June 28, 2024

Introducing our 2024 Host Family of the Year

Congratulations to the Bright Family!

3 minutes

At Cultural Care, we’re grateful to our incredible host families who open their homes to au pairs from all over the world. Our annual Host Family of the Year competition allows us to honor families that go above and beyond to support their au pairs throughout their time in the USA. Whether it’s creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere or showcasing the best of American culture, our nominees represent the essence of the au pair program.

This year, hundreds of our au pairs nominated their host families, and all submissions, including essays and photos, underwent careful review by a dedicated team at Cultural Care Au Pair.

Our winner this year is the Bright Family from Philadelphia, PA!

Au pair Issy and the Bright Family are excited about the baby on the way!

Read on to learn what their au pair Issy, originally from the UK, has to say about her life-changing experience being part of the Bright family:

“It’s hard to know just where to begin when talking about my host family. The past 20 months here in the U.S. have been incredible and life changing, and that’s all down to my host parents, Caroline and Joel. When I first arrived nearly 2 years ago, I knew instantly we were a perfect match, but I don’t think I could have imagined the true family I would find in them. There have been so many incredible moments we have shared together: numerous road trips to Vermont, a trip to Canada and a 3-day road trip to Georgia, just to name a few. But one of the trips that stands out the most to me is the 2-week vacation we took to stay with my family in England. Seeing my host kids with the people most special to me was one of the most magical experiences which I will never forget. My 4-year-old host kid still talks about it a year later.

Caroline has been my lifeline in the U.S., and her unwavering support has kept me going through tough times and moments of homesickness. From the spontaneous meals out, to the concerts we have been to together, to the spin class she went to because I was too scared to go alone, to getting me and my friends ready before our Taylor Swift concert… there will never be enough words to show my gratitude. When I arrived, my host kids and I bonded instantly. I love those kids with my whole heart: they are now 4 and 2, and their personalities are growing each day. Being a part of their childhood is the most special experience.

In September 2023, we found out Caroline was pregnant again! I will never forget the moment they told me and asked me to be their new daughter’s godparent. I cried with happiness for days! At the start of May, their daughter arrived, and I can’t wait to witness her grow and learn just like her siblings, even once I’m back home! Being her godmother is so special and I’m so honored to have been asked.

The Bright Family welcoming their au pair Issy!

From September 2023–February 2024, Joel went away for the army. Those were some hard months, and a lot of tears were shed. If you look at the dates, you may notice that was right after we found out Caroline was pregnant. I’ve always been proud and in awe of her, but this took it to a whole new level. She had to deal with being a solo mom while being pregnant, completing an internship, and doing her master’s degree—but she did it all with so much grace and diligence. I could talk about my host parents for hours and it still wouldn’t be enough to show my gratitude. They are true family to me, and I can’t wait for all our adventures to come.”

– Issy, an au pair from the UK

Congratulations again to the Bright Family!