The extra, and sometimes unexpected, awesomeness of Au Pair child care comes in the form of personal growth for the Au Pair, Host Parents and Children. Au Pairs are triumphant over challenges big and small which propels them into the future with strength and courage. They are changed by the love from their Host Family as much as the Host Family excels from the care the Au Pair provides.
Host Parents discover more energy and quality time to enjoy with their children, spouse and home, in addition to excelling in their careers and personal interests. For growing and developing Host Children, the Au Pair is a mentor, coach, cheerleader, role model and teacher, guiding them on their journey of growing up.
The Journey, as Described by Our Participants
~ Ana, Au Pair from Colombia, caring for 3 children ages 2 to 6
Well, not even on a piece of paper could I describe the feeling I have in my heart towards them. When I arrived in this country, I fulfilled my expectations and more than what this program promised me: a good experience, meeting places, new people, a pleasant family and improving my English skills, among others. What they did no tell me was the strong bond, the wonderful feeling, and the meaning of love that I still do not know: my host family.
Being in this home gives me the hope that everything in my life will be prosperous and happy, every day I learn something new, even from my mistakes. I would like to thank you for making me feel at home, for all our jokes at dinner, thank you also for the difficult days because it is there that I learn to be stronger, independent, be patient and not lose hope that bad days have a deadline . For their confidence in leaving their children, the most precious asset of their lives. The experience I have in my host family provides me with things I would never learn in my comfort zone, they always find a way to help me with my English, encourage me to do that, ideas of places to visit, encourage me to have a healthy eating and an active sports life!
~ Keila, Au Pair from Brazil, caring for 3 children ages 2 to 11
Finding the right role model is another important thing to me as working parent. It’s a little alarming to think that whatever option you choose for childcare will be spending more waking hours during the work week with your kids then you do. The good news is when you select an au pair you’re choosing from a pool of candidates who are all brave, strong, adventurous and fun-loving (just think of what it takes to sign up for a program where you live in another country for a year with a family you’ve never met who doesn’t even speak the same language). G [Au Pair] is absolutely exceptional in these categories, and she’s been the perfect role model for our kids. She goes out of her way to make the kids activities extra special with homemade-glitter-unicorn gift bags for my daughter’s birthday party and made-from-scratch cakes and desserts. She facilitates friendships for them, and she still makes time to go on her own adventures. She shows the kids that hard work pays off and demonstrates kindness, friendships, organization, fun and creativity on a daily basis.
~ Elizabeth, Host Mom in Detroit, MI with 3 children ages 3 to 7
this experience has allowed me to grow professionally and personally… one of the reasons why I decided to be an au pair, was to leave my comfort zone and explore beyond my abilities, and remind myself that facing new challenges I can to be better and I can reach higher in my goals, and I see all that reflected every day… my host mom motivates me to be a dream woman, full of ideals and who has taught me to analyze each one of my decisions… my host dad…has allowed me to learn at this time that every decision I have made and that I will make throughout my life has a time, a process and a result, and as long as I have taken the right path to start it, I will always have positive results… I started to think that if I changed my mind everything would probably go to a satisfactory result, and this experience has been like that, I can’t lie, it’s wonderful!
~ Estefania, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 2 children ages 2 and 5
They came to my life at the good time. They have saved my adventure here, helped me giving me a chance to proof myself I was enough and I was doing well … They had shown me respect and kindness when I needed most… they keep doing it and even more they gave a flawless support with the kids and all the rest. They had given me their thrust and I feel honored to have it and do all I can to give them back what they bring me.
