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. Sarah Bachor of Germany is recognized as the Au Pair of the Year honoree from Illinois for 2014. Sarah lives with the Gitzke family and cares for their five children.
The Gitzkes first decided on au pair childcare because of their family size, and because they enjoy learning about a new culture. They love having another another person be a part of their already large family of two sets of twins, the oldest daughter, and working parents. Host family mom, Kelly Gitzke, explained that hosting an au pair is a “big commitment, but it is the best, most reliable, most cost efficient way for large family to raise happy children.”
Following is their nomination essay:
“Our family chose Sarah Bachor as our fourth au pair. We chose her because of her experience as a preschool teacher and her outstanding, well-recommended references, and application. Without hesitation, Sarah accepted our offer to be our au pair with excitement and pleasure and arrived at our home in September 2013 to be part of or large family. With five children under the age of 6, including 2 sets of twins, we knew this was not going to be an easy job for anyone. Since the moment Sarah walked into our ‘crazy’ home, she has been loved. She has brought so much love and joy to my children’s lives.
With her vast experience educating young children, she brings new ideas everyday. Sarah is wonderful at coming up with fun ideas of a craft, painting, or a new game. Each holiday, she has done research on a new recipe to make with the children and schedule a ‘baking day.’ Each child is given a task to do. As I watch from a distance, I see the joy and excitement in my children’s eyes as they make a new cookie or cake. Sarah has brought so much of her German culture into our home. This holiday season, she started to read to the children about St. Nick and how important it is for them to be good little girls and boys as they were to place their shoes outside on December 6th. She was preparing for St. Nick’s arrival for many weeks before by purchasing each child special gifts for their shoes.
All of her acts of kindness have not gone unnoticed. She awards them when they have good behavior with a ‘Special Day with Sarah.’ She takes time out of her day off and will take the well-behaved child out to lunch or to a movie. She has taught my children that good behavior is awarded with good things. With so many little ones, she goes out of her way to make each child feel very special. Sarah is not only is an amazing, hard-working, kindhearted au pair, but she has the patience of an angel. Taking care of five kids is the hardest job that I will ever have. She handles her responsibilities with grace and joy. My children have loved Sarah since she joined our family four months ago, and I know they will continue to love her all of their lives.”