Success stories, testimonials, winners and nominations

 

Holly from WA says: “Thanks Nicole. It was another tough decision which is a great reflection of the wonderful candidates! I cheated a little and got my previous Aupairs to help me pick. “

We encourage families and au pairs to share their stories and experiences. It is lovely to see so many examples of au pair success and how families and au pairs are benefitting from our au pair program. Each family we talk to is different and we would like to share a selection of feedback received from recent testimonials and our Au Pair of the Month competitions.

NEW:  for a great collection of personal articles from Au Pair Joyce, who shares her stories tips from her experiences as an Au Pair in the USA and Australia, read Joyce’s Au Pair Blog for tips and experiences

We look forward to hear your success story soon!

  • Host dad Brent about Larissa

    unnamed-2Larissa is an articulate and creative person, she engages my children in activities from painting, arts and craft, sports and role-play, which have all been welcomed by my children, the children in our neighborhood and mostly, by myself and my wife as this ensures our boys are not being idle on iPads or the TV and keeping them stimulated, creative and active. When Larissa goes out to pick up the boys from school, or goes out with friends that afternoon or on a weekend, she will not just think about herself, but ask if you need anything while she is out, or even if the bread is low or milk is almost gone, will get some while they are gone. As with everything, it’s the little things that make us proud of having her in our house and is a massive weight lifted from our shoulders. With Larissa, everything ‘just works’, and it is like we have an angel in our midst, there is a type of magic that happens in our household.

     

    Host mum Sandra thinks Anne is awesome

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    Agile – great for dodging Taekwondo kicks, water pistols and poison balls
    Well read – from Pippi Longstocking to The Gruffalo to Heidi to Jolly Phonics to number plates to bus stop signs to sight words
    Endlessly patient – with a small child who talks and questions and moves from sun up until sun down
    Super-knowledgeable – about Ninja Turtles, Star Wars, Power Rangers and all other things a five year old is into
    Only has one child to look after – this intense relationship has had unique challenges and you are ‘on’ all the time
    Meticulous – the lunch is made, the school bag is packed, the uniform is washed and the child is as school on time
    Eager to share – things about her home and country with us

    Susan’s twin girls tell us about Magda

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    Maggie should be au pair of the month as she is truly an amazing person. She has become part of our family so quickly and shows tremendous love, patience and kindness towards our twin girls whilst keeping our busy household ticking over.  She has adapted to life in a new country so well and has embraced the opportunity and in doing so has made some lifelong friends.  She will be sadly missed when she embarks on her travels in a few weeks.

    I asked our twin girls why she should win and they said:

    “Because she is very good at cooking our dinner”

    “Because she is very good at cuddling”

    “Because she loves me”

     

    Host mum Erin feels lucky to have Michelle

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    Michelle is very warm and caring and so easy to talk with.  She fit into our family very quickly and made a huge effort to get to know our two children. Our son, Sam, has autism and engages in some very challenging behaviours.  Michelle has invested a lot of time to understand Sam and why he behaves the way he does sometimes.  She is very involved in discussions we have about how we can help and support Sam and offers some great insights into how Sam perceives the world.  There are very few people who really understand Sam but Michelle is one of them. I often work long hours and my husband is an international pilot who is frequently overseas.  I completely trust Michelle to care for the kids while we are not around and know that they are being cared for by someone who loves them.

    Ingrid – Sept Au Pair of the Month:

    “Ingrid has really bonded with Sam, my seven year old boy. We are currently holidaying down the South Coast and it seems she is enjoying herself. Each day is filled with activities, jumping pillows, beach and fun with Ingrid, Sam and his little friends who often visit him. One little boy offered Ingrid his holiday money of $20 to Ingrid to be his au pair. He held the money up to her and with his big eyes said “please, can you be my au pair for two days”. It’s no secret that Ingrid has warmed the hearts of the residence of our van park. Ingrid plays with all children with no expectations in returns.

    My Sam has autism and has had constant interaction with Ingrid and other children.

    Thanks for pairing her to us, she has worked out really well for our family and Sam. She really needs to be acknowledged with an award.”

