While it’s true that the vast majority of Cultural Care au pairs are women, there is growing interest from men who want to be au pairs every year! Male au pairs—or, “bro pairs” as we’ve affectionately nicknamed them—are an important part of our community. Historically, men are less seen as caregivers compared to their female counterparts, but the truth is they’re just as qualified and eager to experience family life in the USA.
Take German au pair Niklas, for example. His host parents, Ami and Bruce Brown in Pennsylvania, tell anyone who will listen just how much he has positively changed their lives.
Niklas came to the USA to live with the Brown family in March 2018. From the very first day, Amy and Bruce have witnessed firsthand his excellent work ethic, reliability, dependability, and conscientiousness.
Niklas joined the Browns at a critical juncture, and played an active role in taking care of their three children (3 boys, then aged 12, 10, and 8 years). Niklas also took very good care of their home. “We are a dual-income family with three very busy children,” says Ami. “So a role as our primary childcare provider is no easy undertaking—the role requires unwavering patience, flexibility, and skill.”
“We selected Niklas as our au pair based on his extensive experience with children, his athletic and healthy lifestyle, his willingness to tackle any and all new challenges, and his desire to hone his teaching and language skills for graduate work upon his return to Germany,” says Bruce.
Niklas immediately displayed ambition and motivation to learn as much as he could from Ami, Bruce and their three boys. In addition to being hardworking, well-organized, and finishing any and all tasks to perfection, Ami and Bruce say he takes a genuine interest in the social, educational, and physical well-being of their three boys—patiently working with all of them on homework from basic mathematics through Algebra, extending their lessons to teach them more than the evening’s homework in all subject areas, and also helping each one to be the best athlete they can be through backyard games, drills, and nutritional lessons.
Ami continues: “Niklas is one of the nicest, warmest, and most trustworthy individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He truly understands children and has a unique, skilled way of communicating and problem-solving with a smile, calm disposition, and a positive attitude.”
In addition to his many tasks in coordination and care of the children’s activities, Niklas always seems to find a way to motivate the Brown boys so that they feel confident, accomplished, and happy at the conclusion of each day. According to the Brown family, Niklas is among the most highly regarded childcare providers in their area—in the 9 months he has been with their family, Ami and Bruce have received many compliments about how respectful, friendly, and helpful he is with the boys, their peers, and their parents.
“In my academic and professional career, I have had extensive contact with highly competent undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Pennsylvania, Emory University, Johns Hopkins University and The George Washington University through various academic, research, and teaching experiences at these institutions,” says Ami. “I can say that Niklas’s willingness to hone his craft, to be a positive influence, and to contribute selflessly to enhance the lives of others separate him from even the most motivated of students I have worked with over the years.”
One of the family’s most exciting memories from their time together was the day they had the opportunity to meet German NFL player, Sebastian Vollmer. Ami learned about Niklas’ love for the athlete during their initial interview, so she made a special effort to make the meeting happen during their year together:
“Before Niklas arrived, I decided to contact the Patriots to tell them about Niklas and ask if there would be any possibility that he could meet Sebastian. I honestly didn’t expect much but they contacted me a few weeks later saying they would see what they could do. Not long after that, I got a call from them asking if we were available the next day to come to training camp so we could meet him! So, we all went and were escorted into a special area and we all got to meet Sebastian who was a great guy. It was awesome to hear him and Niklas speak in German about Dusseldorf. My boys loved the experience and will always remember the day they met a German football player with their au pair.”
Niklas is just one of the many male au pairs out there making a big difference in the lives of their host families. Whether you have boys or girls, a “bro pair” can simply make life better!