Au Pair USA

★★☆☆☆

About Au Pair USA

2.3333333 3
Hi! Sign in to let us know how Au Pair USA was?
Write a Review
.

. . . I find this sort of dishonesty completely deplorable. I found this on an au pair consumer site:

Host Mom Questions Au Pair in America's Facts in Press Release
View Edit
In reading the "news" section, I found the release called "European Au Pairs Looking For Work on the Rise."
I was struck by this recent news release from Au Pair in America. They say in closing the release - "The nation's first and largest au pair program, Au Pair in America. . . " I know au pair in America was the first program, but are they really the largest?

Can Au Pair in America truly put out this 'false' info in their press release?"

By francesf at 03/02/2009 -

Is Au Pair in America the Largest Agency in the U.S.?
Fran, good question. By our calculations, Cultural Care is the largest agency, placing more au pairs in American host families compared to Au Pair in America.
Yes, Au Pair in America can get away with this press release (stating they are the "largest agency") because one, no one challenges them on this "fact" and two, all agencies are reluctant to share their placement "numbers" with anyone, media or the public. So, it is difficult to confirm who places more au pairs, etc.
We ran a phone survey a few months ago and we received different numbers from different staff from the same agencies over a 2 week period. We were able to assess Cultural Care's numbers using a third party that tallied hits as customers - overwhelmingly, Cultural Care's hits greatly surpassed the number of hits Au Pair in America received (2008).
Au Pair in America used to be the the largest and the leader in the industry, but they have slipped out of number one due to Cultural Care's aggressive marketing, improved services and expansion into different locations across the nation.
Au Pair in America is the oldest company - they started in 1986, and was the first au pair agency. They held the number one spot for many years and started to slip into number two spot about 6-7 years ago.
One of the reasons Au Pair in America lost their footing is they made a decision not to spend money on marketing and decided they could stay on top through "word of mouth" advertising.
However, between agency price wars (new agencies got a foothold into the industry by cutting fees) and expansion of Cultural Care's service areas, and Cultural Care's ability to place au pairs more quickly compared to Au Pair in America, they slipped into the number two spot.
Au Pair in America counselors have stated their agency refused to pay for local ads in local newspapers at the same time Cultural Care's ads appeared every week for years! Au Pair in America told counselors to pay for the ads out of their own pocket and that "the best advertising is word of mouth" by host parents to their friends, etc.
Word of mouth referrals can be powerful advertising, true, but you must have multiple venues of marketing and pulp news is critical in towns where everyone reads the local paper!
Advertising is very important and the old fashioned "word of mouth" just doesn't work by itself anymore, not when there are other, less expensive agencies available. Au Pair in America needs to "catch up" to successfully compete with other agencies that continue to improve their services across the board.
Well, let the games begin, because competition between businesses can only be a positive for customers! It is a win-win situation for host parents who depend on quality service at affordable prices.
Thanks Fran for pointing this out!
We would love to hear from other parents, counselors or from the agencies. We welcome all comments, thoughts, opinions, etc.

1
★☆☆☆☆

. . . I find this sort of dishonesty completely deplorable. I found this on an au pair consumer site:

Host Mom Questions Au Pair in America's Facts in Press Release
View Edit
In reading the "news" section, I found the release called "European Au Pairs Looking For Work on the Rise."
I was struck by this recent news release from Au Pair in America. They say in closing the release - "The nation's first and largest au pair program, Au Pair in America. . . " I know au pair in America was the first program, but are they really the largest?

Can Au Pair in America truly put out this 'false' info in their press release?"

