Each year, we ask our host families to nominate extraordinary au pairs for the Au Pair of the Year Award sponsored by the International Au Pair Association (IAPA). In addition to selecting three finalists to submit to IAPA for this prestigious award, Cultural Care Au Pair selects one outstanding au pair from each state to honor as the Au Pair of the Year. Chloe Greco of Argentina is recognized as the 2014 North Carolina Au Pair of the Year honoree.
“In 2005, my husband was deployed two months after our first child was born,” says Julie McGhee, Cultural Care Au Pair host mom. “I work shift work and child care centers don’t open very early one week or stay open very late the next week. The au pair program fit our needs perfectly, and they still do.”
Following is her nomination essay:
“When Chloe came into our North Carolina home from Argentina in March of 2013, our household was fractured, frenzied, and unseasonably freezing. With her free spirit, amazingly positive attitude, and a warm jacket, she quickly became the fifth McGhee, calmed our lives, and warmed our hearts.
With my husband deployed, Chloe entered our lives at a time when our two sons (8 & 4) had just spend two years with our previous au pair. So not only had their father departed, but their bigger sister (and only other adult figure) was about to leave as well. Chloe quickly established trust, love, and authority to which the boys continue to respond.
Between soccer, scouts, and mom’s crazy schedule, Chloe seamlessly adjusted to our ways of life, calmed us down, and introduced our children to vegetarianism (which they now prefer.) Chloe helped the boys remain in contact with their father through Skype, letters, videos, and many, many pictures. She helped me document the boys’ projects, grades, and parties. Chloe ensured that Jeff miss very little of the boys lives.
My husband returned home halfway through Chloe’s first year and was nothing short of amazed at how well Chloe helped the boys handle the transitions. She helped make ‘Welcome Home, Daddy’ signs, and managed to keep Jeff’s impending return a secret from the boys. Chloe has agreed to spend another year with us and I cannot imagine our lives without her.
We recently celebrated an Argentinian Christmas Eve with friends. Her adventurous spirit extends beyond the kitchen; she has gone skydiving, canoeing, taken a road trip to Savannah, and spent New Year’s Eve in New York City.
For a 23 year old to jump into our family, become an authoritative figure and a best friend to my children, and to keep me sane through it all, Chloe has demonstrated the spirited attitude and excellent childcare that this au pair program embodies. In short, I am nominating Chloe Greco for au pair of the year for her ability to embrace all that the program has to offer and her unyielding love she has for our family. I cannot imagine our lives without her.”