Our dedicated, professional staff are one of the many things that set us apart. Placement Manager Lorraine Somma-Mates is passionate about cultural exchange, and with experience working in different areas of our placement division, she brings a unique perspective to her role. Read more from Lorraine about her role, why cultural exchange is important, and her tips for au pairs and host families on how to have a successful year.
Please describe your role at Au Pair in America.
I am the Placement Manager, and so I manage our placement team and our registration team. This entails: the host family application process, the matching process, walking families through what to expect, and so much more. I have been working with Au Pair in America for 16 years, and I have worked in different roles so I have a range of experience which I think helps me in my current role. I worked as a Regional Program Manager, as well as the Rematch Supervisor, so I have worked closely with families and au pairs and I understand their needs and concerns.
For myself and my team, our mission is helping families find the right child care, and providing the best customer experience possible.
What do you enjoy about your job?
My favorite part of the job is working with families; it’s an exciting time for them. It’s always exciting for me to talk to the families who come back year after year and know us by name.
Something I am very proud of are the initiatives and resources that we have put into place, which have come directly out of feedback from our customers. We listen to our families and we use what they say. When we call for a three month check in, we genuinely want to know how your family is doing, if there are any issues, and how can we improve the experience for everyone involved.
Why are cultural exchange programs like these important?
Cultural exchange programs like Au Pair in America are important because they make the world smaller; I think that’s the reason I work here. I believe in it and so I practice it professionally and personally: I sent my daughter to study abroad, and we host our international partners and vice versa quite frequently. We have partners in over 50 countries, and we bring them to our offices to see what we do and see what the au pairs experience, as well as receive our own cultural training.
What are your tips for au pairs and host families for how to have a successful year?
Be as honest as you can about your family and what you are looking for; the more you are, the more likely you will find the right au pair for your family. And be in touch with your Placement Coordinator and local Community Counselor. Even if you like searching on your own, our team can provide practical advice and assistance. Ask the kids to join in on the second or third call, having them involved too is important. And lastly, give au pairs the chance to interview you!
We are available 7 days a week to answer your questions and discuss your child care needs. Schedule a consult with us at a time that’s convenient for you, or view au pairs available now on our website.