June 11, 2024

Congratulations to our 2024 Au Pair of the Year finalists!

Meet standout au pairs from around the world

9 minutes

Each year, the Au Pair of the Year competition allows us to honor outstanding au pairs who significantly impact their host families and reflect the spirit of the program. While the essays submitted by families describe lots of different reasons why au pairs are beloved, all of them reveal how much an au pair can transform a family.

We’re delighted to announce that this year, nearly 600 host families nominated their au pairs for the award. As part of their submissions, each host parent submitted heartfelt essays and photos which were carefully reviewed by a dedicated team at Cultural Care Au Pair.

With so many incredible au pairs, it’s always hard to narrow it down. So in 2024, we’re excited to announce we have 19 finalists from 19 different countries worldwide.

Congratulations to the 2024 finalists for their exceptional dedication and commitment as au pairs. Read on to learn more about what makes these au pairs awesome.

Argentina: Alma Herran Avila

Au pair Alma Herran Avila is a testament to the power of cultural exchange!

“To share her culture with our family and the community, Alma created a beautiful booth at our school’s “Cultur-ama” Fair. She handmade cookies, called alfajores, and made us all Argentine fútbol shirts with our names on the back. The booth was a huge hit, sparking discussions about the country’s food, culture, and customs.”

—The Faddis Family in Virginia

Austria: Naomi Melanie Nuemann

With her caring, compassionate demeanor, au pair Naomi shows how powerful the bond between au pairs and their host kids can be.

“Naomi takes care of our two children—who are 5 and 2—with ease, and they frequently tell her that she is ‘the best au pair ever!’ My niece and daughter often pretend to be Naomi during play because they look up to her and love her so much. My husband and I work long hours at the hospital, and it is so comforting to know that our children are well cared for and safe under her supervision.”

—The Lentz Family in Colorado

Brazil: Rafaela Carneiro Monteiro

Au pair Rafa blended seamlessly into her host family, sharing her own culture and learning about theirs.

“Rafa was willing to join us for new adventures, from apple picking to college football games, kids music concerts and sporting events, and eating venison my husband brought home from his hunting trips to taking the kids, on her own, to our local fishing spot. In return, we enjoyed Brazilian food and parties hosted at our house. We love hearing our kids sing Brazilian songs, and some of our daughter’s first words were  Portuguese.”

—The Wright Family in Michigan

Chile: Diana Gomez Martinez

Diana is a reminder that an au pair can truly become one of the family, a bond that lasts a lifetime.

“As we walked on the pier, played in the sand and watched her ride the Ferris wheel with our kids, she felt truly felt like our older daughter. Since then, she has had an incredibly positive impact on our kids.”

—The Gookin Family in California

Colombia: Paula Andrea Orozco Rodriguez

Between teaching the Spanish language to sharing her favorite dishes, au pair Paula is truly an ambassador of cultural exchange!

“Through daily integration of the Spanish language, our daughters, now 6 and 2 years old, frequently speak, sing, and comprehend basic Spanish. They request Latin songs by name and fearlessly move to a Latin beat. Every holiday and birthday, Pau crafts heartfelt cards and gifts, recently surprising our daughters with custom blankets and pillows from Colombia. In our cultural exchange, Pau has shared delicious Colombian dishes (favorites: bandeja paisa and ajiaco) and celebrated Colombian holidays/customs like Colombian Independence Day and the lighting of candles for día de las velitas.”

—The Welch Family in Texas

Czechia: Natalie Vavrova

An au pair like Natalie can be an incredible role model for their host kids!

“With boundless patience, she has guided [our daughter] through crucial milestones, imparting invaluable life skills with every interaction. Whether it’s teaching her the importance of hygiene through handwashing rituals, naming the parts of her body, or instilling empathy and responsibility through caring for our beloved pets, Natalie’s nurturing presence has left a permanent mark on our daughter’s growth and character.”

—The Reeve Family in Washington

France: Soline Joy Coraline Feraud

Originally from France, Soline shows just how much fun and warmth an au pair can bring to a host family.

“Soline is truly a big sister to our three children. Whether it’s snuggling in bed reading books, running around the backyard with super soakers, learning to ski together, or sharing our favorite parts of our days at the dinner table, the kids adore spending time with her.”

—The Eddy Family in Rhode Island

Germany: Jana Kunt

Au pair Jana has made the very most of her time in the USA by traveling to over 20+ states, making incredible friendships with her fellow au pairs and building a strong bond with her host kids.

“Our family is unique in that we have three children and three generations under one roof. I knew it would take an incredibly special human to truly fit in with our crew. Thankfully, Jana is patient, empathetic, passionate and thoughtful. She found a way to fill a gap in our family and made us complete. She has made the U.S. her home for this year and feels confident enough to travel solo or serve as a guide for her visiting loved ones.”

—The Martell Family in Delaware

Hungary: Leona Rebeka Varga

As her host family grew larger, au pair Leona embraced the challenge and showed up with love and care.

