- what is au pair childcare
- program costs
- why AuPairCare
- Search Au Pairs
- getting started
- current families
2013 Ultimate Au Pairs
Congratulations to our 2013 Ultimate Au Pair Winner, Dijana from Serbia, and her host family, the Crolls!
We would also like to congratulate the runner up, Cata from Colombia and her host family, the Kruses as well as the other 6 top voted entries.
We received more entries than ever before and it warms our hearts to read all of these unique stories. A huge thank you to all participants.
Ultimate Au Pair Winner!
Dijana from Serbia
The Croll Family
With great pride, our family nominates Dijana as the Ultimate Au Pair of 2013.
We are the Croll family. My name is Josie, and Bryan is my husband. We have three young children: Courtney (4 yrs), William (2 yrs), and Evelyn (3 months). As a stay at home mom, I spend a lot of time working with Dijana. This has really allowed me to get to know her well.
I had a previous au pair who decided to leave after 4 months due to homesickness. I was 6 months pregnant and really needed a helping hand. I was about to give up on the au pair program when I found Dijana in rematch. I needed someone competent, high energy, and trustworthy. After my last experience, I wasn’t sure if I could find that person, but, with Dijana, I got those qualities and a whole lot more!
When Dijana arrived, I immediately noticed that she had an abundance of energy and bonded easily with my children. Because I am at home most of the time, they tend to cling to me and not be too receptive to outsiders. This was of great concern because the baby was on her way and I couldn’t be there for the two other children as much. I wanted the children to feel loved and receive the care they deserve.
In Serbia, Dijana had studied psychology, with an emphasis on child development. This is evident in the way she interacts with my children. Specifically, I remember those hot summer days when I was eight months pregnant and unable to run after my energetic children, but watching them having the time of their lives at the beach with Dijana. It put a smile on my face. But, what I found more interesting was all the other children on the beach running around following her too. My shy children were interacting with children they had just met, and I attribute this to Dijana. Several of the parents approached me and asked, “Where did you find your au pair? She is amazing!!!” Her energy is infectious. When she is around, children everywhere are playing and laughing and the person with the biggest smile is always Dijana.
I love having Dijana in our home because she is not thought of as “help” but part of the family. She and I have a wonderful relationship. She knows what I expect and I know what she expects. And she’s always a step ahead of me. I am amazed how many times we are in the car and I say I forgot something only to find out she remembered it. Furthermore, she is consistently concerned about my children’s safety. She is always trying to teach my children and make each day a learning experience. She has integrity and confidence and is an incredible role model for Courtney and William.
The greatest gift she has given me is to allow me the time to enjoy my new baby. She has such a healthy rapport with my children that they feel secure when they are with her, and I have confidence in her. When times get tough, as they often do with three kids, she and I make each other laugh before one of us starts to cry. We find the humor in poop explosions and spit-ups on clean new clothes.
In addition, we have learned a lot about Dijana’s country and her unique culture. We find Dijana’s values very similar to ours. We have enjoyed learning Serbian. My daughter and son claim they speak Serbian because they know several Serbian songs. Dijana has prepared Serbian food for them several times.
One of my happiest moments, while recovering from my C-section, was when Dijana and Courtney reminded me that Courtney’s “special day” at preschool was the next day. Courtney asked if she could bring in Dijana to teach the children about Serbian culture and the children’s song that she had learned. Dijana and Courtney made a traditional Serbian orange cake and sang “U Svetu postoji jedno carstvo” to the class. Although I couldn’t be there, Courtney’s preschool teacher said it was a huge success. Courtney was so proud singing Dijana’s song. It made me feel wonderful to know that I could rely on Dijana to step in when I wasn’t able to.
Six months have passed and Dijana has extended her stay with us for another year. I am thankful for that every day. Dijana deserves the honor of Ultimate Au Pair. She exemplifies the role, and I am asking you to vote for her. She is exceptional and truly a poster child for the Au Pair program. Thank you.
Cata from Colombia
The Kruse Family
Cata is the au pair of our dreams, except we wouldn’t have known to dream this big.
My husband and I are very blessed to have three wonderful kids – 4, 2 and 8 months – and two great jobs. However, with these blessings come, well, an insane schedule. And before our au pair, Cata, arrived, we were drowning.
