Amazing Au Pairs, Au Pair of the Year

2018 Au Pair of the Year

Au Pair of the Year (1)The recipient of this year’s International Au Pair Award, given by International Au Pair Association (IAPA) was Martin Toth from Au Pair International. Martin is bright and energetic young man from Hungary who has been living with a family in Houston, TX. Soon after joining his host family, the unthinkable occurred. Martin and his host family were forced to deal with devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

Martin’s host family, the Bernosky’s, nominated him for the Au Pair of the Year award because of his service to them, their children, and even their neighbors, during this very difficult time. He has become a member of their family and they don’t know what they will do without him once his time with them comes to an end. For this, and many other reasons, Martin was chosen as the Au Pair of the Year. Below is Martin’s account of his au pair experience and his reaction to being honored with this astounding award.

I am so grateful to have been honored by the International Au Pair Association among such wonderful nominees. I owe a big thank you to my agency Au Pair International. They have been helping along the way and truly being my guiding light. I have to be honest. It hasn’t always been as easy as receiving this amazing reward. But I believe every setback that I have faced in this almost two years is made me who I am today. I could tell stories about difficulties of this job such as:

  • Getting accepted as male au pair
  • Helping out single mom who is going through a divorce in my first year
  • Living with family who vegetarian and adjusting my diet from eating chicken with chicken to well.. something else…
  • Or I could talk about taking care of 3 children and ending up with 5 for a while. And list goes on and on but I am sure every au pair has stories like that for days.

Instead, I just like to share short story, that many au pairs wouldn’t have the chance to tell. In Summer 2017, after spending about a month with my new host family Hurricane Harvey hit our city, Houston which needless to say that turned our life upside down. I’ll be honest, coming from such small country as Hungary I have never had to face anything like that. I still remember the day when we all set in the bathroom tub waiting for the hurricane to pass our street. Fortunately, the actual hurricane didn’t hit the house, but my host family’s home still got flooded and they lost most of their belongings.

After the flood, a lot of work needed to be done around the house. Still don’t know how but my host parents didn’t fall apart after losing most of their belongings. Seeing how brave they acted under those circumstances I knew that I had step it up and help kids through this time. The process of cleaning up after the flood was not easy but we worked hard, stayed united. My host parents and I tried to make sure we make this whole experience as fun as possible for kids, but I mean they all knew how devastating this whole thing is.

They showed great strength by staying positive and helping as much as they could. And I guess the moral of the story is when you sign up for being an au pair there is no limit to what can happen and it is all about standing your ground. I am thankful to my host family for setting a great example how to be great people and show me how to give hope to others when you seemingly lost a lot yourself. I am especially thankful for my host mum who inspires me every day and making it possible for me to receive the International Au Pair of the Year award.

Martin Toth embodies what it means to be an au pair in the U.S. and participate fully in the cultural exchange program. Congratulations to Martin on his award and his service to his host family.

Advertisements
Amazing Au Pairs, Candidates

Why You Should Host a Younger Au Pair

Looking for the Perfect Addition for Your Family? Why You Should Host a Younger Au Pair

Ana Babcinetchi (3)Hosting an au pair is a fantastic childcare option for many families because it is more cost-efficient than daycare and allows host families to participate in a cultural exchange with a young man or woman from another country. Whether you have hosted an au pair previously or are new to the program, you may be wondering what qualities would work best for your family in an au pair candidate. Younger au pairs are a great option for families who would like to add a valuable new member to their household, who can act as both a mother’s helper and a big brother or sister to the children. Hosting a younger au pair is a great option for many host families, and here’s why:

Younger au pairs are energetic: One of the best qualities that younger au pairs possess is great energy and excitement. They enjoy caring for children of all ages and have the stamina to keep up with busy schedules, sports activities, tidying up, and playing games.

 

Age does not reflect maturity: Although younger au pairs may seem inexperienced by American standards, most of the younger candidates who apply for the program have extensive hours from a variety of previous childcare experiences. Most of the candidates also come from large families and have spent years caring for their younger siblings and cousins. They may only be 18 or 19-years old, but they have developed great maturity from their work and personal experience. The important thing to remember is that an 18-year-old au pair candidate from abroad, is quite different than an 18-year-old American high school graduate.

