Are you interested in hosting an au pair? Wondering who works behind the scenes here at Au Pair in America to make your experience top notch?
Introducing our post-placement expert, Fiorella Ciralli. Fiorella plays a key part in our au pair placement process and chatted with us about her daily responsibilities, the importance of cultural exchange, and some of her favorite success stories.
Here is the inside scoop on all things Au Pair in America from the eyes of Post-Placement Expert, Fiorella:
Q. 1: Tell us a bit about yourself and your role at Au Pair in America.
“My role as Post-Placement Coordinator is such an interesting position,” Fiorella said. “It is constantly adjusted to meet our host families’ needs. I work with families after they match and before their au pair arrives to ensure they are prepared for this new adventure of welcoming an au pair into their home.”
Since her parents immigrated to the United States from Uruguay, cultural exchange always played an important role in Fiorella’s life. Now, she translates her passion for cultural exchange into her daily conversations with our host families.
“I feel that I have a strong appreciation for bringing cultures together,” Fiorella said. “I was also fortunate that my family hosted high school exchange students when I was younger, and that I studied abroad in the U.K. and Italy. Now that I have a child of my own, I hope to bring her all of the culture that I am so grateful to have experienced throughout my life.”
Q. 2: Why do you think cultural exchange is so important?
“Cultural exchange makes us more open-minded and accepting of others which is so important today,” Fiorella said. “By exchanging cultures, we can appreciate others, learn their customs and traditions, and become better people.”
She added that, while it can be difficult for people to travel internationally to experience new cultures, cultural exchange programs like Au Pair in America provide a great alternative.
“It can be hard for people to travel today and see and experience other cultures, especially with children. That’s why having an au pair is a perfect way to experience another culture – by bringing a different culture to you.”
Q. 3: What makes Au Pair in America different than other child care options?
“My team here at Au Pair in America really values the importance of our program. We want each and every host family and au pair to have the best experience,” Fiorella said. “We were the very first au pair program [in the United States]… and I can tell you that our host families’ feedback and suggestions are taken very seriously.”
In fact, we listen so closely to our host families’ feedback that roles in our office were adopted from that feedback – including Fiorella’s.
“We are constantly making changes and improvements to make our host families’ experiences better. When our host families felt they needed more assistance after they matched with an au pair, or with questions regarding their au pair’s arrival, Au Pair in America listened – and my role as Post-Placement Coordinator was created.”
Q. 4: Of all the heartwarming Au Pair in America success stories, can you share a favorite – or two?
“There are so many to share! We hear so many of these stories,” Fiorella said. “Recently, one host father walked his former au pair down the aisle since her parents were no longer there. Another story was of an au pair from Panama who, before she was matched, prayed with her mother for a good host family. She promised that, if the prayer came true, she would donate all of her clothing to children in need.”
As it turns out, Fiorella explained, the au pair was matched with a fantastic host family. She kept her promise in mind while they formed an incredible bond.
“After a few months with her host family, she said that she and her mother were donating all of her belongings because she was so blessed by the relationship that she and her host family developed. That shows just how precious the relationships between our host families and au pairs truly are.”