San Francisco, California - AuPairCare, a premier au pair agency providing live-in child care services and a cultural exchange experience, is proud to announce its 2021 Ultimate Au Pair—Antonia Vallejos from Chile. Antonia lives with the Kimble family in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Host parents Michelle and Greg Kimble are both essential workers, balancing work and taking care of their two young daughters during the pandemic. Michelle is an emergency room nurse and Greg is a Fire Marshall. With busy schedules and two young children, they chose to host an au pair to provide flexible childcare while introducing a new culture to their family. Antonia has not only allowed Michelle and Greg not to miss a day of their essential work during the pandemic, but has given them the peace of mind knowing their kids are safe and happy being cared for at home.
From teaching preschool basics to meal prep and playtime, Antonia has helped make the most out of the increased time at home during the pandemic for their one- and three-year-old daughters. Antonia has also taught the family about her own culture, through cooking traditional Chilean dishes, dressing in their national colors, and celebrating Chilean holidays and customs. Not only do they greatly benefit from the support Antonia provides, but their lives are enriched by the cultural exchange that happens right at home. Host mom Michelle recalls that Antonia came to them when they needed her the most, and that she demonstrates the type of faith and strength she hopes her two young girls will embody.
“The annual Ultimate Au Pair contest is a special way for host families to share how the au pair program has impacted their lives,” said Jennifer Kwiat, Boulder County Area Director for AuPairCare, noting that host parents nominate au pairs with an essay and then the top ten finalists are voted upon to determine the winner. “This year, over 100 families entered, and thousands of voters helped crown the Ultimate Au Pair.”
A recurring theme in nominations are host parents describing how their au pairs have helped their family “transition from surviving to thriving” or their children said their au pair was the “older sibling I always wanted.” For the Kimble family, Antonia has become an integral part of their day-to-day lives.
“Antonia has been the ultimate lifesaver this year,” said Antonia’s Host Mom Michelle Kimble. “People talk about essential workers as heroes and highlight them as critical to the world we live in, but behind those heroes are the less advertised sidekicks—like Antonia—protecting, nurturing, and fueling their livelihoods.”
The original essay by the Kimble Family nominating Antonia is available here, along with stories of past au pair winners and participants.