The Inside Scoop on All Things Au Pair in America
Looking at Au Pair in America “behind the scenes” is the best way to learn about the world’s most experienced, live-in cultural child care program. To gain this perspective, we recently asked one of our Au Pair in America experts a few questions.
Meet Karen Paris-Beck, a Placement Coordinator here at Au Pair in America! She answered the following questions based on her own unique experiences.
Q. 1: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Au Pair in America.
“My role as Placement Coordinator is to assist host families with a current application through the matching process,” Karen said.
Originally from Laval, Quebec, Karen put down her roots in Connecticut and has been a Placement Coordinator at our Stamford, CT headquarters for 10 years.
“I make sure host families are comfortable getting started with their search by walking them through the process and introducing them to our state-of-the-art portal,” she said. “I assign au pair suggestions, share my knowledge of the applicant pool and respond to/direct any questions or concerns.”
Q. 2: What’s your favorite Au Pair “Success Story”?
Karen’s favorite success story took place at an au pair workshop she attended in Bonn, Germany.
“A longtime host mother and her son from the Midwest were invited to speak to the group,” Karen said. “The mother spoke about the 10 au pairs her family has had over the years and what they learned from each of them. Then, her son spoke about how the au pairs impacted him positively.”
Before the workshop, unbeknownst to the host family, arrangements were made for many of their au pairs to be in the audience. When they saw them there, they were both shocked and incredibly touched.
“In that room was a wonderful circle connecting a family, the agency, and this group of young women,” Karen said. “One weaved into the other and a big picture came into focus.”
Q. 3: In your opinion, what differentiates Au Pair in America from other childcare options?
“The strong network of support that we provide is a major differentiator between Au Pair in America and other child care options,” Karen said.
She explained that the experience and dedication her team offers are helpful resources for host families to rely on.
“Our customers can be assured they are reaping the benefits of many aggregate years of experience across the board – from here in our Stamford office, our Local Community Counselors in the field, our sister office in London, and international partners around the world.”
Q. 4: What is the most rewarding part about being a Placement Coordinator?
“One of the most rewarding parts is seeing host families and au pairs meet for the first time,” Karen said.
Some local host families meet their au pairs at the Stamford, CT office. Though the au pairs are initially nervous while waiting, everything changes when they meet their host family.
“It’s a happy reunion when everyone meets, with lots of laughter, hugs, and occasionally tears. Sometimes the whole family shows up to meet their au pair, and it’s extra special when the au pair meets the children,” she said. “As a Placement Coordinator, it’s pretty cool witnessing them beginning their journey.”