What makes Cultural Care Au Pair so unique? Ask any of our current or former host families and they’ll all tell you the same thing – we’re known for our comprehensive, personalized support through every phase of the au pair process. From registering for the program, to matching with your perfect au pair, to maintaining a happy, healthy relationship with your children’s new caregiver, Cultural Care is here to answer questions and resolve any issues any time, any day.
Our representatives are dedicated to taking a complicated process and making it simple. We understand better than anyone the ins and outs of the au pair program – and with our help, you can experience all the best aspects of welcoming an au pair into your home and your heart without any hassle or confusion. Because we’re so dedicated to helping families like yours experience cultural exchange through childcare, we offer global support services 24/7, as well as a personal Local Childcare Consultant (LCC) whose job it is to support both you and your au pair. Together, with every member of your Cultural Care support team, you’re promised a safe, secure and seamless experience.
To help get a closer look at what each phase of the au pair process looks like from a support standpoint, we spoke to representatives from all across our program – they answer our questions about what exactly they do to help host families, what makes Cultural Care’s support network so outstanding, and much more.
Madeleine Chouanard: Placement
I work as a Matching Specialist at Cultural Care, and my role typically encompasses the time from when a host family registers for the program to when their au pair arrives at their home. Matching Specialists like myself do a little bit of everything – we act as a consultant for host families as they interview potential candidates; we participate as a team in their search, often offering up professional opinions and firsthand experiences to help guide our families towards their best option and we do our best to set host families and au pairs up for a successful year.
As a Matching Specialist, I want to get to know our host families as well as possible over the phone – that way, we can ensure that when they make a match, it’s the best possible fit for them personally. When I’m looking in the system, I’m not just looking for any au pair – I’m looking for your family’s au pair. My role is really intended to act primarily as a resource for host families – I feel like I’m supporting my families best when we’re talking through the candidates that they are most excited about.
What makes Cultural Care so great is that we’re not looking to make any old match or to simply “make the sale” – we really care about you and finding you an au pair that will suit your needs.
Ben Rimmer: Account Services
As an Account Manager, my job is focused on three main responsibilities: The first is customer service, so when someone calls into the 800 number, whether it be an au pair, a host parent, an LCC or anybody else, we are the ones who answer that call and help get them the answers they need as efficiently and thoroughly as possible. We get every question you could think of – including questions about travel, finances, the extension process and matching support. As Account Managers, we must be knowledgeable about all aspects of our business because we never know what question we’ll get! Secondly, we work with families on the financial side of the program, answering questions and providing quotes. And finally, we work with LCCs to remain compliant with the Department of State.
Along with the responsibilities listed above, each Account Manager has a region assigned to them and they work with the families and LCCs in that region to provide the best possible support. We are the first line of support for families facing difficult situations, helping to direct them with actionable next steps and putting them in contact with the correct person to continue to support them through the process.
What makes Cultural Care support so outstanding is that, on the other end of the line, we are real people who understand and empathize on a human level. We understand that cultural exchange can be challenging and we understand that people care deeply for their children’s wellbeing. We truly believe in the mission of this program and want to see it succeed more than anyone else and in order for that mission to continue, we put our heart and souls into helping and supporting our families to the absolute best of our ability. We truly believe that all of Cultural Care, from the office, to the field staff, to our overseas offices, our LCCs and our customers, is one big family and we strive to cultivate that feeling as best we can.
Sara Henson: Customer Relations
As a Program Director, I work with LCCs to support host families and au pairs throughout their year. My responsibility is to make sure that the LCCs are fully prepared to handle any situation that may arise and make sure they are offering the utmost support to our customers. I also work with host families and au pairs in any situation that may be beyond the control of the LCC – like the rematch process, any health or safety issue, and program termination.
I work with host families and au pairs should they have any serious issues throughout their year. As I manage the LCCs, should a host family or au pair have an issue with their LCC, it would be my responsibility to step in and make sure they feel supported.
Most of the people who work for Cultural Care have at one point in their lives been involved with cultural exchange, which allows them to have a personal interest in making sure the host family and au pair experience is successful for every family. I was an au pair myself, and my brother has an au pair – so I know firsthand the benefits of the program, along with the challenges. We know great host families are made, not born, so we want to help them succeed on the program and learn how to get the most out of the program. If you ask anyone who works at Cultural Care how they feel about the au pair program, they will tell you that we really DO care and want to make sure everyone has an amazing experience.
Jennifer Yoel: Local Childcare Consultant
As an LCC, it is my responsibility to ensure that both host families and au pairs understand the au pair program to the fullest extent, follow the Department of State rules and manage appropriate expectations throughout their year. I get to play the role of matchmaker and spend a significant amount of my time working with families to find them an au pair match that is fitting to their needs and expectations.
My focus is on making this program exceed host family expectations. As a former host mom and veteran LCC, I know how life changing this program can be! The first step is to be thorough during the initial Host Family Interview. I need to understand why the host family needs childcare and how they are going to integrate cultural exchange into their home. Through regular meetings and check-ins, I make sure the family knows they have my head and my heart!
Cultural Care is so supportive – and the sheer size of our staff allows for smaller group sizes and a greater customer experience. In addition to each host family and au pair having a designated LCC and Program Director, CCAP offers a 24-hour hotline for emergencies. This is not an agency that simply matches au pairs with families. We provide life-changing experiences.