By francesf at 03/02/2009 -

Is Au Pair in America the Largest Agency in the U.S.?
Fran, good question. By our calculations, Cultural Care is the largest agency, placing more au pairs in American host families compared to Au Pair in America.
Yes, Au Pair in America can get away with this press release (stating they are the "largest agency") because one, no one challenges them on this "fact" and two, all agencies are reluctant to share their placement "numbers" with anyone, media or the public. So, it is difficult to confirm who places more au pairs, etc.
We ran a phone survey a few months ago and we received different numbers from different staff from the same agencies over a 2 week period. We were able to assess Cultural Care's numbers using a third party that tallied hits as customers - overwhelmingly, Cultural Care's hits greatly surpassed the number of hits Au Pair in America received (2008).
Au Pair in America used to be the the largest and the leader in the industry, but they have slipped out of number one due to Cultural Care's aggressive marketing, improved services and expansion into different locations across the nation.
Au Pair in America is the oldest company - they started in 1986, and was the first au pair agency. They held the number one spot for many years and started to slip into number two spot about 6-7 years ago.
One of the reasons Au Pair in America lost their footing is they made a decision not to spend money on marketing and decided they could stay on top through "word of mouth" advertising.
However, between agency price wars (new agencies got a foothold into the industry by cutting fees) and expansion of Cultural Care's service areas, and Cultural Care's ability to place au pairs more quickly compared to Au Pair in America, they slipped into the number two spot.
Au Pair in America counselors have stated their agency refused to pay for local ads in local newspapers at the same time Cultural Care's ads appeared every week for years! Au Pair in America told counselors to pay for the ads out of their own pocket and that "the best advertising is word of mouth" by host parents to their friends, etc.
Word of mouth referrals can be powerful advertising, true, but you must have multiple venues of marketing and pulp news is critical in towns where everyone reads the local paper!
Advertising is very important and the old fashioned "word of mouth" just doesn't work by itself anymore, not when there are other, less expensive agencies available. Au Pair in America needs to "catch up" to successfully compete with other agencies that continue to improve their services across the board.
Well, let the games begin, because competition between businesses can only be a positive for customers! It is a win-win situation for host parents who depend on quality service at affordable prices.
Thanks Fran for pointing this out!
We would love to hear from other parents, counselors or from the agencies. We welcome all comments, thoughts, opinions, etc.

Was this review helpful to you?
Ratings_icons Ratings_icons

.

"I went with Au Pair in America because they were advertised as the "premier program." I have twin infants and I matched with a Thai. She was described as a driver and having good English. However, she did not drive well at all and had an accident with our new car in the first week. Our counselor explained that most au pairs that are qualified with 200 hours in infant care happen to come from Thailand and this is why the agency pushed the girls from Thailand. I did not know that! I finally matched with a local au pair who was also in rematch and she is great. My Thai au pair could not find a family and had to go home. My advice? Don't assume that the au pairs assigned to you can drive and speak English well. Interview the girls more than once and be ready to rematch if they don't come with the qualifications they say they have."

1
★☆☆☆☆

"I went with Au Pair in America because they were advertised as the "premier program." I have twin infants and I matched with a Thai. She was described as a driver and having good English. However, she did not drive well at all and had an accident with our new car in the first week. Our counselor explained that most au pairs that are qualified with 200 hours in infant care happen to come from Thailand and this is why the agency pushed the girls from Thailand. I did not know that! I finally matched with a local au pair who was also in rematch and she is great. My Thai au pair could not find a family and had to go home. My advice? Don't assume that the au pairs assigned to you can drive and speak English well. Interview the girls more than once and be ready to rematch if they don't come with the qualifications they say they have."

Was this review helpful to you?
Ratings_icons Ratings_icons

.

My family had a great experience. The CT local coordinators are great! Our au pair stayed for 12 months, and the kids just love her. We're considering a summer au pair now.

5
★★★★★

My family had a great experience. The CT local coordinators are great! Our au pair stayed for 12 months, and the kids just love her. We're considering a summer au pair now.

Was this review helpful to you?
Ratings_icons Ratings_icons

 

Wait, you're the expert.

If you've been to or used Au Pair USA, leave a review.

It's easy, only takes a couple of minutes and you'll help thousands make an informed decision.



Write a Review