au pair asked for the transition because the father was abbusive toward her so the family wouldn't call me for a reference (her new LCC found this out & told me and the family).

    As for a refund...I lost over $2, 000 that was owed to me...again, not a disgruntled employee - just the facts. Check other websites...Natalie Jordan the VP of Customer Servive will defend to the end then back step to cover anything she forgot that she lied about.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
    JadedinOC Dec 31, 2009

    Thank you! I'm an au pair and I feel no support what-so-ever from either Cultural care or "my" LCC. I have heard many stories from other au pairs, but my direct experience is that the LCC makes sure the girls "know their place" and dont have much ability to "fight" for their rights. On my second day in the States I was threatened by the LCC by her saying that she will send me home and I will be forced to pay for it.

    Screw this company. To them the Au Pair is a slave at their disposal and should be isolated to prevent them from gaining any support in the US. God forbid they may realize they are victims of illegal activities and may sue the pants off their well-to-do host families!

    0 Votes
  • I am totally agree about awful experience! As an aupair of the Cultural care, I have many aupair friends and we feel like we are "products" for the host family to pick us up. If we are not "A PERFECT " person, there is no host family for us...

    I am very sorry to hear " awful experience" of the host family side. So, if you want a truth, I am sure that you can not find "truth" from Cultural care too..because they will force you to get the "aupair" who they just want to "sale"... for example, you want Brazillian girl, and they have a bunch of German girls..they will say only good things about German, then you will forget about "Brazilian"..that's why you can see many German aupairs in the USA!!!

    For me, i have friends from every country and we are here in the USA in the same feeling.

    With the "awful experience" from te host family side.As an aupair, we got so many awful experiences while we were with the host family too...but many of them, they are still happy with their host family, So, "Lucky them"!


    BAD AGENCY!!! SORRY FOR THE HOST FAMILY AND AUPAIR FRIENDS WHO ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THIS CULTURAL CARE!!!

    AWFUL EXPERIENCE 10/10!

    1 Votes
  • Zo
    zoe91 Feb 26, 2010

    wow . i was seriously looking into being an au pair with cultural care, but now maybe not ?
    i dont want to go into a family that expects me to be awful at my job
    im australian, have my driving license, child care qualifications and and first aid and cpr training
    can anyone suggest a good company i should go through ??

    0 Votes
  • Au
    Aus Au Pair Feb 26, 2010

    Zoe - i'm an australian with cultural care and i'm a repeat au pair so i've come over twice. You're going to find complaints about all the big companies and most of the issues posted on here happened to other families or au pairs with other companies too.
    I've never met a family who've matched with an au pair and welcomed her into their home expecting her to suck at her job. They pick bloody carefully like you should, i was really choosy this time and ended up with a great family and an awesome LCC who is always super helpful and willing to go out of her way to help me with any issue i'm having, even if it's not au pair related.

    0 Votes
  • Te
    teresa Mar 05, 2010

    I just want to share my experience with Cultural Care... I am from Venezuela and I came to the United States 3 years ago. When I came here, I didnt know any word in english, for this reason my communication with my Host mom was very difficult and I think it was one of the bigest problems with my family. But I can say that when I left from my country, I took a test and an Interview from Cultural Care and they told me "Dont worry, everything is going to be fine" "You are going to improve your englisch when you get there", I was afraid because United States in another Culture, another kind of life. Later on, I arrived to New york States and I started to work with a very welthy family in weschester, everything seemed perfect but after three months, I was in the most horrible situation!.. My host mom had a bipolar personality ( I am not kidding). One day I woke up and I found the nicest woman in the world, but minutes later, she turned to be a witch and she treated me very badly, she always insulted me with bad words "en english", at the beginning, I didnt understand what she said, but with the time I understood the meaning of every single word. I called so many time to my LCC in weschester, but she said I am going to help you! but she didnt help me, she never answered my calls.

    I was working as a slave, 6 days per week form 6:45 am until 9 pm... I didnt have time to rest. This woman took adventegous from me, because she knew that my english was not enough to understand the rules of the program. I worked more than 45 hours per week, I told this situation to my LCC and guess what... SHE DIDNT DO ANYTHING, she just went to the house, the day when I arrived from my country and the day when I decided to extend my visa.

    I was in this situation for one year and I half, I was alone, without any friends, without happines, so I decided to leave the program and I was so happybecause of that, I felt that I took out a big pain from my back... My situation was worse when I told Cultural care that I need to go back to my country because I left the program, they answered me you broke the rules, you lost your ticket and your visa cant support you anymore... YOU ARE ILEGAL!.. now I am asking you LCC AND CULTURAL CARE what kind of help do you have for Us? I hope one day you can answer this question... because honestly you are very unethical and poor in values... next time dotn mess up oru dreams!