    Anna Maria – October Au Pair of the Month:

    Hi, name is Anna Maria, I am a 19 year old girl from Germany, who always wanted to come to Australia and loves kids. After my A-Levels my dream came true and I found a lovely host family in a suburb of Sydney. The family consists of the mum, Imogen, and the dad, David, a 13-year old girl named Ella, a 10-year old girl named Eva, a 9-year old girl named Piper, a 6-year old boy named Finn, and a dog named Bruno. They have a lovely house with a pool and live close to the sea. The kids are all very sporty, polite and lovely. Sadly the oldest goes to a boarding school and I only see her on the weekends. Ella is a cool girl, who I like to spend my time with, because she is nice, smart and we can have a lot of fun together watching series, discussing movies or doing sport together. Eva is a lovely and very good organised girl. She does a lot of sport and has always a lot of homework, with which I help her. Apart from homework we like to bake together, watch make-up tutorials and try to make-up ourselves just the same. Piper is a cute little girl, who loves to cuddle. Furthermore we play together on the piano, which is fun – at least most of the time. 😛 Finny is a cute and very energetic boy, with whom I play soccer, build awesome lego ships, play airplane, read and do so many other things. I have really taken those kids to my heart and they like me as I like them. When they come home from holidays they can’t wait to tell me what has happened straight after we had a big welcome-home-cuddle. Now the parents had to go onto a business trip to Europe and America for 3 1/2 weeks. That I am not on my own with all the kids, Imogen and I worked out a plan: Her mother moved in to support me in the evenings and we planned it that I always have only one or two kids per week. Imo even managed to get my weekends free because the kids stay at houses of relatives and friends. We have been a pretty good team organising this time. So now I am in charge of breakfast, bringing them to school, pick them up, doing homework, preparing dinner and so on. I need to be well organised and always available. With the grandma by my side on the evenings it’s not that hard but during the day she’s at work and I am the ‘boss’. 1 week is over so far and Imo and Dave are coming back in 2 1/2 weeks. The kids and me are having a great time together! We’re even planning some nice Welcome-home surprises for their mum and dad. 🙂

    Yours sincerely Anna maria

    Judith – November Au Pair of the Month:

    From her Host Mum:

    “I can’t speak highly enough of Judith. We love her and will miss her dreadfully  – and are just so lucky that we can Skype with her after she leaves. These are just some of the many reasons she should be Au Pair of the Month.”

  • If I had a daughter…

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    Aileen joined us at a time where as a family we were struggling to manage the daily schedules of two working parents and two energetic little boys. I remember the first few moments when she first came to our house, her first question after putting her bag down was “how can I help”. And help she did! Over the 6 months she diligently and carefully cared for our children, and the time flew like mere seconds. Our boys love her dearly, with her name being one of the very first words my youngest spoke – “Aieeen” he would say.
    But apart from all her love and helpfulness to the family, Aileen was always so kind with my elderly parents and my husbands also. To such an extent that my family drove several house to come and say goodbye to her. “My dear Aileen, words can not express the joy, peace, and love you brought into our family. I don’t have any daughters, and I can’t claim you, but if I had a daughter, I would want her to be just like you. See you soon!”

     

    French au pair Clarisse helped with homework

    My French au pair Clarisse has worked consistently with our 5 year old daughter Charlotte each day after school (whilst also juggling our other two younger children, and cooking dinner!) on her homework this term.  Both my husband & I do not get home from work until 6.30pm, and it always ended up being too late at night for us to work (or work productively) with Charlotte on her word list homework. After term 1 of kindergarten, Charlotte’s school was concerned about her lack of progress that they requested she undergo various tests (audiological, optical and psychological) to see if she had a learning disability. We got the tests done and they showed that she should not have any problems being able to learn, so it was clear to us that we needed to ask our au pair to work on learning words with Charlotte earlier in the afternoons before she got too tired.  Our au pair has consistently done this for the past 2 months, and Charlotte has in the past two weeks been getting 85 to 90% on her word exams – ie she had previously gotten between 0 and 3 out of 12, and now she is getting 10 and 11 out of 12!  Thankyou to our wonderful au pair Clarisse

    Host mum Roberta enjoys au pair help

    The best thing for me is the pressure I was under trying to get everything done in my working hours before having to leave to collect the children from school. Now I am able to work back until everything is complete and that takes a lot of pressure off me. It also helps having someone to assist with the household duties like dinner and shopping that I no longer have time to do. The children are really enjoying their time with the au pair who coordinates afternoon activities and homework after school till I get home from work.