2013 began with several big changes for our family. My husband received a promotion at his landscape architecture firm, and I made partner – while 6 months pregnant – at my law firm. Needless to say, our baby girl was born a few months later, and we entered the wild world of two increased work schedules (including travel!) AND three kids four and under.
These changes turned our already busy schedule into what felt like a constant to do list, and we were multi-tasking our way through life. Aim for “quality time” with the kids while dragging them on errands all weekend. Check email while giving the baby a bottle. Listen to our 4 year old’s story while making dinner AND folding laundry AND emptying the dishwasher. We were surviving, but there was no time for the little things that life is supposed to be about. Things like giving a child undivided attention, keeping a regular date night, squeezing in a workout, SLEEPING. Enjoying the day rather than merely staying afloat.
In comes Cata. And every single day is now better because of her.
Cata loves our kids, and they love her. She lights up when she sees them and greets them – and everyone! – with a hug and kiss. She keeps a strict yet fun daily routine, which includes educational activities (like Spanish lessons!), creative art projects, exercise, fresh air, healthy food, and regular naps. She controls my two monkey-like little boys without raising her voice, and she gives the baby tons of snuggle time. She senses when someone needs little extra attention, an early nap, an extra snack. She has excellent judgment and a natural instinct for taking care of people…
…my husband and me included! The laundry – from two dirty boys AND a baby! – never piles up. Toys are in their bins. Delicious Colombian dishes appear (like yummy fried plantains!). The kids’ clothes are exchanged for the next season or size. She just attacks anything she sees. And she doesn’t do it out of obligation, but because she likes to stay busy and appreciates a clean house. And boy does it show!
What makes all of this so wonderful, so life changing, is not that our house is in order (which IS amazing). But it’s also a gift of time. And relaxation. And happiness. The end of the work day used to feel like the beginning of an even more challenging “job.” We would shuttle our kids through dinner – bath – bed as quickly and efficiently as possible, hoping there might be some bonding in between all the craziness and exhaustion. Now that time of day is actually fun! We have the time to talk more at the table, take a family walk after dinner, let the kids play in the bath for an extra few minutes, sing and dance while we brush teeth, tell jokes while we lay in bed with them. And we have all of this time because of Cata.
On top of all of this, Cata has touched the lives of our community. She’s a natural addition to any gathering, as she can talk to anyone. During the Thanksgiving holiday, she sat around the dinner table with my siblings and parents for hours, playing games and laughing with us. She makes regular play dates with neighborhood au pairs and nannies, and children are always recognizing her when we go on a walk or to a local park. And the teachers and parents of the other children at both of my sons’ preschool programs LOVE her.
Finally, as a working mother trying to, as the phrase goes, “have it all,” I couldn’t be more thankful for Cata. I want to work, and I want to be very good at my job. However, I also want to be an excellent mother and wife and friend and sister and daughter, not to mention a happy person. I may not be perfect in any of these categories, but I couldn’t even come close without Cata’s help. It’s a priceless gift, and one for which I will be forever indebted to our ultimate au pair, and friend for life, Cata.
Esena from Bosnia
The Brandenburg Family
Our kids have three parents: Mommy, Daddy, and Esena. We proudly say that many times our kids prefer Esena. Who wouldn't? She is a shining light of positive energy eager to try anything new. She has embraced our community, our religion, our lifestyle, and our friends, which has helped her be the best possible caregiver to our children. Mommy and Daddy can leave the kids with Esena and there is no separation anxiety. When our daughter was asked recently who was her best friend, she said Esena.
Esena has shared so much with us and has been such a wonderful addition to our family that she chose to stay for a second year! Esena was with us when our son took his first steps; she was with us when the stomach bug knocked us out, she was wish us when the tree fell on our fence; she was with us when we renovated the house; she was with us for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, vacations, and sad times too. And in between all those events, she was with us for each and every day.
Esena has taken our kids to the doctor, to the grocery store, to the park, to school, to the library, and everywhere in between. Like a real life Mary Poppins she always has snacks, diapers, and other key provisions in her bag.
Adventurous, but responsible, Esena has earned our trust and our admiration. She went skydiving a few weeks ago!! She is always ready for the next event and is rarely tired.
When Esena first joined our family, our then two-year-old locked herself in bathroom and could not get out. Daddy called the fire department while Esena did her best to keep our daughter calm. Another time, when we had a flat tire on the way to the Children's Museum, Esena took the kids in her car to the museum so that Mommy could focus on getting the tire changed. When Mommy and Daddy took a much needed vacation, Esena helped the grandparents take care of the kids.
