February 15, 2023

Introducing our 2023 Host Families of the Year!

Congratulations to the Gerrity and Jaz families, and our 8 other finalists!

8 minutes
Cultural exchange

Every year, the Host Family of the Year contest provides our community with a unique opportunity to recognize families that go above and beyond in helping their au pair have an amazing experience in the USA. From going out of their way to help them feel right at home to introducing them to the best parts of the U.S., our nominees are amazing testaments to the value of the au pair program, and we’re so happy to recognize and celebrate them each year! 

This year, we’re happy to announce that over 500 au pairs nominated their host families for this special award! All essays and photos are reviewed by a designated team at Cultural Care Au Pair, and once our finalists are chosen, it’s the  community’s chance to vote for their favorites on our voting platform. After a 1-week voting period, the results are tallied…and this year, we are excited to celebrate our first-ever TIE!  

A huge congratulations to our winners: the Gerrity family in Maryland and the Jaz family in New York! We’re also thrilled to name our 8 other finalists below! Keep reading for our winners’ nomination essays, followed by some quotes from all of our amazing host family finalists. 


The Gerrity family

I believe that my host family and I really bonded together like real family. I admire them for who they are and for the love they have to give. We enjoy the little things together like watching a show or sitting at the fireplace, but also go on vacations and adventures together. I love the cultural exchange part of the program with them. I would say the most recent cultural exchange I shared with them was last night/this morning, I told them about our St. Nicolaus tradition, and I filled their shoes with some goodies (and so did they with my shoes haha). When I think about what they taught/showed me about American culture, I think about how differently or similarly they celebrate holidays.  

Nominated by Erik, au pair from Germany 


The Jaz family

“When talking about cultural exchange, I have brought candy, drinks, soccer jerseys from my country, and especially ‘El Mate’, which is typical of Argentina, and then we always exchange culture by cooking typical foods from our countries. They have explained and taught me about American culture, as well as food and music. We have also gone to American football games, the Rockettes show, among many other things. Our year has been wonderful, so much so that we decided to extend another year. They have always treated me like family and shown family love. Honestly, there are times that I forget that I am an au pair, since I honestly feel that I am family.”  

—Nominated by Benja, au pair from Argentina 

The Bright family

“Even though I have only been in America for 2.5 months it somehow feels I have known this (my) family my whole life! Caroline and Joel have done everything in their power to make me feel welcome and comfortable from the get-go. From taking me out in my first week to see all the local sights to taking me to my first baseball game to Joel surprise ordering me baked beans because he knew I was missing them!! They have welcomed my culture into their family immensely and have been so open in letting me share different festivals or food along with a lot of other things with the kids! Even letting me convert the kids to support England in the World Cup! Although I have only been here for 2 short months Betsy and Toby have shown me a love that I didn’t know existed. I love those kids with all my heart. I stop and think just how grateful I am to be able to care for and love these kids at least once a day. I can’t imagine my life without them.” 

 — Nominated by Issy, au pair from Britain 


The Chee family

“My host family and I have been through so many adventures together—skiing for the very first time, swimming in Mexico, exploring New York City and having so much fun even in San Francisco traffic with our favorite songs blasting out in the car. I didn’t get to experience a lot of Chinese culture before, so I love how they’ve shared their holidays, food and stories. Their whole family and friends have welcomed me with open arms, always so inclusive, fun and caring. Now I sure have a lot of people in America to invite to my future wedding. I feel very blessed that I have a home away from home, a family away from my family. I’ve gained friends for life and a year that I will never forget.”  

— Nominated by Nathalia, au pair from Brazil 


The Gold family

“The best part about my host family is the way they make me feel around them. Having someone to laugh with, someone you can be silly around, but also being there for each other when needed, is what lights up my life every day. Besides, my host family, who is Jewish, and I, as a catholic, love to celebrate holidays and share traditions with each other. I learned to sing in Hebrew last year during Hanukah and I introduced them to my habit of eating Raclette on Christmas Eve. I even changed my host dad’s favorite food to Wiener schnitzel! My host mom and I call each other best friends because we know everything about each other. My host kids and I have so much fun every day. They call me their big sister. It melts my heart! However, the best part about sharing those traditions is that we are all together and enjoy the time we spend with each other.”  

— Nominated by Janine, au pair from Austria 


The McCullough family

“My host mom and my host dad are truly like my best friends, and the baby Hudson is like my nephew. I am so happy that they called me ‘Tía’ which means aunt in Spanish. My host parents have supported me in my saddest moments and in my joys. They introduced me to country music, and I became a huge fan of this kind of my music. We created the best summer memories together because every night we ate in the backyard for dinner, listening to country music next to a bonfire and ate ice cream for dessert. Sometimes we finished the night line dancing in the living room, which is very, very popular here. I cannot express enough how thankful I am!”  

— Nominated by Gabriela, au pair from Argentina 


The Thompson-Amarteifio family

“My host family has been nothing but the best from the day I arrived. I was treated with so much kindness and respect. My host mom is more like the big sister I wish I had. She encourages me to write down my goals and vision and helps shift my mind in the right direction. She truly wants me to be the best I can ever be. My host family always makes sure to teach me things about their culture and are so very welcoming in embracing my culture such that they allow me to teach their children certain words in my language. They make sure to always include me in every activity whether it’s taking the kids to the zoo or visiting the grandparents. I have become part of their family and they have made me feel welcomed and loved. My favorite memory was definitely Thanksgiving. I had been telling them how much I wanted to taste the big American feast and they made sure to give me that experience. They are truly the most amazing people.”  

— Nominated by Thobile, au pair from South Africa 


The Nolan family 

“The moment I arrived here I felt like I was one in their family. The small things like buying me my own Christmas stocking with an ‘E’ to hang by theirs, writing about me on their Christmas cards, hearing my host kids calling me their nickname ‘sweetie pie’, playing board games together or just reading books before bed with kids make me so warm in my heart! I have only been here around 4 months and we already have so many memories together, both bigger trips (NYC) and holidays, but also smaller like sitting in the car and all of us singing out loud. I just love the caring and inviting side of this family!”  

— Nominated by Emma, au pair from Sweden 

The Western family  

“My host family showed me what Thanksgiving is and gave me the full experience. My host mom included me in all the preparations, including cooking the turkey. We watched the World Cup as a family when the Netherlands played. They ask questions about the countries, sing songs in Dutch and ask me to teach them Dutch! My host family trusts me to the fullest and I feel like we are working as a team. They always tell me how much they appreciate me. My host mom always makes time to listen to me and tries to help me when needed. We have silly conversations and sometimes we talk and laugh like friends. I always say the kids are my best friends here—I talk and laugh with them like we’re friends, even if they are just 5- and 7-years-old. My host family is the best!”  

— Nominated by Belmina, au pair from the Netherlands 


The Gustavson family  

“They pay attention to every single little thing I like or miss from home and embrace my culture as much as they’re sharing theirs. We’re about to have a gingerbread house competition, had some pepperoni pizza last night and watched some football. But there’s also macarons in the kitchen, an Eiffel Tower on the Christmas tree and a « Noel à Paris » candle in my room that they got me. I’m home. And I wish all the au pairs to feel this way. So it is for all these wonderful memories, the love and support they gave me, for this little ray of sun that I have the luck to spend my days with, and for making me feel home in every way, that I’m nominating the Gustavson family. I wish you knew them.” 

 — Nominated by Lorene, au pair from France