An au pair agency employs representatives, or counselors, to oversee host families and au pairs. The counselor usually is the person who comes to interview and get to know the host family, and they also check out the conditions of the house and the au pair’s room.

It is also the counselor’s job is to check in with the host family and the au pair every month to see you what’s going on as well as organize activities for au pairs so they get to know other au pairs as well and address all questions and concerns that both families and au pairs have.

One rep may oversee all the au pairs in a town or area, perhaps just two or three families. In big cities, however, one counselor might oversee over 30 au pairs. They may also have the au pairs participate in cultural activities, like apple picking or a walk for hunger.

One thing you need to know is that not all counselors are considered equal. They tend to vary from agency to agency and also within an agency. Some may be more thorough in how they check in, perhaps in person every month. Others may just call or send a quick email. This is another reason I like to choose an au pair agency with a good reputation and that also pays its reps well—they usually are more thorough when they check in.

Counselors as a whole are generally very nice. However, when we were a host family, we actually experienced some counselors who only did the minimum. We never got professional writings or a phone call to check in; it would be just be a two-sentence email to see how things were going. We even experienced a counselor disappearing for two or three months at a time.