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History

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1st Choice Au Pairs opened in February 2004 by owner Jay Poole. After hosting au pairs in previous years from the countries of Slovakia and Romania, Jay and wife Theresa were disappointed with the methods used by existing agencies to provide a quality service. Information about candidates was sketchy, with other agencies often only acting as 'forwarding' points to send on forms received by FAX or email from an overseas agencies. The forms often lacked any translations and when further clarification or information was sought of a candidate, it was extremely difficult to obtain any further details. The emergence of internet based agencies created more choice, but caused much greater concern about lack of checks. From an au pair's point of view, this method was also seen to be of high risk, with many young girls choosing to travel to a foreign country and commit to living with a family they had simply met over the internet.

Staff profiles

Jay Poole

Picture of Jay Working for many years in the Telecommunications industry at respected companies such as Nokia and Lucent Technologies, Jay led a number of programs of change management - helping to reinvent the way in which these Telecoms suppliers did business. In his last position with Nokia, Jay was responsible for supply chain activities for UK, Ireland and France. Following the economic downturn after 9/11, Jay decided to use his knowledge of new technology tied to change management to reinvent this service business from scratch and so 1st Choice Au Pairs was born.

Ramona Barbulescu

Picture of Ramona Ramona is a graduate of Babes Bolyai University, Cluj Napoca majoring in European Studies and International Relations. She was initially helping the agency to organise events in Romania and has since joined us in the UK earlier on in 2009. Ramona still travels back frequently to meet new candidates and is on hand to speak with candidates in their own language. She is from Oradea, a city in western Romania.

Suzy Zelinova

Picture of Suzy Studying a Bachelors degree in Business Administration, Suzy is currently in her final year at City University, Trencin. Suzy has worked as an au pair on two separate occasions in the UK and was also the first Slovak member of staff to work in the UK as an office administrator back in 2004. Since then Suzy has worked on a part time basis for the agency in Slovakia, meeting new candidates and helping out at registration events on a regular basis.

Michael Pratt

Picture of Mike Mike has been providing his services to the agency since the very first overseas event week in May 2004. Mike is a member of the British Psychological Society and has a Masters degree in Psychology. He has worked with many businesses over the course of the last 20 years, working as an evaluator of training requirements and providing leadership and management training.

Kristina Kironska

Picture of Kristina Studying a Bachelors degree in Business Administration at the University of Management in Bratislava. Kristina has been helping at registration events in the southern region of Slovakia.

Andrea Matiaskova

Picture of Adya Studying at the University of Trencin, Management School. Adya has been a regular helper to the agency at events across the central and northern part of Slovakia.

Jana Rugolska

A student at the University of Economics in Kosice. Jana represents the agency in the eastern part of Slovakia.

Our Old Members of Staff

The agency would not be here if it hadn't been for the efforts of...

Adriana Istvanikova

Picture of Adriana Adriana worked as the UK office manager from September 2004 until June 2005. She moved to London and is working for another au pair agency.

Alexandra Gromova

Picture of Sasha Sasha was with the agency from July 2005 until June 2006. She was hoping to move to South America to teach English but is still popping in to see us on a regular basis.

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