~ Emma, Au Pair from France, caring for 2 children ages 10 and 4
~ Diana, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 4 children ages 4 to 14
I have many memories of them, they showed me that making mistakes is ok and how to keep moving through the circumstances, they taught me with patience and love to be better in a different language that I didn’t know, all of them made me be a better version of myself, my host parents gave me all their trust and took care of me as a one member more in this family
I always wanted to be part of a big change, doing something incredibly significant with my life… I started thinking I was out of place, even having a job and a family, a big circle of people that I considered friends, but I really wanted something different. I started feeling my life was overwhelming and taking over my strength, I turned insecure and lonely person, I was not like that before. Then I chose to be an au pair and all my life went upside down; the beginning was chaotic and exciting like a roller coaster. My host mom is the most amazing woman I have ever know; I understand and respect more what does be a single mom means, I know how hard is raising kids with character and values, basically she is a mom, a scientist, a friend, a chef, a PE teacher, a driver, a doctor, psychologist most of the time, and she still has time to be a woman… she is a super hero! A (Host Mom) is a model of strength, patience and overcoming. She showed me that your dreams are worthy always, but you need to push yourself far from your comfort zone; it doesn’t matter the background you have been raised you just need to believe in yourself and DO IT.
~ Joha, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 2 children ages 7 and 10
We have also seen how much D [Au Pair] has grown since she has been with us. Her self-confidence has gone way up and she experienced all sorts of adventure, including downhill skiings, hiking up tall mountains and even skydiving!
~ Jennifer, Host Mom in Minneapolis, MN with 4 children ages 1 to 8
~ Matheus, Au Pair from Brazil, caring for 4 children ages 1 to 6
Always afraid and a lot of thoughts when the program doesn’t come, it will come to another country to live with a family from another culture another language has always been kind of crazy to my head
Today I am here fulfilling this desire to live an adventure of learning, adventures and hard work.
I can say what aupair is ‘and a unique experience that we all must have and then who knows how’, I can say what happened when I wanted to learn to know myself, I was much more surprised
Every member of the M family is responsible for being a stepping step in the construction and formation of my life, they are the complement of who I am every day, even though we are from different cultures has not been an impediment to living a pleasant relationship.
~ Melany, Au Pair from Colombia, caring for 1 child age 9
I consider the most difficult part of the program and which I feared for a long time was the language, and although it has been a bit complicated, they found the best way to teach me. Especially my little 6-year-old J (Host Child), who helps me with my pronunciation and corrects my sentences in a very particular way. I have a lot of fun learning English the same way he learns Spanish. I feel that he has come a long way. J and my host dad have helped me a lot so that my English can improve, although I know that I need to learn even more, I am sure that I will return to my country more fluent in English thanks to them.
~ Gabriela, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 2 children ages 1 and 6
Conclusively this message is to future Au Pairs who read this, from that moment when you get in the airplane up until the moment you go back home you must keep in mind that anything can happen and that your experience may not be like the experiences before you. What’s important is that you keep a positive mind set and try and make it as comfortable as possible for you, so that you are happy. Tough times never last but tough people do.
~ Nicolas, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 3 children ages 6 to 11
Before long, she was biking around our mountain valley town, pulling our three-year-old in the trailer. Our six-year-old taught her to play baseball, and many hours have been spent playing it in the yard, as well as soccer and kickball. She also pushes herself to go outside her comfort zone in order to embrace a new way of living, whether it’s camping, trying a new sport like skiing, or learning to drive on icy roads.
~ Anna, Host Mom in Anchorage, AK with 2 children ages 3 and 6
The eldest daughter is vocal and stands up for those that are mistreated. She has taught me that it is good to use my voice to help those in need. While juggling work, friends and moving to college in a few months she has been volunteering her time for food drives and also going to rallies and sit-ins. She is an incredibly inspiring young woman. The youngest equally has helped me learn and open my mind as she is very inquisitive, always asking why things are occurring and questioning the norm. I think this is important and she equally stands up for her beliefs, even when it lands her in a little hot water with her classmates.
~ Tahila, Au Pair from Australia, caring for 3 children ages 11 to 17
~ Thi Hanh, Au Pair from Thailand, caring for one child age 11
Sometimes, it is challenges and novelty that boost one’s happiness the most. It’s nice to try doing things I have never done before and never thought you would eventually love it. I’m so grateful for knowing the Au Pair program and meet C (Host Mom) and her family. C – my host mom is a spiritual master whom I live up to would create a significant behavior as a way to gain understanding and discipline. I learned from a lot of things. We spend any day starts with a big laugh to be a happy day. Because “laughter is the best medicine” and it’s free to take it frequently.
