Great AuPair Review: A Review of the AuPair and Nanny Agency
Having personally used GreatAuPair to find a job as an au pair, I highly recommend it. To learn more about this site and why I chose the rating I did, read on.
What is GreatAuPair?
GreatAuPair is an online agency that matches care providers with families and families with care providers. Though GreatAuPair started out only offering an avenue for au pairs and nannies, it's service now extends to include pet sitters, tutors, housekeepers, senior care and personal assistants.
What is an au pair?
Some of you might be wondering, what is an au pair and what is the difference between an au pair and a nanny? The biggest difference between an au pair and a nanny is that an au pair is seeking a cultural exchange and is generally not interested in making childcare a long-term career, whereas a nanny typically has more childcare experience and is seeking a more long-term career through childcare.
What services does GreatAuPair offer and how much does it cost?
It is free to signup and create a profile at GreatAuPair. It is also free to search profiles for both families and care providers. If a family or caregiver reaches out and emails you, it is free for you to respond to them, as long as they are paying customers. So, it's possible that you could get a job through GreatAuPair without having to pay anything at all.
Usually, families seeking care providers will purchase a subscription because it requires a subscription to email candidates, receive and to view photo and video galleries, perform interviews and to receive background checks. GreatAuPair provides four subscription packages:
- Free: You can create a profile, view profiles and respond to emails for free.
- $60 for 1 Month: With this subscription, you can email and interview candidates, view photo and video galleries, and you also receive a free background check for U.S. national care providers.
- $120 for 3 Months: This subscription provides all the same services as the 1 Month subscription except you get a discounted price.
- $175 for 6 Months: The 6-month subscription plan gives a deeper discount, provides all the services offered in the 1 and 3-month plans, and in addition, you get GreatAuPair.com's "Hiring Success Guarantee."
Paying subscribers may receive free care provider background checks. These background checks include: U.S. State criminal, Federal Sex Offender, and SSN background checks for U.S. national care providers. GreatAuPair also provides the following background checks for a fee:
- Motor Vehicle Report: $45 U.S. State, $85 Canadian national
- Reference Checks: $85, U.S. or Canada, up to three references
- International Records Search: price varies by country
Organized and User-Friendly: GreatAuPair is a well organized website. There is a lot of information on their site, which, if it were not organized well, could be a complete mess, as I'm sure we've all ran into websites that were difficult to navigate before.Though there is a large amount of information to navigate, I have found the website to be user-friendly and the information you're searching for is easy to find.
Wide Reach of Opportunities: If you are an au pair seeking an international experience, you can find a job anywhere in the entire world you might wish you go through GreatAuPair. There are all types of families and care providers, of all whom have different needs and requirements, so there is sure to be someone to meet your specific needs (e.g. part-time, full-time, live in or out, duties required, duration of employment, salary requirements, etc.). For families who are seeking care providers, there are tons of qualified candidates to choose from.
Free: That is, depending on the service that you choose. It's free to post, free to search and free background checks are provided for subscribers. Many care providers can find work through GreatAuPair without paying anything, as it is free to respond to emails that are sent to you by paying subscribers.
Childcare Resources: The website is full of useful information, some of which includes; how to find a nanny or babysitter, interview questions, nanny and au pair contracts, immigration services, child care salary calculator and more.
Thorough Background Checks for Families: When searching for someone to help take care of the people you love, it is especially important to check backgrounds and references. GreatAuPair offers a variety of options to ensure you make the best decision for you and your family.
Trustworthy: GreatAuPair works hard to protect your privacy and provides many tools on their website to help you and your family stay safe while searching for jobs and/or care providers online. They also provide you with articles to help you learn how to identify and avoid scams and identity theft.
Possible downsides to using GreatAuPair
Cost: Though sometimes you can find jobs or care givers through GreatAuPair without paying, some people may find subscription cost is too expensive. Personally, I feel that it is worth it to pay for a subscription because you are given all the tools necessary to make a good hiring decision, which is worth it in long run.
Risk: Of course, there is always a risk when dealing with people online. GreatAuPair has some great articles on how to avoid scams and identity theft while searching for care providers or jobs. There is also the risk of hiring someone you don't know and it turning out to not be a good fit, but this is a risk any employee/employer situation takes. For this reason, make sure you spend the time to get to know your candidate(s) and thoroughly check backgrounds and references.
Free Background Checks for U.S. Nationals Only: You can order international record checks, however they are far more expensive. This may make it more difficult for international au pairs wishing to find jobs, as well as more of a financial burden on families interested in hiring someone from abroad.
Auto-Renew: Subscriptions are auto-renewed unless canceled. This is pretty typical of subscription services, but it can be frustrating to pay an extra month or more just because you forgot to cancel on time. Make a note in your calendar to remind yourself to cancel the subscription before the auto-renewal happens.
My personal experience using GreatAuPair
I personally used GreatAuPair a few years back and found the opportunity to be an au pair in Italy. I had just graduated from high school and it was the perfect time for me to take a little break and explore the world.
Being an au pair was something that I had never considered, until my sister, who had used GreatAuPair to find a job in New Zealand, recommended the site to me. When my sister recommended GreatAuPair to me, I decided to sign up just for fun, because it was free and I thought it might be interesting to see where I could go.
Within a few weeks, I had received initial contact from several different families. When I received the email from the family in Italy, I knew in my gut that I should take that opportunity.
I worked as a live-in au pair, which means I lived with the family and all of my expenses except personal costs were covered. Staying with the family gave me a much nicer place to stay than I could have afforded on my own. On top of it all, I was earning money. Not a lot, but enough to happily explore the Italian countryside during my time off and thoroughly enjoy my time spent there.
It was through GreatAuPair that I found this amazing opportunity and I would highly recommend this site to anyone seeking care giving jobs, especially for au pairs seeking to travel abroad.
I give GreatAuPair a 5 star rating. I believe the benefits outweigh the negatives discussed above. In addition, I had a great experience using GreatAuPair, as did my sister. I highly recommend this site for families and care providers alike. I especially recommend this site for anyone interested in traveling and working abroad for a period of time.
Tips when seeking providers or jobs through GreatAuPair
- If you don't want to pay for a subscription, be patient. Make sure you have completed your profile fully. Create a video and post a lot of pictures. Be honest about yourself, your expectations, and what you like and don't like. Many times, a paying subscriber will reach out to you.
- ALWAYS complete the background and reference checks.
- If you hire an au pair or nanny that needs help with travel expenses, use a trusted travel agency or agree to reimburse them once they get there to help avoid scams.
- Be sure to spend some time interviewing and getting to know families and/or candidates before you hire them. Create a nanny/au pair/babysitter contract to protect yourself.
- Good luck and have fun!
Visit GreatAuPair for yourself and see what you think!