Go Au Pair is the #1 Best rated Au Pair Agency for 2013.

This week Au Pair Clearinghouse announced that Go Au Pair is the #1 Best rated Au Pair Agency for 2013 year again.

A consumer information website for Host Families, AuPairClearingHouse com, rates, reviews and compares au pair agencies in the United States by conducting host family satisfaction surveys and ratings. A recent survey conducted by the Au Pair Clearinghouse showed  Go Au Pair came out on top this year as the best Au Pair agency!

Go Au Pair #1Go Au Pair having above average ratings in many areas. The agency has many happy host families,  please read many reviews on citysearch.com

“I would recommend this service, and specifically Go Au Pair to anyone, and would share with you that based on my detailed research, the Go Au Pair program is approximately 1/3 the cost of nanny’s and/or daycare. Further, the real benefits of having someone live in your house, and be involved in what I would call the “small times or spaces” is invaluable. This has allowed me to maintain the best possible relationship with my young children, while they receive advanced training from young people who often have learned more than I have about childhood development methods.

Not to mention the benefits of cross-cultural education which is invaluable.”

Go Au Pair  provides exceptional customer service.  Go Au Pair team has a passion for their work, the team goes the ‘extra mile’ to prevent many issues.  Go Au Pair likes to have a feedback and listen about customer needs.

Go Au Pair provides support to Host Families from the time of the initial inquiry consistently throughout the year. Go Au Pair team wants to be sure that clients get a timely and informed response to their needs, and has the solid relationship with host families and Au Pairs.

Go Au Pair’s Au Pairs have been named  “Best in the World” by IAPA (International Au Pair Association). We have many happy Au Pairs. Recently Go Au Pair starts an inclusive Go Au Pair program to connect and support Au Pairs – Go Au Pair Sis.

Also, Go Au Pair offers some exclusive resources:

Au Pair Preview
Choose Your Au Pair’s Arrival Dates
Choose Your Own Customizable Au Pair Payment Plan
Read more here

Go Au Pair 11

An Au Pair and special needs children.

Many Au Pairs have some experience working with children with special needs.  Some Au Pairs are interested in working with special needs children and learning about special needs. They may want the experience for a future career and education.

special needs children

Go Au Pair agency has many available Au Pairs who are willing to work with special needs children.  The family can learn about an Au Pair previous experience of working with children with special needs during the matching process.

For example, an experienced with special needs children nanny and a teacher, an Au Pair from Mexico, Monica.

Monica is a 24 year old, a college graduate, and an infant qualified nanny. Monica has a lot of experience with kids all ages,  she worked in daycare, as a teacher, and as a nanny. She has worked as a nanny with a kid that was handicap, and with children with down syndrome.

Monica loves kids, she said, “I really enjoy the time with the kids and I like being a role model for them. I studied psychology and I have been working with kids since I was 15. I always knew since I was little that I wanted to work with kids.”

Monica

Go Au Pair had  a positive experience with the Au Pairs who were working with special needs children in the past. The agency had many Au Pairs who were doing a great job and went above and beyond what many nannies would do for children with special needs.

Read what the Rush family said about their experience: “[The Au Pair Mariela] quickly learned how to care for her expertly. She was so gentle the first time she taped the oxygen tubing to Serena’s face that I nearly cried. Mariela willingly participated in additional training in CPR and met with Serena’s Physical and Occupational Therapists each week to learn how to work with Serena. Each day she responsibly worked on the exercises the therapists assigned. Serena’s excellent progress (she was able to eat normally and began to gain weight) was possible only because of Mariela’s loving and diligent care.”Mariela-and-Baby

The IAPA Au Pair of the Year was awarded to one of Go Au Pair’s outstanding au pairs–Mariela Poveda.  She cared for a special needs girl and did a great job. Please, watch the movie.

Au Pairs experiencing a new culture in the USA.