They are coachable: Since younger candidates are still growing and learning themselves, they have a willingness to experience new things and learn about childcare from their host family. Younger au pairs are still forming how they best relate to children and thus are more willing to accept advice and tips from their host parents.

Although hosting a younger au pair might not be your first choice as a host family, it may very well turn out to be your best choice. One of our current host families, the Notos, explained that age was not a deciding factor at all and they encourage new host families to look for an au pair whose personality and interests best matched with their own family instead. They went on to say that “they would recommend a younger au pair a million percent, because their younger au pair became like a daughter to them, was always excited and willing to play with the kids, and faced every new challenge with determination.”

alessia-liccese2.jpg

If you would like to learn more about our available younger au pair candidates or have questions about the au pair program, contact us today!

Amazing Au Pairs, Candidates, Cultural Journey

10 Reasons Why Ukrainian Candidates Make the Best Au Pairs

Au pairs are a great option for most families with small children. Before choosing the right candidate, you will want to learn more about the cultural differences and lifestyle of your au pair’s home country first.

Ukraineflag

As an au pair, Ukrainians have several advantages you might be surprised to learn:

  1. Family values: Each Ukrainian family is rich with customs and traditions, which are passed down from generation to generation,creating cohesion and warm relations between parents and their children. Au pair participants from Ukraine would love to share these same values with their American family.
  2. Food and culinary skills: In Ukraine, people like to cook and eat delicious meals. You will be delighted with the national Ukrainian cuisine. In addition, home food is healthy because it is cooked with natural products and ingredients. Your au pair may teach you how to cook borsch or cook vareniki with your children; it is fun and enjoyable!
  3. Sports: In Ukraine, every child is fond of sports from an early
    age, so your au pair will be physically active. Many young men and woman have experience doing gymnastics, dancing, and playing tennis.
  4. Experience working with children: On an average, Ukrainian families have two or three children. Older ones take responsibility for caring and educating younger siblings, so your au pair already has priceless experience from babysitting in their own family.
  5. Needlework: In Ukrainian schools, there are particular classes, where kids learn to draw, sew, sculpt, and knit. Au pairs will teach your kids to make interesting handmade arts and crafts, and share their unique hobbies with them.
  6. Music: In Ukraine, most of the children attend music schools and usually can play at least one instrument. Your au pair may share these skills with your children too.
  7. Swimming: Almost every Ukrainian au pair can swim well: some visit the pool, others improve their skills while traveling to the sea or river. These skills may be useful during a vacation with children.
  8. Driving: Ukrainian au pairs are cautious and responsible drivers. To get a driving license in Ukraine, you need to pass a written test and a driving test. Ukrainian girls are extremely cautious. They have driving experience on imperfect roads and in traffic congestion in large cities. That’s why parents who are really worried about the safety of their child, should consider choosing a Ukrainian au pair.
  9. Diligence: In Ukrainian families, from early childhood, kids are taught to be independent and help their mothers with chores around the house. A Ukrainian au pair will help you maintain the cleanliness and comfort of your home.
  10. Initiative: Ukrainian parents always encourage their children to keep busy. They practice active leisure, trips, and excursions, which allow their children to develop and reach new horizons. In addition, au pairs take initiative and always care about a variety of pastimes. Ukrainian au pairs easily get along with children of any age. They treat them as their own kids-with care, attention, and love, so your children will always enjoy themselves around their au pair.

heartNow you understand why Ukrainian au pairs are appreciated not only in the USA, but all over the world. They will provide you and your kids with diligence and will have a responsible attitude towards their duties. You will definitely not regret hosting a Ukrainian candidate as your au pair!

To search for available Ukrainian au pairs, please visit the following link and type the search term “Ukraine”. Search For Au Pairs

Amazing Au Pairs, Candidates

Why You Should Choose An Italian Au Pair

Hosting an au pair is a great childcare option for many families. As you begin considering this cultural exchange program, you may be wondering what country you would like to learn more about. If you are looking for an au pair, you really should consider choosing an Italian girl for the following reasons:

SENSE OF FAMILY

In Italy, family time is very important and all family members spend a lot of time together. Usually Italian girls help their mothers with house duties. Moreover, their experience as babysitters starts very early, because in Italian families it’s common for older siblings to take care of younger siblings and cousins. Of course, this is just a starting point through which they develop their passion for children, and later on they may end up working as babysitters, educational entertainers (in summer camps, church, etc.) and as homework helpers.

