Lär känna våra värdfamiljer

Varje familj är unik! Våra värdfamiljer finns över hela USA, och har alla olika livsstilar. Många bor nära en större stad, medan vissa bor i en småstad. Kanske jobbar båda föräldrarna, och antal barn och ålder på barnen kan variera. De har dock en sak gemensamt - ett behov av flexibel barnomsorg och ett genuint intresse av att lära andra kulturer.

Vårt liv - två heltidsarbetande föräldrar

Familjen Bauer i Massachusetts
: Sheila och Andi
Värdbarn: Elena, 8 år och Alex, 5 år
Värdfamilj sedan: 2003
Nuvarande au pair: Mirjam från Österrike

Familjen Bauer har haft 9 au pairer sedan dottern Elena föddes. De har helhjärtat tagit programmet till sig och ser varje au pair som en familjemedlem.
"The au pair program works so well for us because of its flexibility. We are able to rely on our au pair in the morning to help with getting the children to the school bus and picking them up in the afternoon too. Her schedule can be adjusted to accommodate the school year or summer vacation. Also, I prefer an au pair because she can coordinate play dates and get them to activities, rather than have them at an after-school program.  It's important to be clear with your au pair about your day to day expectations - you should provide her with a written schedule and a clear set of daily tasks. We like having our childcare provider as part of our lives - the children and even their friends and parents get a chance to connect with our au pairs. Finally, our au pair has really allowed our children to be exposed to other languages and cultures, and I think they have a better understanding of the world because of this program."

Vårt liv - två heltidsarbetande föräldrar

Familjen Newman i Colorado
Värdföräldrar: Rachel och Brent
Värdbarn: Mason, 5 år och Clayton, 2,5 år
Värdfamilj sedan: 2008
Nuvarande au pair: Luise från Tyskland

Så här beskriver Rachel deras nuvarande au pair Luise:
“She makes our house a fun place to be for the kids. She goes above and beyond with what she does with them. Our kindergartener had a hard time adapting to the demands of school. So immediately after she arrived she began ‘tutoring’ him at home. She has a plan in place and works on something different every day. We immediately saw his success within weeks of her starting this. He is now much more confident in school. The program works great for us because it gives us flexibility with childcare. Sometimes we may need her to not work in the morning, but then work later into the evening.  In a normal daycare center you can’t do that. I feel much more comfortable with having an au pair because I can determine my kids’ schedules and allow them to do fun things. The other aspect that I have really loved, especially with our last two au pairs, is the connection that our children have had with the girls. They have become part of our family that I’m sure we’ll talk to for the rest of our lives. It’s great to be able to give our kids that cultural aspect at such a young age."

Vårt liv - med fler än 3 barn

Familjen Rau i Virginia
Dariece och Charlie
Värdbarn: John 15 år, Ian 14 år, Gannon 8 år, Jackson 6 år och Kristian 4 år
Värdfamilj sedan: 2006
Nuvarande au pair: Juliane från Tyskland

Så här beskriver Dariece sin nuvarande au pair Juliane:
"Juliane is 19 going on 30 (in a good way)! She is so mature and responsible that everyone thinks that she is much older. She is a wonderful role model for our children - and other au pairs. For instance, I have had several other au pairs tell me how much they like her and that I am very lucky to have her. I totally agree! My children are currently in four different schools and involved in various activities after school. These include activities like soccer, swimming, and other sports as well as scouts. It helps my life to be less stressful knowing that I have that extra person in our lives to help out. Juliane brings a mature, but playful spirit to our household. Without our au pair, my children would not be able to do the extra activities they so enjoy! She not only energizes my children, but she energizes me as well."

Mitt liv - som ensamstående förälder

Familjen Sekera i Illinois
Värdförälder: Lori
Värdbarn: Lucas 6 år, Courtney 4 år och Angela 1,5 år
Värdfamilj sedan: 2010
Nuvarande au pair: Nina från Tyskland

"Having Nina in our home is like having a friend close by for me and the children. It was difficult at first, but all the children seek her out now, reluctant to let her sleep in. Nina doesn't just take care of the children, she thinks of solutions to their troubles, talks about their development and plans their activities. From a day-to-day life perspective, being a single parent and having an au pair is like having a roommate—and while I didn't welcome an au pair to keep me company, Nina has done that on a few occasions when we've talked late into the evening. It was certainly an unexpected benefit to regain a bit of that lost partnership of parenting and day-to-day life."

Vårt liv - med tvillingar

Familjen Sternburg i Massachusetts
Cheryl and Robert
Värdbarn: Alex 10 år, Joshua 9 år, Amanda & Julia 1,5 år
Värdfamilj sedan: 2009
Nuvarande au pair: Laura från Colombia

Familjen Sternburg har hittills haft 3 au pairer. Au pairerna hjälper Cheryl att ta pojkarna till skolan varje morgon, och tar sedan hand om tvillingarna tills Alex och Joshua slutar på eftermiddagen. Familjen Sternburg behöver hjälp av sin au pair ca 9 timmar om dagen måndag - fredag, och deras au pairer har de allra flesta helger ledigt. Det finns många andra au pairer i Massachusetts, så det är enkelt att få ett socialt liv utanför jobbet. Så här säger familjen om sin nuvarande au pair Laura:
"There is no doubt that in these past four months Laura has grown to truly love our children and treat them as her own, and our children love her back in return. With the various personalities in our home, she has learned how best to get along with everyone and make challenges into learning experiences. She always has a positive outlook and can assess how best to handle any and all situations.  Having a family with multiples can be so much fun yet also challenging at times. Another set of hands in the house ensures the stress level is at a minimum".

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