The Au Pair of the Year Award 2012 to one outstanding Au Pair.

Every year, the International Au Pair Association (IAPA) presents the Au Pair of the Year Award to one outstanding Au Pair. The recipient of this prestigious award is determined by an essay nomination provided by Host Families from around the world. 

Go Au Pair has started to collect such essays from Host Families for IAPA’s 9th Annual Au Pair of the Year Award.

Eligibility

1. The nomination is an essay written by you, the Host Family, describing the characteristics that make your Au Pair exceptional (see tips below). The essay should be from 500 to 850 words (about 1 page single spaced) and written in English
2. Entries must be returned to Go Au Pair no later than December 31, 2011. Only emailed submissions will be accepted. Please email your submission with all related documents and any questions to marketing@goaupair.com.
3. The Au Pair being nominated for the award is or was an Au Pair during the year of 2011.
4. Photos are also required and videos are strongly recommended.
5. All entries MUST be accompanied by a signed media release by the Host Family and Au Pair.

Read the additional information.

The eighth IAPA Au Pair of the Year Award will be presented during the IAPA Annual Conference and Work Experience Travel Market which will take place in Budapest, Hungary, March, 2012. The winning Au Pair will receive an all expenses paid trip to attend the Association’s 17th Annual Conference where he/she will be presented with a token prize and commemorative award.

Last year three families from my cluster nominated their Au Pairs for the “Au Pair of the Year Award 2011″. Thanks so much to Host Families who submitted nominations last year!


Congratulations again to the South African Au Pair Karla, Colombian Au Pair Laura, and Russian Au Pair Irina who were nominated last year. It is a great achievement that you can be proud of and remember for years to come!

Go Au Pair offers many discounts.

Go Au Pair agency is highly affordable and significantly less expensive than both daycare and nannies. The cost of an Au Pair is approximately $353 per week or$7.75 per hour regardless of how many children family has. And with many discounts available right now, the cost is much lower.

Go Au Pair agency has very competitive cost in the Au Pair field. Now application fee $250 waived and any family can begin an Au Pair search without a financial obligation.

In addition, Go Au  Pair offers  many discounts for both new and repeat host families. Go Au Pair special discounts are a great way to save money.

Right now the special discount off $100 is being offered only for Philadelphia and NJ area!  

There are many other discounts available.

Every month Go Au Pair features Au Pairs from a select country. Families who match with an Au Pair from our featured country during the month it is highlighted are eligible for $100 discount.

Every month Go Au Pair is pleased to feature our available Au Pairs from different countries. Families who match with an Au Pair from that country receive $100 off the program fees

Host Families who choose a male Au Pair are eligible for our Male Au Pair discount of $100.
Go Au Pair also offers a Pre-Match discount.  Families who find their own out of country Au Pair not currently available at Go Au Pair (pre-match) are eligible for this $250 discount. The Au Pair must meet all of the Go Au Pair screening and training requirements.

Go Au Pair offers a variety of discounts to help make Au Pair child care an affordable solution for Host Families. Eligible families may qualify for one or more discounts  that bring the cost even lower.

An Au Pair is an international ambassador.

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.)

We all know about au pair program’s components – childcare, cultural exchange, education. But one component that is not mentioned often, but has real impact on lives of countless people, is fostering international diplomacy one person at a time. Through personal experiences, and tales of personal experiences, american families, their friends and neighbors, au pairs and their families, friends and neighbors, forge personal relationships that have the power of  bringing countries together.

The impact that an au pair experience can have in this global sense has to be emphasized in preparing both families and au pairs.Au pairs conduct during her year has the power to create a lasting impression of her country and her people.

This impression can be positive – I truly believe that if the first au pair hosting experience is positive for a family, it will make them believers in the program, and will keep the family inviting au pairs despite any subsequent setbacks they may have. These collective host family experiences create, fairly or not, positive stereotypes about au pairs from different countries  – that South Americans are warm and loving, Germans are responsible and good drivers, Chinese au pairs strive academically and respect elders.