We love being part of Esena's family too. Her father and siblings in Bosnia are our friends on Facebook. When the Bosnia soccer team qualified for the 2014 World Cup, and by all accounts every Bosnian was rejoicing, we rejoiced as well. Esena has shared with us the sweets, breads, spices, and soups that she grew up cooking and eating in Bosnia. Space has been made on our kitchen counter for the blue and white box of Tuzlanska So (salt) from the lakes of Esena's hometown of Tuzla. Our serving collection now includes a traditional Bosnian copper tray adorned with a beautiful floral design.
This experience has blended two families and two cultures. Even after she goes back home, a part of Esena will always be here. Our children have a part of her in them. Also, we believe that a part of our family and our country will go home with Esena. We will always be bound by this shared experience and the love we all have for our kids. Thank you, Esena.
Sandra from Germany
The Hammond Family
As we head into the second year of having Sandra as part of our household, I could not adequately find the words to describe how important she has become to our family. Our household is one comprised of two career professionals: one a Marine officer and one a corporate executive whose schedules always keep us on the go with frequent travel that is often overseas. Because of this, we find ourselves ever reliant upon Sandra to help make sure that the trains at home continue to run on time. More than just a caretaker for the children, Sandra can always be counted upon to help de-conflict all of the busy schedules as she helps to ensure that we don’t miss out on the events that are so important to allowing us all to connect as a family. Routinely she will send photos or video clips during the day showing off what the kids are up to, which helps us to feel connected throughout the course of the day. These small, but thoughtful actions make it easy for us to seamlessly transition into parent mode when we get home at the end of a busy day at work.
Caring for our six year old boy Mason and five year old girl Sydney can be challenging, but Sandra was able to capture their hearts and earn their respect from the outset. Her disciplined approach to ensuring that the kids adhere to the household rules, combined with a nurturing aura, is part of what makes Sandra the consummate teacher, coach and mentor to the children. More than just an au pair, we have come to consider Sandra a part of the parenting team and a critical piece of what has allowed for us to thrive as a family.
When Sandra first arrived we expressed to her that reading to the kids was something that we had always stressed an importance on. Sandra truly took these words to heart, and whenever there was a break in the action you could be certain that she would exercise initiative, pull out a book and start reading to the kids. After a year, Sandra can still always be found with children’s books on her; however, now we are warmed to see that Sandra has the children reading to her almost as frequently as she is reading to them.
While most do not think of first or second grade as being academically challenging, our six year old comes home from school with homework each day of the week. It is Sandra that sits down with him after practice to make sure that he understands what the teacher expects for each assignment and to help by showing him examples of how to perform the various tasks. This has been instrumental in building Mason’s confidence in school, which has helped him to thrive in his composite class of first and second graders, and serves as the greatest reason why Mason consistently receives perfect scores on the weekly spelling tests that he takes in class.
Whether it is taking the kids to school, dropping off and picking the them up from swimming or karate lessons, or coming up with arts and crafts projects that allow for the kids to express themselves in creative ways, Sandra can always be relied upon to ensure that Mason and Sydney are looked after as if they were her own. Most parents are accustomed to receiving feedback from teachers or coaches about how their children are doing, but we have grown accustomed to teachers, coaches and other parents commenting on how wonderful Sandra is with the kids. Sandra’s value extends beyond just what she does for our family, which is perhaps one of the reasons why we all truly admire her. She has served as a cherished friend and confident to her peers and has repeatedly reached out to, and assisted other girls in the program during periods when they have faced difficult adjustment periods that are a function of being far away from home, or when they have had problems adjusting to the expectations of their host families.
In short, Sandra has a big and caring heart that everyone that interacts with her can quickly see. Our family feels that she is very special to us, and we know that if you had the opportunity to spend time with her you would feel the very same way. We ask a lot of Sandra, yet she always exceeds our expectations. For these reasons as well as the many other little things that she does on a daily basis, we feel that Sandra is the embodiment of what any family would want their ideal au pair to be, and that is why I believe that she is deserving of being honored as the Ultimate Au Pair.
