4.) On line Au pair-Host Family Matching Databases or Physical Au pair Agencies?
Should you go about your host family search through on line au pair-host family databases (on line au pair-host family matching services) or is it preferable to go through physical au pair agencies? That is the question. Before you make up your mind, you need to be aware of the fact that none of the two alternatives offers you any guarantees: both have their advantages and disadvantages. On the right hand side, I have compiled a list of pros and cons associated with on line au pair-host family databases (on line au pair-host family matching services) and physical au pair agencies respectively.
I would personally not recommend one over the other. Instead I'd ask: Why not opt for both? If you have some money to spare, why not apply through an au pair agency and at the same time, put up on line profiles in one or two on line au pair-host family matching database? This would allow you to take charge of your family search. However, if raising the physical agencies' application fees would not be possible for you, then simply go for the on line au pair-host family matching database, where membership is normally free. When it comes to these on line au pair-host family matching databases,it is worth noting that paying for the value membership would give you access to families' e-mail addresses, physical addresses and phone numbers.
Furthermore, value membership definitely gives you an edge over other candidates who remain at the free membership level. It also sends out a message to the families about your level of commitment, i.e you are ready to make some financial sacrifices in order to make your plans work out. There are quite a number of on line au pair-host family matching databases. The most popular three are: Easy Aupair, New Au pair and GreatAupair.
Before you decide to register on these databases, be sure to read the reviews I'm writing on them here:
My independent reviews of on line au pair-host family matching databases / services .
A word of caution though: If at some point you do feel encouraged to go for value membership on these au pair -host family matching databases, then do take the time to discover what value membership has to offer. Inquiring on its quality from other value membership users would be the ideal solution.
Also, browse the website(s) in question and find out if they provide their contact information and whether they respond to inquiries or complaints sent to the address they provide. How do you do this? Simply e-mail them and ask a question or two. You may for example say that you'd like to know what is included in the value membership. Or whether it is possible to pay for a two week value membership (of course the answers to these two questions can be found on their web site, but that's not the issue for you). What you want to find out is whether the persons in charge of the website regularly check and respond to users concerns. If you do not receive an answer in two or three days, don't waste your money on that one.
I give this tips from my personal experience; a bad experience I had with one of these on line au pair-host family matching databases. I paid for my friend's value membership, and barely a week after, they scrapped off her account! Yes, just like that! She and I sent countless e-mails to an address provided on their website, asking for an explanation. We never got a single reply! Overall, whichever means you decide to employ, the most important point here is to choose on line au pair-family matching services and /or physical agencies that have good and solid reputations.
Lastly , if you are interested in becoming an au pair in France, I have brought together a few tips on How to become an au Pair in France. ,that you just might find useful.
Step 5: Getting your Medical Check-up and Certificate