Being an international ambassador is also a heavy responsibility. It means that an au pair (and a family) has to think about their personal conduct as not only having to do best for themselves, but also of how it will reflect on their nation, their people and their religion.

Yes, for a young au pair freshly in love it is very tempting to decide that her life is what matters most, and leave the family before her commitment ends. But even if love can’t wait, the responsibility of being an international ambassador for her people dictates the necessity of giving the family enough notice to arrange her replacement. Eloping before completing the one year commitment will also add to the multitude of stories that au pairs from her part of the world are only here to snag a husband.

Yes, it can be tempting to stay in the country for a bit longer than the 30 day grace period after the end of the visa. But the au pair has to reflect that if enough of her compatriots stay illegally and break the visa regulations, it will become impossible for other girls from her country to obtain au pair visas in the future. It will also make American families reluctant to match with au pairs from her country, for fear that they are in the program for wrong reasons – to find a way to immigrate to America.

In the life of young adults away from home for a year, circumstances can change fast and can necessitate their departure from the program unexpectedly. A parent can have a health crisis half-world across, a unique educational or job opportunity can come up suddenly, or a Miss Universe crown can becon.

The most important thing to remember is that au pair’s actions, fairly or not, reflect on people of her country, and stories about her behavior, negative or positive, will outlive her tenure in US by years. Her name will be forgotten, but a story about “that German au pair” or “that Russian au pair” will be propagating.  Any circumstance or situation that life throws at you can be handled with dignity and respect, keeping in mind that your actions affect countless others.

Male Au Pairs or mannies

Go Au Pair has been rapidly increasing its pool of well-trained and screened Au Pair candidates, including many male Au Pairs from all over the world.

There are many benefits for choosing male Aupairs.  Some families find that Male Au Pairs (or ‘mannies,’ as they are frequently called) are easier to deal with than female Aupairs.

Mannies

  • tend to be happier with simpler accommodations
  • are willing to do more of the housework without complaint
  • are more flexible and practical
  • help with children sports practice
  • are creative with game and activities
  •  are becoming male role model for kids
  • don’t get emotional and weepy.

In 2009, Go Au Pair’s male Au Pair Daniel, from South Africa was recognized as one of the 6 international finalists for the Au Pair of the Year Award. Daniel was nominated by his Host Family who said that he “exemplifies the qualities of an excellent Au Pair!” Daniel arrived in the U.S. in March of 2008, and began providing care for two boys, aged 12 and 2. In December 2008, the youngest child was diagnosed with a developmental delay in speech, and Daniel began working with him each day to help develop and improve his language skills.

Although female Au Pairs still ‘dominate the field,’ more and more families are turning to males. Male Au Pairs are becoming especially popular among single moms, who appreciate having male role models for their children.

Top ten reasons to consider working as an au pair

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. Leo Tolstoy

Every year thousands of young people from all over the world consider becoming au pairs.  Au Pairs are enthusiastic unique individuals, who decide to come to the United States and care for children. They consider to start a special journey in their young  years leaving behind the familiarity of their homeland, their parents, siblings and close friends for a long time- one year or two.

 Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries. I have  Argentine,  Brazilian,  Chinese, Colombian, French, Russian, Salvadorian, South African and Ukrainian Au Pairs in my cluster.

Becoming an au pair is a great way to see the world, make new connections with friends and a special bond with the host family. An au pair has the opportunity to explore new places and learn the language, customs and the resident’s way of life, naturally.

But there are many other reasons.

I found this post top ten reasons to consider working as an au pair at Best AuPair Guide.

10. You’re ready to establish close – very close, probably – ties with another family.

9. It’s time for a change of pace – and place.

8. You need a good reason to take a break from college, or something productive to do before or during a career change.

7. You’re bored with life in your home country.

6. You need to get as far away from your family as possible (ok, this was one of my reasons – it may or may not apply to most!)