“A significant moment when we truly felt she was a part of our family was during the birth of our second son, two months into her au pair year. Leona stepped up without hesitation, helping my sister care for our two-year-old while we were in the hospital with the new baby. Her presence and support during such a pivotal time cemented her place in our hearts as more than just an au pair.”

—The Guoynes Family in Maryland

Italy: Giorgia Barreca

Especially around the holidays, au pair Giorgia shows us what a rich, fulfilling experience sharing our cultures can be!

“Giorgia has immersed herself in the cultural exchange that comes with this program— eager to share her traditions and to understand ours. We are a Jewish family, and Giorgia immediately embraced the opportunity to learn about and celebrate various Jewish holidays with us, including Passover, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, and Purim. Whether it’s helping to prepare a seder plate or making hamentashen with the kids, she soaked up every experience with curiosity and enthusiasm. Similarly, she happily treated us to several Italian desserts, such as tiramisu (thoughtfully making an espresso-free batch for the kids!), panettone, and Colomba cake.”

—The Dubs Family in New York

Mexico: Mayra Matta de la Rosa

With her deep understanding of her host kids and their emotions—especially when their dad was deployed—Mayra demonstrates an au pair’s positive impact in a home.

“My husband deployed while she was here. Deployments are extremely hard on children, especially young ones that know enough to be aware that daddy is not here but do not understand why or for how long. The kids were having a tough time, but Mayra has been with them through every emotion. She goes above and beyond to make them feel safe and secure when they’re upset.”

—The Wilkins Family in California

The Netherlands: Britt Gerber

Between her can-do attitude and fun-loving spirit, Britt is a reminder of the power of family and friendship.

“Britt is so thoughtful and goes out of her way to celebrate birthdays/anniversaries/holidays. She stays up late to decorate the house for everyone’s birthday and buys the most thoughtful gifts. My kids love, trust and enjoy having Britt in our home and as part of our lives. She has made our lives so much better in many ways.”

—The Polak Family in Tennessee

Poland: Patrycja Szubart

Patrycja is a cherished role model and big sister for her three host kids!

“With every interesting fruit-flavored dessert we offered her, weird-looking food we asked her to try, ill-fitting outfit we asked her to wear, terrible movie we asked her to watch, horrendous song we forced her to listen to, and 3am alarm to catch a 5am flight, she always jumped at the opportunity to spend time with us with a mix of courage and coffee.”

—The Rao Family in Texas

Slovakia: Nina Petrova

Au pair Nina shows how life-changing a cultural exchange experience can be for both them and their host kids!

“Hailing from Slovakia, Nina has eagerly shared her heritage with us through various traditions and customs. One of the most memorable moments was during the holiday season when Nina introduced us to the Slovakian tradition of Mikuláš, complete with chocolates and festive celebrations. Through these cultural exchanges, Nina has not only broadened our children’s perspectives but has also fostered a deeper sense of appreciation for diversity within our family unit.”

—The Becher Family in Nevada

South Africa: Nonjabulo Mkize

Au pair Nonjabulo (Sammy) has not only won over her host family but their extended family members and friends from their congregation!

“Sammy instantly blended in with our family, adapting to our routines with ease. She brought an experienced and helpful hand to managing our four children, knowing just what to do without being asked, so that there were less things to think about and more enjoyment in our time together.”

—The Caviness family in Ohio

Spain: Clara Isabel Garrido Rodriguez

Au pair Clara has become a trusted caregiver for her host daughters, and her warmth has helped the family thrive.

“What makes Clara truly amazing is that she helps my husband and I be better parents. We both work full time and knowing Clara has everything taken care of is what allows this family to function. Beyond taking the girls to their activities, knowing exactly what foods they like (no small feat with a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old), and planning playdates with their friends, she teaches them Spanish, exposes them to new music, and makes them feel safe.”

—The Ackerman Family in New York

Sweden: Per Simon Lars Eriksson

As a “bro” pair, Simon is equal parts fun and caring with his host kids!

“He not only gives [our four-year-old] plenty of cuddles, cozy reading, nail-painting and all the stereotypical girly things, but he also shows her his crazy back flips, dangles her upside down, lifts her up in the air like a cheerleader, and chases her around like a pro.”

—The Devroye Family in Illinois

Switzerland: Ranjana Flurina Summermatter

Au pair Ranjana knows how to treat each host kid as an individual, learning about what makes them each wonderful and unique.

“My husband and I have a total of 4 children. We adopted two children with special needs from foster care. They have very different needs from our biological children…She understands and notices the vast difference of how a child with trauma and a child without trauma behave and function.”

—The Johnson Family in Colorado

UK: Katie Elizabeth Cowan

From bringing British culture to the USA to supporting the birth of her host kid, au pair Katie has truly become part of the Rocker family!

“We interviewed Katie when we were pregnant, which meant we got to send her pictures as soon as Hudson was born. She fell in love with him from day one and has continued to love him ever since. Katie’s time with us will come to a close later this summer, and while we are so excited for her next chapter, we can’t imagine our lives or our home without her.”

—The Rocker Family in New Jersey