    GOD BLESS YOU!

    0 Votes
  • Kr
    Krist29 Mar 12, 2010

    Hello,

    My name is Kristen Grow and I'm a Regional Director with Au Pair Foundation, formaly a CCAP host mom. CCAP doesn't care about au pairs or families. I can't tell you how many times my au pair said that she didn't get any support from the organization or the LCC's. Every time i called CCAP i would talk to a different person, not to mention it took them days to send me new applicants. My first au pair with CCAP abandonded us in the middle of the year and then they sent us 6 applicants during the course of 4 weeks and 4 of them didn't speak english, 1 of them was so homesick she couldn't take care of the current host fmailies children and the other came to our home. She wrecked my car twice in the span of 6 weeks. When we called for new au pairs we spoke to a different placement manager every other day. Finally i decided to change companies and went to Au Pair Foundation. Since then i have had 2 Au Pairs with great experience and great skills, as well as emotionally and socially great. I signed on as a CR (Community Representative) 13 months ago and became a regional within 3 months. Our organization is smaller which allows us the ability to have more one on one contact and i personally do all my matching. In the last year i have matched 7 families all with a success rate of 98% or higher. If you would like more information about our program please feel free to email me at [email protected] or call at [protected]. We have great discounts and our program fees are lower than CCAP and most other agencies.

    Kristen Grow
    Regional Director
    Au Pair Foundation & Face The World Organization
    T: [protected]
    Fax: [protected]
    [email protected]
    www.aupairfoundation.org
    www.facetheworld.org

    0 Votes
  • Va
    VAmomof3 Apr 17, 2010

    I had all of these same horrible experiences with Euraupair and 3 au pairs too. We are a family with 3 children, all 10 years old, and the only work requirements of our au pair are 1 hour before school 1-3 hours after school, and to manage the children's groceries and laundry. That's it. Our au pairs work no more than 30 hours a week, yet even that was too much for the last 3 - 1 of whom hated children, 1 only wanted to vacation, and 1 dressed like a prostitute and ran off with a guy from the internet 7 weeks after arriving to our home. The vacation seeking au pair said she couldn't work for two weeks due to illness following a vacation that she took during a time we told her we needed her, and while she was off "sick" she used 18 hours of cell phone minutes and still went out with friends and to school. Before she even came back to work, she had already requested another 3 weeks of vacation.

    So are there no good au pair agencies? Are there girls who are willing to do this type of work in exchange for vacationing with our family and on their own, but within program guidelines?

    0 Votes
  • Mo
    mommyof5 May 03, 2010

    The Au Pair Foundation is absolutely terrible too. Don't use them! You'll get NO SUPPORT and there is no personalized vetting to ensure a good, sound match is made. I have personal experience with this company and have paid twice for two au pairs to be accepted into my home. We were robbed of our money getting these girls here and left without support or solutions. The bottom line, the matches were very poor and the company did NOT screen the candidates (aside from scanning over their applications). They are in it to collect the money and to drop out of site. There is also no in-person training for the au pair when they arrive here in the US. All of their training is "on-line" and is performed in their own home (which means they can sleep through or scam their way through it). It was clear that our au pair knew nothing from her training (she didn't know how to clear my daughter's airway while she was choking on food...good thing I was there!). Don't use this company...it will cost you so very much if you do!

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    Lovelifeforus May 06, 2010

    Mother of five - enlighted us! How do you have time to write such negative things and have 5 children?