Biljana from Serbia
The Afanasewicz Family
I stood waiting with my two year old son, Luke, squirming on my hip and my 9 month old daughter, Sydney, whimpering on my shoulder; it’s almost time for her to eat. I am waiting for the arrival of Biljana, our Au Pair. I Skyped with her for the first time while on vacation in Florida. I was impressed with her command of the English language and her interest in Tae Kwon Do. She piqued my interest when she asked for pictures of each child and a paragraph about them. She showed a genuine interest in each child. I had two babies in my arms but at home were two very active boys, Benjamin 7 and Ethan 5. I remember thinking maybe Tae Kwon Do would help her in caring for the tumulus activities and chores that come with four children. I was both anxious and apprehensive about having an Au Pair, it was the first time we attempted this and I wanted it to work.
Biljana arrived on May 24, 2013 and upon seeing her for the first time my heart stopped and my stomach flipped. Standing in front of me was a tiny girl, with a big smile who looked no more than twelve. She will never be able to handle four children for an hour much less for a day; I thought to myself, this was one big mistake. I smile, hugged her and introduced Luke and Sydney to her, neither of which responded positively. We headed home and all the way I was thinking that this young lady has no idea what caring for four children was like. How would she be able to deal with the fighting, the tantrums, and the competition for attention, not to mention changing diapers for two? What about the meals, nap schedules, sport schedules, homework and time working with the little ones on letters and numbers. No I was convinced that this was not going to work. As unsure as I felt, I was not alone my husband was equally dismayed and insecure about leaving her with the children. However we both felt that it was only fair to give Biljana at least a try. We would watch closely. We did just that and to our wonderment we discover an amazing young woman.
Biljana entered our home and instantly with a gentle calmness and control she won over each child. Sydney proved the easiest, the baby. She adores Biljana and looks for her at every turn. To see the two together is like looking at pure love. Luke an active toddler who is just learning to communicate and whose favorite word is NO! can be counted on for at least one tantrum a day. Biljana is his “go to person” for everything he needs or wants. We have to ask Bika (the children’s name for her) to interpret what he is saying. She makes special dishes for him to eat and he likes to cook “real” food for her on his stove. Ethan was the most difficult; he is hyper active and goes through the house like a tornado. Her effect on him has been nothing short of incredible. With her he is calmer and she has an amazing way of soothing him with her soft, gentle voice. She helps him express himself. She takes him outdoors for special workout time, which he looks forward to; it’s his reward for good behavior. Benjamin, the big brother wasn’t thrilled to have another person tell him what to do, but again Biljana showed her abilities to work with children by enlisting his help and advice and then took him outside and played hockey with him. He taught her how to play American baseball. It was quite funny to see them interact. She has an amazing sense of how to get the best out of our children. She navigates sibling fighting and always finds the one on one time each child needs.
She is nurturing, compassionate and loving. Our family life has benefited from her in every way possible. She made a chaotic home one that is orderly and manageable. She takes her duties seriously and has helped our children learn about responsibilities. She gives of herself freely and we considered her an indispensable member of our family. She is a team player. When I arrive home at night we divide and conquer to get through the rest of the day. We sit together each night after everyone is finally asleep. We eat dinner and talk about the details of the children’s day. She keeps me on task for all the upcoming activities at school and sports. I know where to go and when because of her organizational skills. To both my husband and me she is our older daughter, our friend, and our partner in the welfare of our children. To our children she is an older sister, a trusted friend, a loving caretaker.
With all that Biljana faced when she arrived in our country, new people to live with and children to care for, a language that she spoke but didn’t always understand and customs completely foreign to her, she embraced it all. She plays all kind of sports with the children. She dressed up for Halloween and was part of our “pirate family”. She has introduced my husband to some delicious Serbian dishes. Her smile is infectious and she learns and enjoys new things on a daily basis. She loves walking on the beach and has discovered museums that she enjoys taking the children to when the weather doesn’t permit outdoor activities.
She has mastered driving on Long Island. Just a few days ago she had her first American Thanksgiving and as only Biljana can do, she exhibited genuine interest and excitement to all the stories and the different foods, as well as the people around her. Anyone meeting her for the first time is awed by how easily she became part of the family. My husband and I are filled with gratitude that Biljana is such an integral part of our life. An amazing young woman, an Au Pair extraordinaire, Biljana has enriched our life and we know that she will continue do so in the coming months.
WE LOVE OUR AU PAIR "BIKA"
Tamires from Brazil
The Payne Family
We are the Payne Family. We have been a host family for almost seven years. This year is extra special for us. We feel so blessed to have Tamires as our Au Pair. Each year we receive your email requesting host families to nominate their Ultimate Au Pair. We could not let this opportunity pass without nominating our lovely Au Pair and host daughter Tamires. There is no doubt, we have the ultimate Au Pair.
