Every day I am here I hear of another au pair going into rematch (where either the au pair or the family, or both in some cases, decide not to continue on with the match, and the au pair is given 2 weeks to “rematch” with a new family and if they are not successfully placed within the 2 weeks period, generally they are sent back to their home country).
After being a nanny and au pair for 4 years, and working for 7 different families, I understand why sometimes it just doesn’t work out. Working full-time AND living with a family is a lot different to babysitting for a few evenings here and there. It is a lot of responsibility, young kids can be trying and even annoying at times, especially if you are not highly tolerant and don’t have a lot of patience, and sometimes personalities just don’t mesh well.
I can’t speak from experience of being in rematch, as I have obviously never been in rematch, nor have I ever been fired from a nanny job, but I seemed to have dished out a lot of advice to younger au pairs who have no idea what to do, how to handle it, what to ask, what to say, where to go. So here is my “never been there, but this is what I’d do” advice about rematch…
- Give it a good go. If you are considering rematching because you feel like the kids don’t like you or don’t respect you, make sure you give it time. You should really allow at least 6-8 weeks settling into your family and letting the kids get used to having you around. You may be the first au pair for a family, and the kids are not used to being cared for by someone other than their parents. Or you may be one in a long line of au pairs, and they simple miss the previous au pair. If you give it time, the kids should get used to you, start to respect and listen to you.
- If you are the one deciding to go into rematch, have clear reasons why you want to go into rematch. Make sure those reasons are valid. Most importantly, make sure that if possible, any reason you have for wanting to go into rematch is something that you have already brought up with the host parents and cannot be remedied – sometimes host parents don’t know or realise that you are unhappy about something UNLESS YOU TELL THEM.
- Realise that every family has it quirks. Your family may have quirks, but any other family you go to will also have their quirks – possibly better, possibly worse.
- Once you are in transition, be open to any possibility. Don’t limit yourself by saying that you will only stay in the same state you are currently in, or that you only want girls or boys or children of a certain age. By doing this, you may allow the perfect family slip past you! In regards to location, every part of the United States has something different and unique to offer, and you will have plenty of time to travel and explore other states and cities!
- Ask your au pair friends for their LCC’s contact details. LCC’s are usually the first contact for both au pairs and families, and are a great resource. You are more likely to be rematched into a new family if you put in some effort to try and find one, instead of sitting around and letting your current LCC do all the work.
- Try not to stress yourself out about not being rematched. Remember that for every au pair in rematch there is usually a family in rematch looking for a new au pair.
- Remember to spend a good amount of time talking to any new prospective family matches, to make sure the possibilities of having the same or similar problems that caused you to go into rematch are not there.
A lot of girls are confused about what goes on in rematch in regards to if you stay in the US, or if you go home, and who pays for your flight if you go home. Each rematch case is handled individually, but there are 4 main scenarios.
- Your host family wants to go into rematch because you have done something to violate the program rules or their rules. It may be decided that you are removed from the program and sent home, depending on what has happened.
- You go into rematch, and you decide that you don’t want to rematch with a new family and instead you want to go home. In this case 99% of the time you pay for your own flight home.
- You go into rematch, and are rematched with a new family! (And hopefully you all live happily ever after!)
- You go into rematch, and after 2 weeks you don’t find a new family. 99% of the time in this case your agency will pay for your flight back to your home country.
I hope this information helps you if you are in rematch or considering going into rematch. Please remember that this information is mainly based on my opinion or things I know from talking to people. The views expressed here are my views, and not those of any American au pair agency.