    0 Votes
  • Ce
    Celinatxcountyroad May 07, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I want to tell you another story. ABOUT THE USA FAMILY. I came in this country as AU-pair. I had an experience of working with children, I was in Germany as au-pair, the only thing that I couldn't say I have an experience with is driving. Talking to my host family from my home, I told them that after getting my driving license, I could drive just once a month on weekends with my dad. Because I don't have my own car. So I don't have an experience of driving. My host dad asked me if I am afraid of driving or not. I said no, because it was the truth. The only thing I need is experience. He told me not to worry, because I'll take some driving lessons in the USA and will get their local driving license. I was glad, because it was my only problem.
    As I came to my host family the situation looked like this: first day they were ok, second - they were already mad, because I couldn't remember everything about what to do with 3 children, their lunches, etc. Third day was driving. I was shocked I could hardly drive, because roads signs are different as in my country, the car is different. I was afraid to drive not because I can't do it or I am afraid of driving at all, just because I didn't know the rules and it is the worst thing on the road and it doesn't matter you have experience or not.
    After they told me that I am a lier, because I can't drive. I'd like to see them in my country, how would they feel and drive if you can hardly understand what is written on the sign. Then I took driving lessons, my host dad bought me a book with the rules, and I was pretty good. They were afraid I am not safe enough. I was, because didn't know the rules. But after studying a book, and having 14 hours of lessons with driving I was good, I felt better, because it was already easy for me. But once we were driving, I was following my host mom's car, wheather I didn't put turn signal on, or she just didn't want me to stay with them any more, she said no, you can't drive. So now we are in transition, because I can't drive. And I am a lier because I said I can. They said I was irresponsible, lier, the person that they couldn't relay on, the reason for that I didn't know. They made a fool of myself.
    Then after one week of following them to children' school I still couldn't remember the way, because I was following, I was surching the car with my eyes, I was afraid to be lost in a big city, in a foreign country. If I once went there by myself, I could know the way in one week, because following didn't help me a lot. They were already mad, that I still don't know the way. But once I did get lost, and after that I knew where to go, because that is the thing that helps, I had to do it at least once by myself. Some of them could be in the car, but I had to do it by myself.
    Then she (host mother)s tarted to scream at me, was always mad. When we were preparing kids' lunch boxes, I was trying to do it by myself, instead of telling me that something should be done in a different way, she was screming at me. After I did it by myself, she were changing everything without giving me a chance to learn how to do it in an appropriate way. I was always putting bottle of water in the bag we were going to the park with in the evening, but she took it away, and was screeming at me in the morning that I didn't put any water. So they didn't give me time and chance to be good. They were always putting sticks in the wheels. And I couldn't work like this. I was always nervous too. It was like a nightmare.
    They were acctually screaming at their adopted children (there are 2 of them), when they said smth bad at school, the punishment was no dinner, sometimes even breakfest on the other day and it could repeat the whole week.
    I know that there are good families, but I've gor just a terrible one. :(
    As far as the services of CULTURALCARE are concerned, I am just dissapointed, because I paid money for their services, I had two weeks to find another family, but they were not trying to help me. My program director was recomended me as a non-driver at all. I can drive, I have driving license, I just have no experience. I got 2 phone calls from her, one was informing me about a fact that I am in transition with my family, and the other one at the end of 10days, that she is going to book tickets home for me, because ther are no families for me. She had to call me more, and at least inform me, how was everything going, but she didn't, she just didn't do anything to help me. She just told me she was sorry.
    Morover my LCC, talking with my host family about the transition, it was monday, asked them from what day they wanted her to count 2 weeks (she was not allowed to do it, because it's counted from the day we came into a transition), they told friday, so I had 3 days less. That's how CULTURALCARE HELPED ME TO FIND ANOTHER FAMILY. NOW I HAVE TO COME BACK AND I DON'T KNOW FOR WHAT DID I PAY MONEY???
    Terrible family. I am glad that I won't be with them any more, there are 2 thing that I am sorry about is that I can't stay here any more :( and I am sorry for the adopted kids of my host family :(

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Karin Six May 20, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This agency is not a sham agency. In my experience with them (as an LCC), this company tries very hard to please host families, au pairs & everyone else. Unfortunately, you only hear the most negative remarks on the internet and not the hundreds of positive ones. Cultural Care has been polling host families twice yearly and have a 98% satisfaction rating! My website is: www.aupair4childcare.com. There is a link to the survey.

