Every year at AuPairCare our host families take a moment to recognize the au pairs who have come into their lives and embraced the spirit of cultural exchange meets childcare. This contest was the largest ever, but after hundreds of entries and our voting contest, we have our list of finalists! Check out the highlights for Ultimate Au Pair of the Year!
Nominated by the Tewart Family from Connecticut
We are a military family with four kids. When we started looking for an Au Pair, one of the greatest qualities we wanted was someone who would become part of our family. That connection is something I had the privilege of developing with the au pair I had growing up, and it was incredibly important to us that our children experience that as well. In Nicole, we have found that, and so, so much more. Smart, capable, driven, conscientious, with a magnetic personality, and an enthusiasm I envy for everything she experiences, we are so incredibly grateful for her and for her impact on our lives - ALL of our lives, not just our kids.
You can read the full nomination from the Tewart family here.
Nominated by the Camenisch Family from Washington
Carina is one of the most thoughtful, responsible, kind people any of us have ever met. We do of course trust her with the most precious person in our world, our daughter, Toni, but we would trust her to do anything and recommend her for the same, because she would carry out any task with care, commitment, dedication, empathy, thoughtfulness, and love. Carina on paper is a rock star - she's a trained EMT and elite athlete, incredible artist, and has tons of childcare experience, but that is not even the smallest piece of what makes her special.
You can read the full nomination from the Camenisch family here.
Nominated by the Woodruff Family from Washington
Kelly is an amazing human being and au pair! She is incredibly kind, thoughtful, and genuine. She takes extra care to have patience and share a loving environment with the kids. Kelly goes above and beyond even when her "work time" is done at the end of the day. She shares in family meals and evening family time making memories. Her calm demeanor is nice to have in our chaotic lives has been a wonderful addition to our family. She has immersed herself in the au pair cultural exchange program, from traveling, meeting new friends, and getting to know about America. Kelly represents the ideal cultural exchange experience.
You can read the full nomination from the Woodruff family here.
Nominated by the Ruby Family from Florida
Having Laura join our family as an au pair is exactly how I imagine the au pair program should be. She has without a doubt become a member of our family and goes above and beyond the job requirements. She has dinner with us every night and she regularly joins us and our extended family on outings on weekends and her time. Both sets of grandparents even love her and even spend time with her without my husband and me around! As a mother of two small children with a demanding career at a major bank and a husband who frequently travels for both his day job as a pilot and his Air Force Reserves unit, my stress levels are so much lower because it feels like I have another family member living with me.
You can read the full nomination from the Ruby family here.
Nominated by the Lazar Family from California
Marijana has not only met our expectations, she has also exceeded them by far. We could not have asked for a more perfect and wonderful young woman to be part of our lives. She is a person who always puts others first, and not just my kids. She is always there to lend me a helping hand when there is chaos in our home, which there usually is, since my boys are one, two and four years old.
You can read the full nomination from the Lazar family here.
Nominated by the Allison Family from Colorado
Max is a wonderful example of everything an au pair should be: a wonderful childcare provider; an excellent housemate, and friend; an outstanding ambassador for his country; and an enthusiastic adventurer who is taking every opportunity to absorb his American cultural experience. Max stepped into circumstances where my husband's health unexpectedly became the spotlight of our lives, and he has shown up for us in ways we couldn't have even imagined. I hope that in addition to highlighting what an amazing au pair Max is, my nomination helps people to know that both men and women can be wonderful au pairs.
You can read the full nomination from the Allison family here.
Nominated by the Coxeter Family from Colorado
There was a tremendous change for our family in a short time. We moved across states, George changed schools, Mika arrived, and we said goodbye to our previous au pair and two weeks later, our daughter Maeve was born. Our son had a tough time adjusting to all the changes. He had a lot of big emotions/tantrums multiple times per day. Mika jumped in to help; she was terrific with George, playing with him, and creative in handling his big feelings. Mika taught us to be more playful and use humor and silliness to connect with George. Watching her with him, she made it look so easy we couldn't help but try her techniques. Looking back now, I don't know how we could have gotten through those first couple of months without her help.
You can read the full nomination from the Coxeter family here.
Nominated by the Fang family from New York
We are far from your typical family. Our eldest is autistic and nonverbal so he has trouble connecting with people and communicating even his own wants and needs. In addition, we were still reeling from our new baby's recent diagnosis of hard of hearing when we began our search. We knew our search would be a difficult one, as not many are willing to face a challenge of one special needs child, let alone two. But we found a unicorn, the Ultimate Au Pair in Penvipa Kongnurat or "Ae" for short! Our first interview Ae showed genuine interest in our family and asked thought-provoking questions about our family and our children. When she finally passed her visa and arrived in NYC, she almost immediately became part of the family.
You can read the full nomination from the Fang family here.
Nominated by the McLeod Family from Colorado
We've had au pairs before, but Robyn is special. She is willing to share with the family her traditions and culture. She has on several occasions made us her favorite foods, which are delicious. It is such a valuable experience for the entire family to learn about the food, customs, and traditions from other parts of the world. We appreciated Robyn's willingness to share it with us. My husband and I have full-time jobs and running a large household is complex. Robyn fits right in, she jumped in to help with homework, running kids around and tackling meals. She comes from a large close-knit family and she has brought that warmth to our home. She is and will always be a part of our family.
You can read the full nomination from the McLeod family here.
Nominated by the Gordon Family from Pennsylvania
Sayuree is such a positive influence on my children. As a single mother, everything falls on me, but with Sayuree, she truly loves my kids. I know that she always has their best interests at heart. There was something that Sayuree told me one day that really stuck with me. I asked her how she handles all three kids when they are being difficult or aren't listening. She looked at me and said, "I love them like my own!" I found a young woman to love my children unconditionally like her own children and family members.
You can read the full nomination from the Gordon family here.