FUN AND CREATIVE

Your kids will definitely have a good time with an Italian au pair because they are funny and creative. They have a good imagination and know how to capture children’s attention with original activities. They usually organize arts and crafts, and enjoy playing games in English.

CARE AND AFFECTION

Italian au pairs are really sweet and caring. Children become fond of them fast, as they play the role of a bigger sister, and treat them with kindness like a family member.

RESPONSIBLE DRIVING

To obtain a standard driving license in Italy, applicants must be at least 18, as well as provide a medical certificate for eyesight, mental health, and physical condition. Obtaining a driver’s license in Italy is very expensive and includes a written test and a driving exam. Italians consider themselves to be good drivers, as they must learn to drive in difficult conditions, including driving on crowded main roads and dealing with traffic jams.

GOOD MEALS

Last but certainly not least, if you like Italian food you don’t need to go out to eat at Italian restaurants anymore, because you will have your own personal chef at home! Besides preparing excellent meals for your kids, they can teach you how to make an excellent tiramisù or a homemade lasagna!

If you’re ready to welcome an au pair into your home, consider hosting an Italian candidate! We promise you won’t be disappointed! From the beautiful language to fascinating culture, hosting an Italian au pair will be a great experience for your family.

To see a list of the Italian candidates we currently have available to match, please visit our candidates page and type in the search term “Italy”!

 

Uncategorized

Here’s Why Your Family Should Consider Hosting a Male Au Pair:

Are you considering enriching your children’s lives by hosting an au pair in your home? Good for you AND your family! Take a moment to envision your expectations and concept of an au pair. You’re right, females are most commonly associated with the role of a childcare provider, but have you considered bringing a different perspective to your home by hosting a male au pair?

It’s possible that you don’t know anyone who’s hosted an au pair yet, so you can get “insider” information on the program, not to mention someone who has hosted a male au pair. Our friend and API host mom of a male au pair, Lynn P. can help with that! Here are some helpful insights she shared with API:

As a single mom with two sons, Lynn considered choosing a male au pair because “It was important for me to have a male au pair as they needed someone who could help them navigate the ins and outs of growing up and changing bodies. Plus, a male role model would be beneficial for them in navigating the social world. I also hoped he would play sports with them and engage in more outdoor activities […]”

She feels that a male au pair brings a different perspective to childcare in her home by talking “[…] to them in a no-nonsense way and discusses perspectives from both an identity and cultural bias.”

Other benefits Lynn sees to hosting a male au pair are “he pitches in to help bring in groceries and carrying heavy items. […] He likes to help out, plus my boys are helping out more simply by his example.”

Her advice to other families considering hosting a male au pair is to not be hesitant as “[…] he can be a great role model for your sons.”

Now you have some “insider” information to help you decide if a male au pair is a good fit for your family. All of our au pairs have hundreds of hours of experience, at minimum, and are well-prepared through our training program. Our au pairs are also approved through our multi-level screening process, for peace of mind. Visit our website (www.aupairint.com) today for more detailed information about our program and all available au pairs.

Available Male Au Pairs

Are you in need of affordable, live-in childcare? Au Pair International is fortunate to work with some amazing partners that help our host families introduce different cultures to their children! Together, we are currently featuring the following male au pairs who are seeking host families in the U.S. Upon clicking on their photos, you will be taken to their personal profile on our website. If you have any questions or would like more information on becoming a host family, please do not hesitate to contact us! Chat live with a knowledgeable Placement Coordinator today!

 

 

 

Pages from Valencia Cosme_Photo albumArcila Brinez_photo_Page_1SaridasTahir_ID PhotoPages from Solaligue_Photo AlbumPages from Silva Piedrahita_Photo Albu

Uncategorized

The Wonders of Winter

Sometimes I envy those that live in states that boast warm weather all year ‘round, with not much change in seasons. Then, some of the first snowflakes start to fall and the landscape takes on a beautiful blanket of pure, quiet, calming white! Yes, it is cold and slippery and seals the fate of any fading foliage, but there is something serene about seeing the Rocky Mountains, pine trees and fields outlined in white. Kids can’t wait to create something from the phenomenon that’s fallen from the sky, and one of the first things that comes to my mind are the holidays that winter brings with it. Even though the retail stores have been reminding us of the holidays since Halloween ended, seeing the snow fall when winter arrives really reminds me of the spirit of the season.

rocky-mountain-national-park-3-972897-m

With winter brings time off from school for the kids. Of course it can be a challenge to keep them busy as they are now mostly inside where it is warmer. This is when our box of craft materials and board games come in handy! We also bake and decorate cookies, write letters and catch up on reading, not to mention a few Christmas movies here and there! Snowball fights, snowmen and snow forts are not abundant as of yet, but they are impending!

