Sometimes an au pair decides to do a Pre-Match. But what is it?
The pre-match is usually done by girls that want to become an au pairs in the USA and it consists on meeting a host family on Au Pair-World or other free websites BEFORE signing up with an agency. In fact, after contacting some families and doing some skype interviews, there could be the will from both parts to commit to the program and this is called Pre-Match. Why can’t you match right away?In the USA you can’t become an au pair unless you sign up with one of the 14 agencies authorized by the government, so once both parts agree on the agency, they sign up, create their profiles and then officially finalize the match. (Usually the host families are already with an agency and the au pair has to adjust).
It is not a mandatory step, actually au pairs usually sign up directly with one of the authorized agencies (we chose WEP, whom official partner was AuPairCare), get contacted by the families and only once they find the right one, they match.
No one forbids to do both things. We first started with free websites, but when no actual family was interesting in us, we decided to sign up with an agency. We still checked the websites time to time but nothing came out of them.
Actually to Susa happened that once a family contacted her, and when she asked what was their agency, they disappeared with no explanation. For this reason, if you are thinking to do a pre-match, beware of scams.
Other lucky au pairs received a lot of contacts from their online profiles and some of them ended with an initial Pre-match and later with a final match from an official USA’s agency. This is Anna’s case.
In any case, no matter what path you decide to take, let us know your experience and if you have recommendations for the future au pairs. Did you do a Pre-Match? Did you decide to immediately sing up with an agency and let the families contact you?
Your Au Pairs
Susa & Mapu