    0 Votes
  • Wh
    what to look for in a fam/au pair May 27, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was an au pair for CCAP and have been an au pair recruiter for about a year now. In my country I believe that a lot of the recruiters are former CCAPs so they know a lot about the program, both the good and the bad. I was my host families 4th au pair. One had stayed for 2 years the other two for 1 year each. They went through the transition process with one of their au pairs who was there only a few weeks before they realised how much of a liability she was. She was off the program very quickly. My host mum provided me with the contact details of her former au pairs so i could learn more about their family and having had former experience with au pairs she knew what she was looking for. I had been a highschool exchange student before with the same organisation and had successfully completed that program so my host mum knew i could happily live with a host family. I knew what i wanted from a host family and was sure to ask as many questions as a could before accepting the match. For example, for myself it was important that i either had access to a car in my free time or that there was really good public transport. Schedule was really important too. I worked the full 45 hrs and my schedule was regular. 7:30-5:30 three days, 12-10pm one day and 6-11ish on most saturdays. I think it is reasonable that families should have an au pair who is willing to at least work one weekend night. At first I wasn't so sure about it but I really loved my kids and you aren't there to party all weekend. At the same time families should want their au pairs to enjoy all the states has to offer and respect their free time. Au pairs need to respect their families right to excellent childcare during their working hours too though. It is not acceptable to give less than 100% during your working hours. Families should show their appreciation even if by just saying it from time to time. Au pairs feel really special if they know their hard work is pleasing their family. It can be hard being so far from home sometimes and if you notice you au pair is a bit sad or acting differently from how she or he did on the phone, ask them if there is something wrong. Are they feeling homesick? Is it what they expected? Are they just feeling a bit tired and overworked? Is there anything they can do to help make things better for everyone? Do they feel like their not trusted? The au pair will most likely be tired and drained in their first week especially if they are from very far away so if they seem different ask questions and acknowledge that they must be tired and maybe a bit lonely (no friends yet). Communication is important but be mindful that it is not always easy at first as au pairs tend to be a little intimidated by the family before they know where they stand. My host mum could be very intimidating though I don't think she meant it. Allow for different personalities. Most au pairs must expect a 45 hr schedule. Families should understand (especially new families) that au pairs usually haven't been fulltime nannies before so it is a shock to the system at first. I couldn't believe how exhausted I was. I also felt like i wasn't trusted in the first few weeks- for au pairs- remember that the families are trusting someone they don't know yet with their most precious asset. It takes some time- 3 months in my opinion to really know eachother. Host families should try their best however, to have faith in their au pair. Talk lots on the phone about discipline expectations and try not to undermine your au pairs discipline in front of the kids- unless of course it is out of order. A bond cannot be developed if the kids won't respect their au pair. Take the au pair aside and discuss discipline if there are discrepencies. Parents and au pairs should agree that discipline needs to be consistent and parents should back au pairs up where appropriate. This will help your au pair know where they stand at the beginning and learn if they are doing the right thing or not. I did my best to take note of how my host family were disciplining their kids so I could learn boundaries and how to manage the kids when the parents weren't around. My host family always supported me which demonstrated to the kids that I was an authority figure as well in the family. This was encouraging and respectful of them. Perhaps ask your au pair if it is possible for them to try a 45 hour week before their departure so they have some knowledge of what it is like to be around kids for that period of time. Full time work in another field is not indicative of ability to work with children that long. Kids are more demanding and nothing can prepare most au pairs for the shock of their new life. In my humble opinion 200hrs of childcare (the required amount) is not enough. Most have way more than that but I suggest families dig deep so they are prepared.

    It's true that au pairs usually do have preferences for east or west coast and particular states but what I learned from my experience is that it doesn't matter where you live as long as you have a family that you trust and have a good relationship with. So important! When i run the meetings i really stress how important it is for au pairs to ask the families lots of questions and if possible ask for a previous au pair or nanny reference preferably from one who is not currently working for them. I did my best to find out about the area of the families that were looking at my profile, their religion and what I would be able to do in my free time that was local. It is really important that families do the same. You should try to learn about the culture, customs and people in the area that the applicants come from. Talk to the au pairs a lot about the kind of experience they have had with kids, what activities they like to do with kids, the amount of time in one sitting they have spent with kids and what things the au pair wants to see and do while they are in America. I suggest skype. That way you and the au pair get to have a face to face chat. Especially beneficial if you are looking for someone with good english- particularly if you want a Thai girl or boy. It also helps if you keep in touch as much as possible before you meet as it will help build trust and understanding.

    Families- don't expect that the au pair will remember everything after one day...it takes time and jet lag doesn't help. Perhaps have a calendar in a common area that details coming arrangements for the month. My host family had that system and it really worked. That way you can easily factor in your au pairs full weekend off each month which starts at 6:00pm friday. The au pair shouldn't be expected to work till monday morning after that even if he or she is staying home for the full weekend. Mark it on a calendar to avoid disagreement.