Au Pair child care is a cultural experience through full time live-in child care. Cultural exchange is the foundation of the Au Pair program. Host Families welcome an Au Pair from another country into their home and learn about another culture from their Au Pair.

An Au Pair has the chance to learn about life in the U.S. while exploring the country, attending classes and immersing yourself in the English language. Learn more

Being an Au Pair is a learn and earn opportunity for young people who are looking to get the chance to earn money and learn new experience in a family setting.

First of all,  this is a responsible job. According to US Department of State AU Pair Program Regulations, Au Pair participants are obligated to provide child care services to not more than 10 hours per day or more than 45 hours per week.

Secondary, Au pairing is about the experience of living in another culture. Au Pair program is an opportunity to learn  language and explore a new culture.   Au Pairs enjoy the experience of a lifetime living with a Host Family, speaking English, being able to study in an American University, and volunteering with friends.
It is also chance to travel together with new friends through the US and explore a new country. Au Pairs love meeting new people, experiencing new things and making new friends.

Au Pairs cook healthy food with kids.

Talking about  healthy eating and forming good habits, mentioned in the previous post, will take time and  also a lot of effort.

Let kids cook healthy food with Au Pairs.  Au Pairs may help in teaching  host families’  kids to cook healthy food and much more. They will teach kids healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime!

As a new project,  Au Pairs may plan healthy meals together with host kids and host parents, and find new recipes.  Healthy meals prepared from scratch usually contain more nutrients and fewer calories. Au Pairs may take kids shopping for the vegetables or maybe even use veggies from a vegetable garden.

It is important to keep the recipe simple. Au Pairs will teach kids to follow the directions and measure the ingredients.   Kids not only are being entertained while cooking , they will also learn a lot – reading, counting, fractions, budgeting, weighing, measuring, problem-solving, sharing, fine motor skills and much more – eating  fresh healthy food. Kids will be far more likely to eat vegetables if they helped cook them.

Au Pairs may also show the kids how to make a recipe from their home country. They can  teach kids about their culture through food.
Kids are much more likely to eat what they make. Is there anything more fun than eating your own art project?

Start a vegetable garden with an Au Pair.

Many of my host parents complain that their kids don’t eat vegetables and ask how to encourage kids to eat more vegetables.

If you have a space in your back yard, why not start a vegetable garden with an Au Pair?

The new project makes children spend quality time growing vegetables with an Au Pair. They will spend time in the fresh air and learn  firsthand about how to grow veggies and even some fruits, for example strawberries.

There are many other benefits to this project:

  • educate children about how vegetables are grown,
  • give kids the experience of growing a garden,
  • help develop new skills and responsibility,
  • bring a sense of accomplishment and contribution to the home,
  • see the magic of watching something grow,
  • promote healthy eating habits and nutritional food,
  • cook and eat the vegetables they harvest.

Kids usually are very attached to the products of their own efforts.  They will eat almost any vegetable that they have grown or harvested themselves.

A host mom from Go Au Pair, who is a doctor and has three small kids,  posted a very interesting post about encouraging kids to eat more vegetables. She  said that, “Maybe, buying bowls and dishes with vegetable pictures on it will help vegetable consumption at home.”  Please read more at Getting Kids to Eat More Vegetables.

How to welcome your new Au Pair.

Here are several tips for the  Host Family  on how to welcome a new Au Pair when she arrives.

  • Have their room ready and clean with a waste paper basket and laundry basket .
  • Prepare a welcome sign made by the children and a small arrival gift or basket
  • Ask about their room (do they have everything they need).
  • Help them call home to let their parents know they are now with their host family
  • Ask them how you can make them feel welcome in regards to cultural differences, food, customs, etc.
  • Spend the entire first week showing them everything in your home and in the neighborhood.
  • Introduce your au pair to your neighbors and friends.
  • Ask your au pair questions about their home, their country, their family, and ask to see the pictures they brought with them.
  • Give her a few days to unpack, rest and become acclimated to the host family’s home.

Help your au pair feel welcome and that they are truly part of your family.

