Sandrine Link is the owner of AuPair-Connect, a full service agency for placing and looking after au pairs. The company uses the RAL Quality Mark for Au Pairs. In an interview with the RAL Quality Marks Magazine, Sandrine Link explains the advantages that the label offers au pairs and host families and why her company decided to apply for the RAL Quality Mark.

Name of the company: Sandrine Link, AuPair-Connect au pair agency
Holder of the RAL Quality Mark for Au Pairs since: 2019
Location: Karlsruhe
Services offered: Placing au pairs with host families in Germany as a full service agency

Why did you decide to have the services offered by your agency certified with the RAL Quality Mark?
Unfortunately, there are no licensing requirements for agencies in the au pair sector. There are thus huge differences in the services offered by agencies. The services range from the simple placement of the au pair though to full service provision that includes comprehensive preparation for both parties and intensive support throughout the entire stay. The RAL Quality Mark shows customers that my services meet high quality standards.

What is special about these services, what distinguishes you from the competition?
Instead of searching for an au pair on social media or with the aid of a matching platform, my service does not begin and end with the simple placement of the au pair. The selection of suitable au pairs from local partner agencies and preparing the au pair and host family are important factors in making the au pair year a success. Arranging meetings and regularly communicating with the families and au pairs is a top priority. My services also include the preparation of all of the contractual formalities, accompanying the au pairs during the visa process and supporting them with visits to the authorities at the beginning of their au pair stay in Germany.

What advantages does that give to the au pairs and host families?
All of these things give both sides a high level of security and a good chance of a successful au pair stay, which remains successful right up to the end. Both sides have a contact person who monitors the previously agreed conditions and is available to provide both sides with help and advice during the entire stay. I bring the au pairs into contact with one another so that they can talk about their experiences and plan joint activities in their free time. In addition, they also receive emergency numbers from me.

How do you ensure that the services associated with the RAL Quality Mark are actually provided?
The first step is to ensure that the framework conditions for an au pair stay are explained in detail to the host families and the au pairs. The second step is to continuously ask for feedback from both sides and also to check the feedback forms during the actual stay. This enables us to still intervene and exert an influence during the au pair year itself.