5. You love foreign accents – and food, and culture….

4. You need a challenge.

3. You’re ready to experience ‘real’ life abroad, without fanny packs and tour guides.

2. You want to actually learn a foreign language – not just your high school teacher’s version of it.

1. It’s time to put that passport to good use.

What is your reason to be an Au Pair?

Bilingual children, Au Pairs, and maintaining a second language

Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries and Au Pairs can be great for helping a child learn or maintain a practical knowledge of a second language. But what happens if a family is between hosting Au Pairs, or hosts an Au Pair who is not a native speaker of a child’s second language?

For children and adults who want to maintain and develop a knowledge of a second language, there are many resources on the internet that help.

For practicing conversation, the modern version of international pen pals are Skype pals – one can meet native speakers of the second language on Skype, for language practice. Many young people in other countries are eager to improve their English, so it is easy to find conversation buddies for practicing second language in exchange for practicing English.

For practicing reading in the second language, there are foreign newspapers and other periodicals that maintain up to date websites with news and articles in other languages. For listening comprehension practice, one can find listings of foreign TV channels’ live internet feeds and foreign radio stations streaming on the internet.

Even after your au pair leaves, command of a second language can remain as a lasting gift for your children.

A comprehensive listing of internet resources for practicing Ukrainian has been put together by Anna T., an au pair host mother, in this article.

Will my baby copy au pair’s accent?

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.)

Will the fact that English is an Au Pair’s second language, make my kids speak with an accent?

Parents of babies may wonder if hiring an au pair whose first language is not English will cause their babies to speak English with an accent.

Those fears are unfounded, and moreover, exposure to a second language with a different phonetic composition is an advantage for babies.

Babies and very young children are in an age window where they can learn to perfectly pronounce sounds that are absent from English. Even if they don’t maintain this ability with constant practice, as adults it will be easier for them to learn and speak a foreign language without an accent or with minimal accent.
There were also studies showing that bilingualism give children a cognitive advantage; or simply speaking, makes kids smarter.
Even if a baby or a young child picks up an accent in English from an au pair, this is a transient effect. The child speaks English with his or her parents, and once the child goes to school, he or she will be immersed in an English speaking environment, and if the accent survives until then, it will quickly disappear.
It is well known that immigrants to America can naturally shed their accents if they arrived before they are 12-14 years of age, even if they speak their native language at home.  Consequently, there is no fear that an american child will maintain a foreign accent, living in America his or her whole life.

A Chinese Au Pair is a great childcare choice.

Go Au Pair recruits Au Pairs from over 60 different countries,  and recently  Chinese Au Pairs have become very common choice among host families from Philadelphia, Bucks County and close NJ.

A Brazilian, Chinese, Colombian, French, Mexican or Russian Au Pair?  Which country is the best au pair from?

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. Please read the post From an Au Pair mom.

Besides a cultural differences there is also a language preference. Many parents understand that having the ability to speak a second language gives their children an advantage in the global marketplace. Mandarin is now the most popular languages in the world.

As my host mom explained to me, Mandarin language was her reason to match with a Chinese Au Pair who will provide child care and at the same time can introduce a new language to her son.

If the family matched with an Au Pair from China, parents don’t have to pay for an expensive lessons. Chinese Au Pair can help children learn Mandarin through study and play.

Many  Chinese Au Pairs have strong English skills and teaching experience. Working as a teacher is a very typical career choice in China before becoming an Au Pair. They love playing with kids, making origami or crafts, having fun and giving piano lessons.

Chinese Au Pairs are family oriented and willing to help with house chores and to cook a delicious and healthy meals. Read the top ten reasons to consider an Au Pair from China

Since Mandarin is becoming the fastest growing languages being learned in schools in the United States, more and more host families now considering a Chinese Au Pair.

Welcome party for new Au Pair Phila!

A new Au Pair Phila from South Africa joined Go Au Pair Philadelphia, Bucks County and close NJ cluster last week.

Her host parents Burke and Nicole, who are with Go Au Pair seven years already, hosted a huge welcome party for Phila.

They invited a whole family, neighbors and Au Pairs from Phila’s cluster.