I wanted to become an Au Pair to have the new experience in my life, of living with another family, improving my English, meeting new people and new cultures. And that exchange program gave me all of that.
I learned a lot from them [Host Family], I learned to say more “I love you”, I learned to hug more, to give even more value to my family. Laugh at simple things, value small things. I learned a lot here, my goal was to improve my English, but I ended up improving other parts of my life, I also matured more and managed to see life differently. And being in a house that has several books, it prompted me to read more, to get to know the world of books. How my host children helped me with my creative side. Because they love to create things, paint, draw. It helped me a lot, because it was something I need to do again. Making Arts. This is being AWESOME.
~ Franciele, Au Pair from Brazil, caring for 3 children ages 3 to 9
It’s difficult to express in words what my host family means to me. I enjoy spending time with boys, I really hope they also like spending time with me. I hope I have a positive impact on their development and also, I have got a lot of opportunities to increase my skills. The six years old sometimes asks me “Anna do you know what means: …” and explains me the meaning of new word. Also, my host mom helps me to pronounce and use correctly the English words. During the pandemic I decided also to start learning the ukulele and my host family supported me telling that it’s a great idea – probably they have already regretted it because I’m definitely not talented in music. But still nobody has told me that I should practice outside! My host family is really patient. 🙂
~ Anna, Au Pair from Poland, caring for 2 children ages 3 and 6
I remembered my first days in here, I was nervous, terrified because it was the first time in a new country with no one of my family or my friends, but when I saw you (my host mom) in the airport, I just felt happy, relieved to have taken the step I was needing in my life. Thank you for accepting me by video call and trusting me, that first day, I felt so loved by everyone and happy in these months that I have shared with the children with your families.
~ Rosa, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 3 children ages 3 to 8
When I had started the idea of becoming an Au Pair, I had a bunch of goals. Thanks to my host family, I reached my goals. One of the main goals was to improve my English. My family is very patient with me and helps me improve my English. English has always been my favorite language since I was a child and when I found the Au pair program with all the various opportunities that I was looking for, I was so excited and felt like it was a dream come true for improving my english and enjoying a new country.
~ Katherine, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 2 children ages 1 and 3
~ Amanda, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 3 children ages 5 months, 4 and 6
I wanted this year to be filled with new experiences, self development and growth in my later career as a teacher…I had a lot of expectations for my year in the United States, and it has been everything I have ever dreamed of. My host family being every part of that…The kids have been undeniably the best part of my stay here. Their want to learn has motivated my own learning and I have grown so much from it…I have learnt and grown so much and I’m even more grateful that I have a host family as amazing as mine, to witness this change with me.
I always wanted to live the experience of a cultural exchange to living in another country with another family, knowing their customs and culture, to be able to travel and improve my English, and what better than being an Au Pair. I’m very thankful with them for choosing me and for giving me the confidence to take care of the little ones in the house, for trusting me when they needed me the most with the arrival of the new family member, M, but above all, for making this experience the best experience that I am having in my life, just as I want it so I am living it.
~ Jessica, Au Pair from Mexico, caring for two children ages 4 months and 1
They are my motivation to achieve all my goals. All the time, they ask me about my goals and aspirations and help me with everything. When I think that I will not be able to achieve something, they always say “do not worry, we will solve it together”, and they really do. I feel confident sharing all my ideas with them because even if some of my inventions create a mess, I will receive positive words from them. As an example, sometimes I like to think of myself as a good chef, but the reality is that if I have not done that food before, I am likely to make a mistake like not putting in enough salt or cooking it too much; however, they will tell me that I did a great job and will motivate me to keep trying. This is only a small example because regardless of the situation, I do not know the word “fails” with them. I always find support and affection.
