Ana came from Colombia to live in our home in July 2019 and has been far beyond exceptional. She is our third au pair in the last four years, and we have never nominated an au pair until now as she is truly excellent and deserves recognition.
We have three young children (2, 4, and 6 years old) as well a one set of grandparents living in our home which is quite a challenging situation to navigate, especially when you’re learning English. Despite the challenges in managing so many relationships and in communicating effectively, Ana comes to work every morning with a smile on her face and she spends her day actively engaged with our children.
It was clear during her first week with us that she took the job seriously, as she would often leave her phone in her room without any instruction to do so in order to not be distracted while she built forts, played with LOL dolls, and received instruction from our 6-year-old pretend teacher.
Ana is educated as a child psychologist and has certainly used her expertise during her first 6 months with our family. She is very intentional with our children, taking care to consider how her words and actions affect them and our family. Her ability to consistently have patience with them is incredible, and she has been a role model to me, showing me how to better engage with them and create trust.
Because I know my children are in her nurturing care during the day, I am able to work away from home without worry, knowing that they are receiving love that I would consider nearly equivalent to a parent’s love.
I consider Ana a true partner in our childcare plan and value her judgment and abilities.
Ana has had several challenges over the past 6 months. First, she has never been far from home and has experienced the expected loneliness of a new place. Despite this and her introverted nature, she has not only made friends in our area but is actively participating in and thriving within several community groups in order to better learn English.
She also has a sick family member home in Colombia which has worried and stressed her at times; however, she continues to manage that stress gracefully by talking with her family regularly so that they know she values and loves them. Lastly, she has four adults in the household, often giving conflicting instruction regarding the care of the children. She never shies away from communication and helps us to communicate better with each other, all the while doing the right thing for the kids. This is despite the fact that English is her second language!
When Ana leaves our home at the end of her first or second year as an au pair, it will truly be a loss for us. She has brought our family, all adults included, closer together and has helped us all to care for and love our children better. She is a constant positive influence on our family and is a true friend to me, asking about my well-being regularly and trying to help me with child-centered tasks, even when she is tired herself. I cannot express how grateful we are to have Ana in our home and hope you will consider her for the award, as she is incredibly deserving yet very humble.