The welcome party was really welcoming and warm with a lot of smiles and wishes. Nicole, the host mom, cooked delicious homemade dishes and ordered a yummy cake for Phila.

The family had Au pairs from many countries, five Au Pairs were from Thailand. Now they welcome to their house a new Au Pair from South Africa. Their two kids loved Phila right away and the whole family is looking forward to a new family member and a friend for life!

Welcome to the family and to the cluster!

The Au Pair program is a wonderful cultural exchange experience for the host families and an affordable, flexible live-in childcare option.

Over 10.000 total views on Go Au Pair blog

This is the post number 65 and yesterday my cluster’s  Go Au Pair blog covering Philadelphia, Bucks & Montgomery and part of NJ reached over 10,000 total page views .  10,000 views of my blog is a milestone in the past 9 months of blogging. I also had my best  day with 358  views in one day.  Here are a STATS from this blog.

  • 10,028 views all-time
  • 49 views yesterday
  • 358 views on your busiest day, January 14, 2011
  • 65 posts
  • 27 pages
  • 500 comments

Here are the most popular pages pages that have received over 49 hits during my first nine months of running the Go Au Pair blog. These are not 100% accurate since some people read everything from the home page, but I hope that you find this interesting.
Title Views
Home page 2,850
Nomination 2,042
go AU PAIR Philadelphia Amateur Photo Contest “Au Pairs Having Fun” 690
A New Family? 434
About 219
My Au Pair Year 180
Photo Contest 166
Events 163
Welcome! 135
Go Au Pair in Philadelphia and close NJ. Welcome to our world! 117
Video game addiction, is it real? 106
Cookie class 96
From an Au Pair mom 96
No doubt that nanny cost has almost doubled. Lets talk about childcare cost. 89
Au Pair Activity Schedule 83
Being a great Au Pair 79
My Au Pair journey begins. 79
My happy and sad Christmas. 79
AU PAIR’s 2011 RESOLUTIONS. 75
Party Time! 69
New Au Pair Event 69
A fairy-tale story or an Au Pair from Russia. 66
Maybe in distance, but never in heart. 65
I am glad I have an Au Pair. 62
You know you’re an Au Pair in the USA when… 61
My Au Pair work 61
Why hire an Au Pair?- “To find someone who will truly love my children”. 61
An Au Pair for a single parent. 60
Lets speak Russian 59
Au Pairs from Philadelphia and NJ from goAUPAIR blog. Please vote! 59
An Au Pair and the educational requirements. 58
Classes 57
Bonding with the children. 54
The Best Au Pairs! 54
Go Ahead and Ask 52
Asking your future Au Pair the right questions. 50
Host family rules 49

Who are reading the blog? 60% of the readers are  from the USA, mostly from

Pennsylvania (PA) 683
New Jersey (NJ) 240
Utah (UT) 151
Delaware (DE) 138
California (CA) 134
Virginia (VA) 101
New York (NY) 76

From how many countries are my readers? They are from 85 countries! mostly from

 Colombia (CO) 272
 Russian Federation (RU) 102
 South Africa (ZA) 73
 United Kingdom (GB) 72
 Germany (DE) 49
 Brazil (BR) 45
 Canada (CA) 41
 India (IN) 38
 Australia (AU) 36
 Mexico (MX) 35
 Poland (PL) 33
 Spain (ES) 26
 Ukraine (UA) 22

As you reading this blog you probably know that I enjoy working as a LAR for Go Au Pair. This is my second job, but I insist it not a job but a pleasure. 🙂 As Confucius once said: Choose a job you like and you will never have to work a day in your life.

I like to meet new people and promote this amazing program that benefit both host families and au pairs in many ways.  I like writing a blog and I hope that my blog is sometimes helpful and that you enjoy reading it. As my cluster expanded very fast, I believe, this blog helped many families to get to know me better and make the decision to join to my cluster as host family.

I just want to say thanks for checking out my blog, reading posts and leaving comments. I appreciate you stopping by 🙂

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