Here are some ideas to help keep the kids busy:

  • Reuse a jar to make snow globes
  • Make a hot chocolate bar with various fixings (marshmallows, sprinkles, whipped cream, etc.)
  • Various handprint crafts
  • Stuff an old sock with rice and shape into a snowman. Add various adornments (buttons, scarf, etc.)
  • Snowman bowling (make snowmen out of recycled materials)
  • Reuse pinecones and adorn with sparkles, etc. to make a decorated tree
  • Reuse items and string together for garland

Please visit our Pinterest page for more winter activity ideas.

Of course, my family’s most anticipated event of the entire year is coming on December 25th! We will celebrate Christmas by being around family (which always includes food), singing and listening to Christmas music, taking the “Polar Express” (our 4×4 truck) around to view how others have decorated their homes with lights and such, and generally trying to uphold the magic of the season. I was thrilled to hear what my kids have learned at school about a few other holidays celebrated in America, and I love that everything is turned into a learning experience!

denver-city-and-county-building-956761-m

 

More information on some of the holidays coming up can be found here: Christmas     Hanukkah       Kwanzaa     New Year’s Eve

I know I am very fortunate to have a wonderful, healthy family, and the ability to live my piece of the American Dream, so every year, my family decides on how we will give back. Though we make similar choices throughout the year, we feel compelled to do more over the coming holidays. Although it never feels like it’s enough, we do what we can to help make Christmas special for others. It brings a smile to our faces knowing that we brought the same to others. I hope that during this busy season, others remember those that are not as fortunate.

I hope that all of our wonderful au pairs and host families are sharing their seasonal traditions, songs, recipes and games with each other. Moments like that are what makes this program so unique and life-altering! Enjoy each other over the holidays and find the wonders of winter! Wishing you the happiest of holidays and a joyous new year!

christmas-tree-6-1409596-m

Uncategorized

Autumn Greetings!

Autumn is upon us! For most of the country, that means the end of flip-flops and tank tops. Who’s ready for comfy jeans and sweatshirts? That’s right, fall is my favorite season! Who can blame me when a trip to anywhere in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, boasts bold, fall colors on every mountainside? It is truly breathtaking!

maroonbellswilderness-area-369194-m

This is the time of year when Major League Baseball (MLB) is winding down, and the National Football League (NFL) is gearing up. Seasonal preparations start for the home, and subconscious thoughts of the holidays start with every suggestion from the media and retail marketing (seems like it is earlier every year). The kids are back in school, and the organized chaos has begun!

pumpkin-patch-255345-m

So what’s an au pair and their host family to do with these shorter days and cooler, longer nights? Share your favorite fall activity ideas with us! Here are some of my ideas:

  • Scavenger Hunt with media device or item collection
  • Create an obstacle course
  • Map out the stars with an app like this: http://www.vitotechnology.com/star-walk.html
  • Outdoor game (kickball, whiffle ball, soccer, basketball, etc.)
  • Build a fort (recycled boxes, chairs and sheets/blankets)
  • Take a nature walk, pointing out seasonal changes
  • Traditional game from your childhood
  • Collect different fallen leaves for art projects
  • Act out a favorite poem or short story
  • Trace each other’s shadow in different poses with chalk
  • Traditional games with different rules
  • Four-square
  • Visit the API Pinterest page for more fall activity ideas http://www.pinterest.com/aupairsquare/

 autumn-leaves-645876-m

Bring us along on your journey!

We’d love to hear about your au pair experience with API! 

Join the conversation FBicon

AU PAIR INTERNATIONAL REQUESTS THAT YOU DON’T POST PHOTOS OF YOUR HOST CHILDREN ON ANY SOCIAL MEDIA SITE.