                             

You can find more information about  how to welcome your new Au Pair here

Which country is the best au pair from?

From an Au Pair mom.

(Anna T., a host mother and an author of articles about hosting an au pair: How to hire an au pairHow to save money on an au pair programHow to welcome your new au pair.)

Does it matter which country is an au pair from?

 Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries, and very popular are Argentine,  Brazilian, Chinese, Colombian, French, South Korean, Mexican, Russian, Salvadorian, South African, Thai and Ukrainian Au Pairs.

Faced with so many choices of au pair candidates, it is only natural for a host family to look for a way to narrow the search down. A question many au pair agency staff and local counselors hear from host families is, tell us

which countries the best au pairs come from.

 The real answer is – it depends. The best au pair for one family can be a bad fit for another family. A lot depends on the personality and experience of the individual au pair. But there are also some common traits and cultural values that shape candidates from different countries

Cultural differences, not to be confused with stereotypes, are the result of an upbringing in a different country, with its own culture, religion and values. For example, au pairs from many Latin American countries typically have close family relationships, and are very affectionate and loving with children, and believe in God. Au pairs from Asia take their job extremely seriously, and value education.

There are also differences shaped by the living conditions in a country, that are not cultural. For example, in some Asian countries it might not be common for young women to drive or own a car, so au pairs from those countries might be not very experienced drivers.

In some countries the economic divide between rich and poor is so great, that every middle class family has a maid, so an au pair from such a country might not have a clue about simple domestic tasks (but might be perfectly willing and excited to learn!).

In more prosperous countries it might be easier for a high school graduate to pay for applying to the au pair program, and less lucrative to do so for a college graduate – so the candidate pool from such countries might be considerably younger.

Another factor in family country preference is personal experience, or experience of others.
For experienced host families, their preference for a certain country might be shaped by their personal experience with the au pair program. After an unsuccessful match, it is natural to avoid candidates from the same area of the world, for the next few years, or forever.

Or conversely, after good luck with candidates from a certain country, it is natural to look to repeat the same experience. Ease, difficulty or speed of obtaining au pair visas also varies from country to country. This factor can also dictate country choice for au pair host families.

Au pair agencies keep statistics of the percentage of au pairs from each country who drive, who are under two qualified, who are college graduates, who obtain visas. If a family wants to narrow down the choice of countries, it can be helpful to speak to the agency representative when trying to figure out candidates from which countries might be the best fit for the family childcare needs.

How can I choose an Au Pair without interviewing her in person?

From an Au Pair mom.

(Anna T., a host mother and an author of articles about hosting an au pair: How to hire an au pairHow to save money on an au pair programHow to welcome your new au pair.)

This was one of the questions I had when I was first considering hiring an au pair. Making a commitment to live with someone for a year and entrust my children to her, based on reading her application, emails and phone conversations seemed risky. After all, I was accustomed to interviewing prospective pediatricians for my children by personal appointment, visiting potential daycares, personally interviewing babysitters and nannies.
At the time I started hosting au pairs, internet video conferencing services such as Skype were not so widely available. We hired our first several au pairs after phone and email conversations only.
Nowadays, the lack of a true in-person interview is not such an obstacle, because using Skype or another video conferencing tool can serve as an adequate substitute for an in-person interview most of the time. Moreover, during Skype sessions you can “meet” au pair’s family, pets, see how she lives.
Another consideration is that even when interviewing a local caregiver in person, usually you have much less information about them than you do about an au pair. For examples, Go Au Pair agency does a great job of gathering and presenting information about au pair candidates to families. A typical au pair dossier consists of dozens of pages of references, questionnaires, interview reports, medical files, photos and a personal essay.
Many agencies have started adding videos to the application, where an au pair can do a video presentation of herself in addition to her application. If studied carefully, the application usually gives an accurate impression of the au pair’s background, personality and experience.
In my experience, most of the time, the impression conveyed by reading an au pair’s application was confirmed during subsequent interviews and, if we matched, during her stay with us.
For those families that still prefer an in-person interview, there is an option of hiring only in-country au pairs. There is a limited pool of au pair candidates that are in transition from other families or are extending their stay for 6, 9 or 12 months with another family. Depending on the family’s location, many of those candidates can be interviewed in-person.
When choosing a caregiver for your child, whether by an in-person interview or from overseas, it is important to carefully examine your family’s needs and make sure that the decision is made carefully and all the questions and doubts are resolved prior to hiring an au pair.