~ Jessica, Au Pair from Ecuador, caring for 3 children ages 9 to 16
Life is amazing, we never know what’s coming and every day we can discover a new surprise containing what life has waiting for us right around the corner. Since I was a little girl, I dreamt about living in another country and being a part of a new culture. I set that as one of my goals. This is why I signed up to become an Au Pair and achieved that goal. It’s been 15 months already since I jumped on the airplane, leaving everything behind and started this experience that has changed my life in every imaginable way.
~ Miriam, Au Pair from Mexico, caring for 3 children ages 4 to 9
~ Hendrik, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 2 children ages 6 and 9
I realized the problem was never if people would accept me or not, but that I was never accepting of myself and I assumed everybody would feel the same way. If people who were strangers to me a year ago can love me, then I should be able too. It completely changed my perspective. I was able to develop new believes and out grow the ones I was taught by society as a child. If it wasn’t for my host family, I probably wouldn’t have had this liberating experience. This is something not a lot of people are lucky enough to have. My host family showed me a level of love, trust and support that I was able to be completely vulnerable and it changed my life forever. This put so many other changes in my life in motion. My relationships with my friends became stronger as I could be myself. I started make healthier life style choices regarding what I eat and about exercising.
She (Host Mom) wanted to ensure I could accomplish what I wanted. The AHA moment hit me and I realized I should share all my dreams and wild ideas with her. I told her my goal was to learn English well and not feel embarrassed to talk with anyone. I also told her that after watching her interact with her kids I wanted to learn more about childhood development. After thinking about all the support and motivation she was providing, I got scared and was like “wait, why did I tell her that, she’s not going to back down” and of course she did not. It was such an amazing feeling having someone support and participate in what I wanted, I truly felt like we had transcended the host mom title and became “besties.”
~ Ana, Au Pair from Mexico, caring for 2 children age 9
B (Host Dad) and V (Host Mom) make me feel like I belong in their family everyday, so everyday is my “AHA” family moment. We do everything like a normal family would and living with them, being part of their family and daily activities makes me feel home, that is why it is so hard to put into words exactly how much they mean to me! I could write a book on all the opportunities, experiences, guidance and inspiration they have given me, so I will continue baking pies and carrot cake (B’s favorite) as a small way to thank them for changing my life.
~ Shannon, Au Pair from South Africa, caring for 1 child age 1
I love challenges, and moving away from my family, friends and country was not easy for me, but it was one of the best things I could ever done. Three years ago, I was going through one of the hardest moments of my life, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I had to go out in the world, to do everything I was afraid of, because life can change from one minute to another and the only time, we have is the present. I am not a girl who likes to show others how she feels, it is hard for me to hug someone or just demonstrate how something is difficult for me. I like others to see me as a strong independent woman who don’t needs anyone; but the truth is that I am weak inside, and I love how much support I feel in this house, I know that every time I have a problem or something is not right I can talk to my host parents and even with the boys. Nothing makes me feel better than they listening to me and being comprehensive. I have learned so much in this house…Now I know that I can do everything I want to and that there is no limit.
~ Kristel, Au Pair from Guatemala, caring for 4 children ages 7 to 14
~ Palak, Host Mom in Philadelphia, PA with 2 children ages 9 mo. and 2
To us having G [Au Pair] in our house and part of our family has helped us to grow to be better human beings. Over the last year we have realized how our initial apprehensive feeling of having a stranger living in our house was pointless. G [Au Pair] made life simple for us.
I have been here for over one year, I feel really comfortable with them, they will take care of every aupair like a part of family. They give me a lot of chances to study in a college, they support me a lot, and at the same time they give me a lot of advice about choosing a class. They took me to Mexico to have the vacation with them, now i not only have American experience, but also Mexico culture experience. They took me to try different American food, because they know what I want is to know more about American. They encourage to make a lot of friends and to join some volunteer, now I made a lot of friends and a lot of different colorful social experience. They always try their best to give me more free time to do something I like. My mom always says that how lucky I am to be with them. Yes, everyone, I am so lucky.
~ Xuejing, Au Pair from China caring for 2 children ages 6 and 8