Tamires (Tami) arrived to our home August 2013. Her level of commitment and dedication to our family is immeasurable. From the time she set foot in our home, she has been eager to make our experiences memorable. Her kind spirit and passion to care for children is beyond what we expected. Therefore, we want AupairCare and other host families know how grateful we are to have Tamires.
For each letter of Tamires’ name, we explain why she earns the title of Ultimate Au Pair!
The Payne Family
T – Talented Teacher – Tami’s love of education shows throughout our home. Her level of involvement shows us that she cares about how our children perform in school. Kids are little sponges and they learn if you give them time and show them patience, Tami believes. Around our house and car are signs of “learning love” that Tami has created for our children. Her fluency with the English language and experience as a former teacher provided us immediate gratitude. Everything she does takes confidence and skill, which she definitely has!
A – Adventurist – She is quite our adventurer. Tami loves our family vacations and the unpredictable activities that come. She is a trooper and goes “with the flow.” She makes sure that kids are having a great time, along with her. We want her experiences to not only be memories, but Great Memories!
M – Multifaceted – We have a daughter that is 13 years old and two boys ages 6 and 4 years old. Tami quickly realized the age difference requires some creativity in daily activities to make sure the need and the interest of our kids are met. She makes sure that there is a block of time in each day where focus is given to children individually and collectively.
I – Intelligent – Tami has a desire to learn many things about the American culture. Her depth of knowledge at the early age of 21 years is impressive. We have learned so many things from each other! Her background teaching at an American based school in Brazil helps her communicate and hold many in depth conversations.
R – Responsible – Tami is a reliable and punctual babysitter. More importantly, she is someone we TRUST! We feel trust is one of the most important traits a babysitter should possess. She time and energy is mainly focus on two active boys (4 and 6 years old). She has shown us and kids so much patience. She often matches their level of energy by joining in with their horseplay, which is what they welcome. Despite the demands of taking care of our children, she doesn’t complain.
E – Experienced – We know babysitting is not an easy task, but Tami has shown that her experience and background is strong. She knows how to adapt, if an unplanned circumstance arises, liking stepping in for us when we could not attend children’s Halloween Party. Tami has negotiated many arguments the children have had over toys. Any undesirable behavior the children are exhibiting is confronted with a calm talk and agreed upon consequence.
S – Selfless and Sensitive – Tami definitely puts our kids’ wants before her own on many occasions. She strives to do whatever makes the kids happy. There have been times when her work day had ended and she continues to play and/or do activities with the kids, because they beg for more time with her.
Thank you for the opportunity to share our story and why we think Tamires is The Ultimate Au Pair!
Kim from South Africa
The Dinkins Family
I remember my 6 year old son asking me about 30 minutes after I told him that his Dad had not lived through a horrible yet heroic event “Who is going to take care of me? You will have to get another job!” He knew that his Dad had been the primary care giver. That my job a self- employed CPA often took me away from home especially during tax season. The horrific months that followed I was surrounded by my villagers of Family and Friends who took care of my children and me. But as time passed, they had to get back to their families, their lives. I had to find a way to put things back together. I had looked into the Aupaire program when Zane was born but with my Mother’s help and part-time in home child care had decided against it. I knew instinctively it was my best option.
Kim, “Our Kimmie” – a petite (but strong as an ox) nineteen year old from South Africa was the God send my broken family needed! She arrived May 7th, 2012. I was emotionally shut down. Zane – who had witnessed the accident had withdrawn, was acting out and having trouble in school. My baby Presley, who didn’t even remember her Dad, was getting ready to turn 2 and really needed nurturing.
Kim jumped right in. She figured out the schedule for the kids. We talked about what the kids needed. She figured out the rest on her own. She was self-motivated and innovative.
She got to know Zane’s teachers and figured out what she could to do to help him catch up with his classes. She persuaded him and coached him through his summer work to get him back on track when he started second grade. She fished with Zane and played with him, he talked to her. She arranged play dates so he would begin interacting with his friends again. This past summer, Kim taught Zane how to ride his bike! Something his Dad had been working on before he died in July, 2011. Kim was persistent and patient – she didn’t give up on Zane. He rode his bike and achieved such a sense of accomplishment, a gift from Kim that will last a life time.
