We asked Cultural Care families to share the invaluable impact their au pair has had on the lives of their children by nominating them for the annual Au Pair of the Year Award sponsored by the International Au Pair Association (IAPA). Submissions poured in from families across the country and it was clear that, although only one au pair would ultimately be chosen, hundreds of au pairs were already their own Au Pair of the Year.
With a form provided by IAPA, families nominate their outstanding au pairs by providing a written essay describing why their au pair should be considered for the Au Pair of the Year Award. This year we received more nominations than ever before! Our staff rates the essays and then vote for their top choices. Each au pair program around the world can submit up to three semi-finalists. Here are the three au pairs that Cultural Care Au Pair sent to IAPA:
Victoria Romandia from Mexico who looks after two year-old twin girls in California. In her nomination essay, her host family said, “She continues to accept new situations without hesitation and gracefully goes with the flow. From the beginning, she has cared for the twins with an ear-to-ear smile, comforting hugs and contagious unbridled laughter. She loves our girls like they are her own little sisters. She is extremely vigilant of the girls’ safety and creatively programs their time together to include a wide variety of activities.”
Christopher Grombach from Germany who is the au pair for twin 15-year old boys in Connecticut. From his host family, “We are nominating Chris due to his warm and compassionate demeanor, and his outstanding teaching and motivational skills. Chris is always ready to ‘go the extra mile’, and his arrival has been transformational for our family. We firmly believe that Chris’ contributions will have a life altering impact on our twin boys, Rhett and Remington.”
Nina Heidenescher from Germany who takes care of two little girls in Massachusetts. Her host mom writes, “We feel incredibly lucky to have Nina – she is caring, wise, flexible, loving, creative, and of course extremely competent. Nina is our au pair but she is also a part of our family. While these could be taken as mere words, let me conclude by providing irrefutable evidence of how much we love and value Nina: a month ago, when we had to select godparents for baby Cara, we asked Nina to be her godmother. There is no one that we trust more.”
In addition to selecting three semi-finalists to submit to the International Au Pair Association, Cultural Care also recognizes the top-rated nominations in each state and selects state Cultural Care Au Pairs of the Year. This year’s honorees are:
Cultural Care Au Pair thanks the host families who took the time to nominate their au pairs and share with us what makes them exceptional, in most cases extraordinary au pairs doing ordinary things in the lives of American children. We also thank the au pairs who go above-and-beyond in their roles and make a difference in the lives of their host families. The Au Pair of the Year Award gives us the opportunity to celebrate the efforts of all of our au pairs and according to IAPA, “Enhances the public’s awareness of this wonderful cultural exchange program and the mutual benefit au pairs and families get from it.”