    Host mum Rebecca had a baby and gained a daughter

    My Aupair Leonie should be Aupair of the month because without her our family wouldn’t cope right now. Leo joined us in January and I have gained another daughter. She is a valued member of our family and has all the qualities I hope my girls grow up to have. She is calm, considerate, caring, happy and most of all lots of fun to have around. Nothing is too much trouble for Leo and her genuine care and love for our girls is beautiful. She so deserves to be recognised for her amazing contribution to our family.

    Host mum Elizabeth enjoys an easier family routine

    Manon is Amazing!!! She has made everything at home so much quicker and easier. We are so happy she has come to our family.

    Host dad Wayne appreciates his au pair’s work ethic

    Lisa has a great work ethic and her experience with children is evident.

    Host mum Rebecca enjoys a fun, firm and fair approach

    Marloes is a good fit with the family. She is fun, firm and fair with the children. It’s a relief to know that things are taken care of while I’m at work.

  • Family nominations

     

    Joyce

    Joyce from the Netherlands told us: “I used to be an au pair in California and had an amazing time there. I didn’t think it could be any better until I met my current host family in Sydney. They’re absolutely amazing and I still feel so lucky every single day. I love being a part of their family and helping them out whenever and where ever I can. Plus it’s great to live in a big city.. it never gets boring and there’s lots to explore. With other au pairs or even on my own!”

    Anna

    It was lovely to hear how Anna from Germany feels about her host family: “It’s been wonderful to experience how a real aussie family lives and how all australians are so friendly and welcoming. My hostfamily has made me feel like a part of their family, I’ve made a lot of new friends and I’ve enjoyed spending my free time in beautiful Melbourne with all of it’s great festivals, attractions, night life, outdoor cinema, restaurants and much more.”

    Amelie

    Amelie clearly enjoy her stay with the family: “My english got a lot better and I get on very well with my host family. They really make me feel like I’m part of the family and have similar interests as me (beach, surfing). My host parents are always there for me when I need help and the kids are really funny and lovely (most of the time). As I am located near the beach, I can go to the beach regularly and even learned how to surf. I also got a member of the local surf club and will do a course there to become a lifesaver. I have also joined a swim group and tried pole dancing. I love it that I can try so many new things!
    The only thing that is not perfect here is that there are not many au pairs nearby and I really had problems to make friends at the beginning, but now (after 3 months) I am slowly starting to make some local friends. I also like that I got to visit Sydney and Canberra during my au pair time. But the very best part of being an au pair really is my host family! They are so lovely! So thank you very much for bringing me to them :)”

    Johanna

    Johanna from Germany felt part of the family: “The best part of being Au Pair in Australia is getting to know so many great people, especially my lovely hostfamily.
    They truly made me feel like part of their family. It was beautiful seeing little A. growing up from a small baby to a little boy and learning so much during my time with him.
    I could not have asked for a better family to stay with. Although I will have to leave in a couple of days I know we’ll see again, either in Australia or back home in Germany :-)”

    Zoe

    Zoe from Germany enjoyed her first night babysitting. Last Saturday I stayed at home alone with the boys (Pyjamiparty!!) during the parents went out to a birthday party and they did everything what I told them to do after only two weeks being in the family. Before they never really listened to me because they were testing how far they can go but this night was more than amazing. We ate pizza and popcorn, watched a lego movie and even danced after brushing the theeth to “Everybody dance now” and they listened to me which madee me so happy and proud.

  • Program & Agency testimonials

    “Perhaps going through a reputable agency should be compulsory for Au Pair placements” says Leonie from QLD

    “I must admit that out here there are some families who recruit au pairs through gum tree etc and treat their au pairs poorly. Other families consider me foolish to recruit through your agency because of what your au pairs cost and the cost of placement.  However, I know I’m getting a young person who will arrive as planned and integrate into the family. The proof of how well I treat my Au Pairs is the fact we still remain in touch on face book.