My baby Presley has flourished under Kim’s care. Kim researched Pinterest for fun learning activities for toddlers. One day I walked in to find my 2 year old learning the Southern US States by earning a mini marshmallow! Do you know how cute it is to hear a 2 year old say “Louisiana”? Before Presley turned 3 Kim once again dug her hills in…pulled out the computer, read books – it was time to potty train! There were potty charts and sticker books and M&M’s. Presley would have good days and bad days, but again Kim took it in stride and like a true cheerleader she was Presley’s biggest fan when the goal was met!
In her “spare time” I called Kim the unofficial social director to the triad Aupaire’s. It was not uncommon for Kim to welcome the new Aupaire’s to the area. Often they hung out at our house for movies, etc. A couple of them even went on our Family vacations with us.
When I interviewed Kim and others one of the questions or conversations you have is do you want to be more or less involved with your host family in your free time. My husband and I were very socially active and I was craving adult interaction. Kim was an Angel sent from God. After the kids went to bed Kim and I would sit in the living room and talk or watch TV. She would listen to my endless stories about my Husband that I so desperately wanted to tell. I heard about her childhood and how she had become the amazing young woman sitting with me. Kim is part of my family and she is part of my Village. She and my children traveled with my Mother, spent nights with Family friends and participated in their Family functions. She traveled with my friend’s children, my niece and my God Children. She spent Holidays with us and shared in our traditions. She went on all Family vacations with us. She is my South African Daughter and calls me her American Mom. Kim is our Family now. It breaks my heart that our time for now with “Our Kimmie” has ended. I will take her to the airport tomorrow for her to return to South Africa to begin College. I will be forever grateful to her for the compassion she showed my Family during this time of healing. She confidently provided the most loving, fun and safe environment for my children that I could have dreamed of.
Marijana from Macedonia
The Hadley Family
Marijana is such the ultimate Au Pair that, within moments of meeting her, I have people asking me how they can get a childcare provider like her. I have had numerous conversations about the awesomeness of au pairs and the benefit they bring because of Marijana. Her friendliness, helpfulness, and love of kids just shines everywhere she goes and with everyone she meets.
From the moment Marijana arrived, she jumped right into being a member of the family. Marijana not only helps with the kids but treats them like her younger siblings. To me she is like a younger sister as well. Marijana does so much to reduce the crazy stress of a full family life that I am not sure I can put it all down. With Marijana watching the kids I know I will come home to an orderly and tidy house.
Marijana also has great special artistic skills and has become our traveling face painter. She even volunteered to help at a fund raiser for our youngest son’s preschool and helped with the face painting. She has perfected the painting of Sponge Bob, our youngest son’s favorite, and regularly adorns the kids with some special designs. For our older sons’ joint birthday party she painted all the kids faces and even did dragons on my sons’ faces. She truly has amazing talent and she is so joyful and chipper. Marijana has also treated us to some meals from her country and regularly tries to teach us a few phrases, we are just slow learners.
It is not uncommon for Marijana to join us on outings of all types ranging from Lego shopping to Family Fun Nights at the school, she is even a companion for me at Sunday school and Church and I feel privileged to be able to share that part of our life with her. My kids definitely see Marijana as a wonderful member of the family. The youngest regularly watches cartoons with her and she loves to also dance around her room with him. When I can’t find my boys in the house I check Marijana’s room where I will usually find a pile of people on the bed watching cartoons. We have even infused her with our love of Legos and on more than one occasion she has admitted to staying up late just to build something with Legos. Marijana has also become an important part of the after school routine and while she helps my oldest with homework, he also will turn around and help her with her English class she is taking, just like a family would.
As we have three boys, life can be very busy and active but Marijana doesn’t let that bother her and she has embraced the craziness of boys with gusto. She is not afraid to play with the boys in a true rough and tumble boy fashion. Our middle son has even asked how long she can stay as he wants her to never leave. I love how she does the little things for me without me even asking, like straightening up after the kids and cleaning the table off after their meals. Marijana is a true blessing. Even when Marijana is not with the boys it is clear she is thinking of them and really understands them. She has arrived home more than once with a few small gifts which were perfect for each child. I think if I had years to search and interview I could not find as great an au pair for our family as Marijana. Truly finding our next Au Pair will be a challenge as Marijana is so great I think it will be hard to find another perfect au pair. I can only hope and pray that Marijana wants to extend for a year.