As a Cultural Care local childcare consultant (LCC), I invite our host families and au pairs as well as those considering Cultural Care Au Pair to explore my site and learn about what is going on in our community. I provide year-round support to host families and au pairs, and also talk to families considering the program to help them determine if Cultural Care Au Pair is the right childcare solution for them.
Welcome to my website! My name is Jennifer Yoel (aka ‘The Au Pair Guru’) and thank you for taking the time to get to know me!
LEADER IN THE CHILDCARE INDUSTRY
As a Local Childcare Consultant for 12 years, I have worked with thousands of families and au pairs. I have been inducted into Cultural Care Au Pair’s elite Leadership League since joining the organization in 2008 and have held the distinct title of Platinum League member and Gold member since it’s inception last year. The Leadership League celebrates LCCs who have done the following:
(1) Spread awareness of the au pair program by bringing on quality families looking for childcare
(2) Act as a global ambassador to both au pairs and American families in addition to managing U.S. State Department guidelines
(3) Offering exemplary service and customer satisfaction to both host families and their au pairs
As a Leaguer, I mentor LCCs across the country and have been asked by top management to speak to our team of close to 1,000 LCCs and Cultural Care office staff at our annual National Conference. In addition to public speaking engagements, I am proud to have worked with our Swiss team to create guidelines to improve the Recruitment and Training of our new au pair candidates overseas. I believe that a big part of my success in the field is communicating to our corporate team what is working for my au pairs and host families and what needs improvement. I am fortunate to have a close relationship with this team and feel I always have a seat at the big girl table!
When a family is interested in learning more about the au pair program, my job is to make sure I really, truly get to know them! It is easy to match up a family with an au pair candidate, but I take the time to understand the family, the au pair, and make sure that match will not only last the year but a lifetime! I provide a detailed list of open-ended questions to make sure that families are getting a sense of the au pair’s English level, personality, intelligence, uniqueness, and how they think under pressure. Please take a look at my blog, ‘30 Questions To Ask Your Next Au Pair or Nanny.‘ More importantly than knowing what childcare responsibilities the au pair has had back home is assessing a personality match. I am proud to say that families always come back to me – whether it is for advice or a thank you. I love knowing that I have helped countless families provide a stable, happy learning experience for their children. Please don’t hesitate to ask for my references!
In addition to my early travels abroad, I have been fortunate to travel all over the world with Cultural Care Au Pair. In my 12 year tenure I have visited South America, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Africa. Through these experiences, I have met with overseas staff and au pair candidates to learn their cultural differences and provide this understanding to my American families looking for au pairs. I pride myself on providing honest feedback and directing families towards an au pair that makes sense for their busy lives and their future au pair. Au pair childcare works when expectations are aligned and understood. I have influenced positive outcomes for hundreds of families. I am happy to say that while I am proud to hold the title of “The Au Pair Guru,” I advise families if au pair childcare is not the right fit for them. I have made so many contacts throughout my years that if au pair childcare is not an option for a family, I just may be able to direct you to a different, more suited option for you!
HOW THE AU PAIR PROGRAM CHANGED MY LIFE
I have 3 children and fell in love with au pair childcare when my youngest daughter was born. With three children under the age of 3, I was looking for someone who was pre-screened by a trained professional, insured, had CPR/First Aid training, had a legal driver license, and someone who could provide a flexible childcare schedule to my ever-changing life! As a former exchange student, I was drawn to the idea of welcoming cultural exchange into my home and opening up my children’s world. In 2007, we welcomed Cintia from Brazil. While Cintia is now back home and is starting a family of her own, we still have a permanent seat for her at our table. I love that Cintia plans to take some of the child-rearing ideas of her American family and apply them to her Brazilian family. She will incorporate both cultures to open minds and welcome ideas cross-culturally. She provided more than just childcare for our family. She is a part of lives – today and always.
THE BEGINNINGS OF THE AU PAIR GURU
Cultural exchange has always been a huge part of my life. When I was in High School, I earned a merit scholarship to work with Cornell professors in an intensive Japanese language and culture program over the summer. For 6 weeks, I lived and breathed Japanese and learned to appreciate the importance of cross- cultural awareness. I continued my studies with regular phone calls in Japanese with my professors and then embarked on a 2-month study abroad experience in Japan after I graduated high school. This experience paved the way for my fascination with language and culture. I lived with a Japanese family who did not speak English, I relished in the fact that I was experiencing a culture that was so different from my own. It was not easy to acclimate at first, but I welcomed the diversity, the challenges and the unknown.
In my Junior year of college, I spent 6 months in Paris, France. I studied at the University of Paris and immersed myself in the French student body. I also lived with a French woman and her daughter, Celine, who was half-French/half Chinese. I loved every minute of my abroad experience and soaked up the language and culture with a new appreciation for the French way of life. I was fortunate to travel throughout Europe; visiting big cities and quaint towns. I felt empowered by my experiences and to this day feel that anyone who takes the time to understand another culture can experience greater peace and happiness in our world. In addition to Japanese and French, I have studied Spanish, German, and Russian. After graduating from Brandeis University, I was accepted into The American University. I earned a Masters Degree in International Affairs and Economics.
After living in Boston, Washington D.C., Japan, and France, I settled back down in my home state of New York. It still surprises me to this day that after all of my travels, I settled 12 minutes from where I grew up. In many ways, travel not only opens your mind to others, it also helps you appreciate what you have. I am fortunate to be surrounded by family and good friends and would not change that for anything.
As a former exchange student, host mom and award-winning au pair childcare consultant, I am thrilled to help so many families feel confident in their childcare decisions. With The Au Pair Guru by your side, you can take on those well deserved date nights, have a peaceful outing to the grocery store, enjoy a flexible schedule that only an au pair can provide, have your kids’ things organized by the time you come home, learn a new language, or just be at peace knowing your children are safe and happy. Please take some time to follow my Facebook and Instagram pages or give me a call to say hello. I look forward to sharing my world with you!
The Au Pair Guru