Here is my independent review of some online au pair-host family databases! (more reviews will be appended gradually...)
By "independent review", I mean I am neither affiliated to any of these au pair-host family databases nor have any reason to be mad at any of them :-)
Review of Easy Aupair.
Although it is easy to take it for an au pair agency, Easy Aupair is not an au pair agency. It is a database comprised of prospective au pairs and nannies on one hand, and and prospective host families on the other. It serves to link and help match prospective au pairs and nannies with prospective host families, and as the website administration puts it, their services do not go beyond bringing together these two parties.
1/Phoney or fishy registrations are dealt with radically: Registered users of phoney au pair or host family accounts are blocked out within a very short time following registration. I tested this: Yes, I registered on Easy Aupair as a family, using the name "Au pair 2 be" as the family's name. When I tried to log into my new Easy Aupair account three hours later, I could not. And although I clicked the 'forgotten password' link , to have them send me my password, of course nothing was sent.
OK, sure a website name registered as a family name is bound to stick out more than a phoney family name provided by a scammer, but the idea here was to see how fast they deal with suspicious looking registrations. What was surprising though, was to find out via google, that the fake Au pair 2 be family account still existed in the Easy Aupair data base, and that it continued to receive prompts from registered prospective au pairs. If this is normal procedure, then the novice au-pair-to be is not protected adequately protected from scammers.
2/ Prospective host families have an embarrassing variety of choice when it comes to prospective au pairs. Both au pairs-to-be and host families are classified according to their nationalities and home/residential town. Furthermore, the au pairs-to-be are representative of all continents.
1/As is the case for most au pair-host families matching databases, the number of prospective au pairs obviously exceeds the number of prospective host families. This of course makes competition very stiff among the prospective au pairs. However, if you bear in mind what I discussed in relation to the quality of au pairs' profiles and au pairs' introductory letters to potential host families you'll notice that only a small number of these au pair profiles would appeal to au pair host families. Moreover, a large number of au pair profiles are dormant accounts.
2/ It is a very closed and tight system. By closed and tight, I mean: It has neither a forum nor a blog. It has neither recommended readings nor external links to other au pair related websites that could be a source of complimentary information for its registered users. Consequently,registered prospective au pairs and registered potential host families respectively, are totally isolated from each other since prospective au pairs cannot exchange ideas and experiences related to the website, their family searches and their experiences.The same applies to the host families.
3/If you need some information related to the functioning of Easy Aupair or should you ever encounter difficulties with your au pair account, it might take you some time to figure out how to go about getting in touch with the administrators of the Easy Aupair website. The only-not-so-obvious link is the "contact us" link, to be found at the foot of their web pages. This link leads you to a "contact us form", that you are expected to fill out. I tested:I never received any reply to an enquiry I made related to their value membership.