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In-Home Childcare: Maryland Au Pair

German Au Pair Recognized for her Outstanding Commitment to Lake Shore Family

Crofton, MD— February 18, 2015— Each year the International Au Pair Association, or IAPA, based in the Netherlands, asks families around the world who have an au pair living with them to consider nominating their child care provider for the International Au Pair of the Year Award. IAPA is looking for young care givers who are extraordinary, go above and beyond their duties, and who exemplify the best in child care providers. One local family felt that their au pair fit the bill. The Thompson family of Lake Shore has nominated their au pair, Leonie Hesse from Germany for this prestigious international award. Hesse provides live-in childcare for the Thompsons' three children, and her outstanding dedication and enthusiasm in caring for them led the Thompsons to nominate Hesse for “International Au Pair of the Year.”

Leonie is living with the Thompson family in Lake Shore as part of the Cultural Care Au Pair intercultural exchange and childcare program. She cares for the family’s children, ages 14, 11, and 11, in exchange for the opportunity to live in the United States, take classes at an American college, and become part of a real American family.

Leonie agreed to become our Au Pair even knowing Stephen would be deploying with the military to Afghanistan for a year and she would be caring for our three children while Amy worked full time. Just weeks after Stephen deployed, and only 10 days before Leonie was scheduled to travel to the US, Amy was diagnosed with breast cancer. This meant she would be starting 18 weeks of chemotherapy right after Leonie arrived. Amy would also be undergoing multiple surgeries and other treatments throughout this year. We would have nominated her to be Au Pair of the Year because of her kindness, dedication and patience; but she filled a bigger role than just an Au Pair. She filled in for her host father who was deployed to Afghanistan and always volunteered to make sure the kids and house are taken care of without being asked. We could not have asked for a better person, friend, and now family member to help us make it through this difficult year. She embodies all of the values that Cultural Care requires of their Au Pairs and has exceeded our expectations.

The International Au Pair Association established the Au Pair of the Year Award to recognize the many great young women and men participating in the au pair program, a demanding cultural exchange and childcare experience. The winner of this year’s award will be announced in February and honored at IAPA’s annual conference in March in Lisbon.

Leonie has gone above and beyond to create a healthy and enriching environment for her host children, while also challenging herself to learn a new language and culture. She is a great role model for her host children and other young people in the community,” said Hana Kirk local childcare consultant for Cultural Care Au Pair. Leonie's commitment and dedication to her host family and community certainly make her the ‘Au Pair of the Year’ in Maryland.”

Cultural Care Au Pair is the leading provider of intercultural live-in childcare. Since 1989, Cultural Care Au Pair has placed more than 100,000 au pairs in welcoming American homes. A division of EF Education and a U.S. Department of State regulated program, Cultural Care Au Pair is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., with an extensive network of recruitment, screening and orientation offices worldwide.

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About the Author

Hana Kirk, Cultural Care Au Pair
2313 Fairhaven Lane
Crofton, MD 21114

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