    I have heard horror stories from host families and au pairs. Some really crazy stuff goes on on both sides. Sometimes I get very annoyed at ccap as it is one of my responsibilities to write up the profile from the interview. If i think an au pair won't last or their expectations aren't right or they don't mention the kids when i ask what they think their average week might look like I always alert the main office of this and tell them of my reservations. I should know what a good au pair and bad au pair looks like right? I'm not saying I was perfect but I had a successful experience and I know from my au pair friends the characteristics of a good au pair. They are usually so desperate to accept that they call the au pair, remind them of what to expect and say is that ok or do you feel ok about that. Apparently everyone who comes to a meeting should be accepted by their standards. As long as they have no criminal record, 200hrs of chilcare experience are at least 18 and have graduated highschool they are good to go. Admittedly from one interview you don't know the whole story. The au pair could just be really good at answering basic questions and remembering what was just said in the meeting. Perhaps there are girls out there that haven't been any good that I thought seemed great? It is hard to be 100% but there are definitely some I would not recommend. I tend to keep their profiles short and the ones I think are good I have lots to say about. Once I did refuse to write a profile which was fine by CCAP but I believe they wrote the profile anyway. Despite these flaws and CCAP in the us being very difficult to contact, dismissive, patronizing and unhelpful (they treat au pairs like idiots at the boston office- not appreciated especially as a university graduate), it is safer than finding a random family on the internet, no worse than any other organisation and contributed to the happiest year of my life. I think the majority of au pairs would agree. I had never laughed so hard, smiled so much or had such a great year in my life. The positive experiences far out way the hiccups along the way. I have never been so tired or appreciated free time more. I would not change my decision, I have learned a lot and I love sharing what I know with other people. I feel for those who have had a hard time (au pairs and families) and i think it is horrible when families or au pairs lie but for every bad fam/bad au pair there are far more good ones. There is a really low early return rate of au pairs and it continues to decline which demonstrates that CCAP must be doing something better.

    One last note: to Families should pay their au pair on time and work out how you want to do that (cash, direct debit, check). It is really embarrasing for the au pair to have to ask for the money and can put the family in an awkward position too. When your au pair enrols in college classes get them to give you receipts so you know how much they paid and au pairs photocopy the receipts before you hand them over as my friend was cheated out of $500. If you can, pay your au pair in advance for the paid weeks off- it really helps. I found that automatic debit works the best though as both you and the au pair know when the money will reach you. Cash till your au pair can set up a bank account of course though.
    Also, no malnourishing- really i think it is reasonable to let your au pair eat and it is nice if you ask them if there is anything in particular they like. My friend had to spend money on food all the time as her host family weren't considerate and she was to scared to "rock the boat". Her host family were good in other ways.
    to au pairs: actually the family are spending a lot of money to have you so be respectful. It is also your responsibility to speak up if there are problems so don't moan about something you can fix. Also remember that you can't expect things to be the same as in your home country. Some things are better about the states, some are worse.
    I try to be as honest as I can about the risks and benefits of the cultural care program, I enjoy chatting about it for a ridiculously tiny amount of money, and I don't think that cultural care is any worse than any other program. It's luck in the end though I like to think that the girls i've recommended end up being good au pairs. I love and miss my three kids. I fully recommended my host family to their current au pair and even though i've been back for over a year I still think of them all every day. Having a live in au pair/nanny is a gamble for any family and getting a good family is a gamble. Choose wisely, ask plenty of questions and both families and au pairs should try and follow some of the advice I have given. Any questions anyone has for me i'm happy to answer. It's important to think about what you want and not just settle. I know what I would look for in an au pair and I know what I like from a family. For repeat families who have had a good experience- don't look for someone who is the same as your last or current au pair. Prepare for difference and accept difference. Good luck, don't bag CCAP too much as it is all about personal experience rather than organisation (the all run with the same rules in the end), treat eachother like you'd want to be treated if positions were reversed and prepare for things to not work out.

    0 Votes
  • Ta
    Taowyn Jun 08, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I was with cultural care for the last year. Although my experience with my au pair has been good, the events in the last week have been a nightmare for my ex-au pair. She went to her new host family last Sunday and she has basically been yelled at by host mom and LCC, unsupported by the LCC and not given a chance to learn her new family. She took care of my 16 month old twins for the last year and has been wonderful. She gets a new family in the Hamptons and she is basically treated worse than a dog.

    I get a canned response from CC about how she will be taken care of. Oh they took care of her alright. CCAP is horrible. HORRIBLE. I am current VP Programs for my moms group and folks always ask us about childcare options. I will tell people to stay away from CCAP. There are so many other au pair companies and I totally get that every company has their issues. But after hearing that a hardworking, respectful young lady has been mistreated by a bitter, hateful LCC, I will never recommend CCAP for anything.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Karin Six Jun 08, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Taowyn,

    How can you blame an entire agency on the acts of one LCC? It sounds more like the host family was terrible rather than the agency.

    0 Votes

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