An Au Pair is more than a nanny.

Many of  host families  from Go Au Pair found the program because they were looking for a better child care option.

An Au Pair is so much more than just a nanny. It is like having a big sister or cousin available that loves children unconditionally. They come from all over the world to live with the family and provide child care and a cultural exchange. They can help with laundry, meal preparation, car pooling, and light housekeeping for children.

But they would love to do much more:

~> arts & craft, coloring, puzzles,
~>reading, dancing, singing,
~>going to parks, zoos, museums,
~>playing lots of sports,
~>teaching  their language,
~>introducing their culture,
~>preparing  the home country’s dishes for the whole family.

Au pairs can be less expensive than nannies. Live-in Au Pairs are also a more flexible option for busy parents. Parents set the schedule with the Au Pair, so it’s much easier to handle last-minute child care needs. Au pairs live as a member of the family, so parents also get the peace of mind knowing that kids are at home with a qualified, trusted “family member”.

Many au pairs are professional teachers, and have years of early childhood education, pedagogical education, and experience with babies, groups of children and babies, even infant multiples. I’ve seen au pair applications of young women who were nurses in NICU, who were daycare teachers handling ten babies alone all day, who were college graduate licensed kindergarten teachers with several years of work experience, and women who worked as nannies for years in their home countries. 

Au Pairs are mature, enthusiastic, unique individuals who choose to come to the United States to caring for children. Au Pairs are more than care providers; they are role models, mentors, teachers, coaches, cheerleaders, big brothers, big sisters and friends.

The best proof of the quality of aupair childcare

From an Au Pair mom.

(Anna T., a host mother and an author of articles about hosting an au pair: How to hire an au pairHow to save money on an au pair programHow to welcome your new au pair.)

The best proof of the quality of aupair childcare is success of the au pair program in your local community.

To help address my concerns about au pairs as childcare providers for babies and toddlers, my local au pair agency coordinator gave me a phone number of a mother with children of similar ages to mine, who was successfully hosting au pairs. Talking to her, asking her questions, helped me witness the success of the au pair program with young children.

Now that some of my children attend preschool, I see other families there who host au pairs, and seeing these young women lovingly interact with their charges during dropoff and pickup, arranging playdates with them outside of school, is the best argument for the au pair program. There are less than forty children in this school, and even fewer families; and not all families have both parents working. Among the two working parent families, there are four who are currently hosting au pairs (two of them are families with multiples!), a fifth family is due to receive their first au pair in a few months, and another single working parent seriously considering the au pair option.

Seeing is believing! My first au pair was offered a part time babysitting gig on the spot when another mother observed her with my children on the playground (of course she had to decline because program regulations don’t allow her to work for pay for anyone else but me). My other au pair was a licensed and experienced teacher in Brazil, and she was offered to substitute teach at my children’s preschool if another teacher was sick, during the times my kids were in school. She could not take a job doing that, but she volunteered her time there.

If you are a family thinking about getting your first au pair and are not as lucky as I am to live in an area where the program is so popular that you can see au pairs in action in your school or your neighborhood, call you local au pair agency coordinator and ask them to put you in touch with host families in your area. Talking with another host family about their experience might be all the convincing you need to start a rich new chapter in the life of your family and to invite your first au pair into your home.

Anna T., a host mother and an author of articles about hosting an au pair: How to hire an au pairHow to save money on an au pair programHow to welcome your new au pair.

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