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.
I have been a resident of Lake County, Illinoisfor my entire life. I grew up in Antiochand move to Libertyvillein 1986. My first career was in telecommunications. I worked for AT&T for 32 years in sales, supporting multinational accounts. My husband Bob and I are empty nesters. Bob is retired from AT&T. Our son Matt attended ColumbiaCollegein Chicago. He currently lives and works in Boston.
In June 2004, I became a Local Childcare Consultant (LCC) for Cultural Care Au Pair supporting families and au pairs inLakeCounty. I work full time for Cultural Care out of my home office inLibertyville. I became a LCC to use my sales/support business experience and to learn more about the world and different cultures. In 2004, my group consisted of six families and, over the years, has grown to an average of 30 families each year. Over the years I have worked with over a hundred au pairs, many of whom I still am in contact with via email and Facebook in their home countries in Latin America, South America, Europe, and Australia and South Africa. My role as a LCC has expanded my view of the world far beyond my expectations. Although the majority of my au pairs have been female, I have been fortunate to have as many as four male au pairs in my group at a time.
My days are filled with meetings, telephone calls, and emails to the families and au pairs in my group. The au pairs currently in my group represent the countries ofGermany,Colombia,Mexico,Sweden,Thailand,Russia,Austria,Panama,Brazil,Chile, andPoland. There are four male au pairs Alex fromBrazil, Antonio fromMexico, Christian fromGermany, and Christopher fromSweden.
I also spend time in my community helping families find flexible, affordable, and quality childcare through the Cultural Care Au Pair program. I host monthly meetings for the au pairs assigned to me. We go bowling, participate in charity events, visit the local fire and police department for safety presentations, host a car wash event at the local Ace Hardware, walk in local parades, and sometimes just go for coffee or pizza.
For several years I have personally organized the Cultural Care Au Pair Chicago Area Scavenger Hunt in downtownChicagoat Millennium Park the third Saturday of September. This event involves over 200 au pairs and 20 LCCs. The au pairs have to search for answers and items in the downtown area for three hours. They learn about the city and its history and have an opportunity to win some wonderful prizes.
In these difficult economic times, more mothers are working. New moms are remaining in the workforce and at-home mothers who had decided to put their careers on hold are having to return to work. The demand for quality and affordable childcare has increased and I am able to help families in my community find a childcare solution that fits their needs. The cost of our program is about $320 a week per family, not per child. Au pairs can provide up to 45 hours per week of childcare which works out to be less than $7.50 per hour, regardless of how many children you have.
I am also very lucky to be able to offer my host families a Peace of Mind guarantee that protects my host family in three ways:
1) Price guarantee
Cultural Care has committed to keep program costs stable for the entirety of 2009
2) Program continuation guarantee
If a parent suffers an involuntary job loss, we will offer the family the standard contractual refund and allow them to keep their au pair until the end of her program term.
3) Financial safeguard guarantee
If a family is forced to withdraw from the program as a result of an involuntary job loss, Cultural Care will refund the unused portion of their program fees.
I consider myself very fortunate to have found a second career that I truly enjoy and feel so passionate about. I look forward to each day and what challenges and opportunities will come my way.