    When my Au Pairs arrive they are provided with a car, I take them to the bank to set up an account and I also ensure they get a sim card for their phone with Telstra.

    Every Au Pair that has come to our family has gone on a holiday with us also. This is not slavery but an experience.  It’s such a shame it was portrayed so poorly.

    Perhaps going through a reputable agency should be compulsory for Au Pair placements.

    Thank you again for the provision of quality Au Pairs in the past.”

     

     

    Monique emailed us this amazing feedback “I just wanted to take the time to thank you and Smart Au Pairs for enriching our lives”

    I do hope my message finds you and the team well! As we are just about to say good-bye to our fifth Au Pair and have our sixth Au Pair arrive through Smart Au Pairs I felt very compelled to write to you to share of our experiences.

    When I first heard about the Au Pair program, I initially thought, if this was my daughter travelling to the other side of the world, how would I like her to be looked after by her host family? This for me has guided our approach and how we have welcomed each Au Pair to become truly part of our family.

    It is hard to put into words the impact this has had on our big, crazy family of six, and the heartfelt connections we have made. We still keep in touch with each of our Au Pairs from France, Denmark and Germany, and for how we view it, we now have extended family all over the world. Each and every one of our pairs has become an extension of our family, and we have genuinely loved each and every one of them. Even now, I receive texts, photos, emails and Facebook messages so we can all stay connected. We miss all of them so much and they will be part of our hearts and lives forever. We have had some visiting Australia come back and stay with us, had their families visit and spend time with our family. Each of our four children have been so positively influenced by each of these beautiful souls and they will remembered in our lives forever. I know as our children travel overseas, they too will remain connected and we as family will look forward to one visiting them all when we travel to Europe.

    If people could see the tears when they leave our family, the love that we all give each other, the laughter, the banter, the fun and the pure joy we have when we are together, I am sure they could see what this experience can give to everyone. They too have all too worked extremely hard and taken impeccable care of our children and provided us with a model of care that has enabled our lives to be so much easier. I truly believe also it is how the family views having an Au Pair, however for us, it is simply an extension of our family.

    I just wanted to take the time to thank you and Smart Au Pairs for enriching our lives in a way we could have never imagined, for helping us with our child care needs, however most of all, for bringing each and every one of these amazing people into our lives.

    Wishing you a wonderful day,

    With much gratitude,

    Monique, Melbourne, VIC

    Holly from Dunsborough, WA

    Holly gave us this lovely testimonial.

    “Thanks Nicole. It was another tough decision which is a great reflection of the wonderful candidates! I cheated a little and got my previous Aupairs to help me pick. ”

    Fiona from Queenscliff, NSW

    Host mum Fiona from Queenscliff gave us this lovely testimonial.

    “Having never had an au pair/ live-in help previously, I found Smart Au-Pairs very helpful to guide us through the process.  We received a prompt short-list of candidates with all the information we needed attached, and hence the interview process was easy and efficient.  I also liked being able to ring up for any additional queries.  I will be using them again for our next au-pair and would highly recommend them to any other families, especially if you are short of time to do your own research!”

    We asked some au pairs to complete this sentence; the best part of being au pair is…….

    Katherine

    Katherine from Germany loves to explore and says: “Getting to go on road trips and meeting new people. Seeing new places is fun!”

    Antonia

    Antonia from Italy told us: “I do enjoy every dinner with my family. We’ve been to the countryside and I already saw some koala bears”

    Janina

    Janina from Germany love absolutely all of it: “The country, the family, the House, the people, the food… Everything is so much better as at home. It’s like a paradise!”

    Samantha

    Samantha likes the warm family welcome: “Having a family that is welcoming you into their own helps make the transition more comfortable! Meeting new people and being able to travel to new places.”

    Hannah

    Hannah from Germany is thankful for her independence: “I met many different people and we are very independent over here. So, when we want to go to the beach on the weekends we do so. My hostfamily supports me in doing everything I want to do and explore Australia. I am so thankful for that!”

    Laura

    Laura from Germany enjoys the weather and the people: “The people and surroundings and weather are really nice. Everyone has been very helpful.”