I would like to nominate our au pair Tamara for Au Pair of the Month.Tamara came to us in August last year. She entered our family when I was recently separated so emotions were high and things were tough.She took this in her stride and nurtured and loved when needed but took charge and applied the rules when required. She found the balance quickly. The kids took to her and love her so much. She has also helped the kids adapt to my new partner and also nurtured them through the fortnightly contact with their father.On weekends that she has no plans she will fold the washing, load or unload the dishes if it needs doing and I haven’t got around to it yet. This is always done by choice and no expectation. She will even come along to the kids sports on the weekend.Tamara has learnt to read my [...]
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Dear Tanya, Marc, Poppy and Elsie, This month it’s time to nominate you for the host family of the month. I hope you know that you have this title already, but I would like it to be official. :) I have only been here for four months, but it feels like its been only two and as if I have known you for years. From the beginning on I felt welcomed, appreciated and involved. Girls, you two are so cute and lovely and I am sure you will grow into beautiful and strong women. Poppy, you are such a big girl going to school now and being a talented reader! I love when your eyes start sparkling as you get excited for an activity or as you get an idea of what we can do next. Elsie, you are so brave going to Koru alone now and being one [...]
2018 Au Pair of the Year Winner - from France We're proud to announce that Nathan Rousseau from France has won Au Pair of the Year 2018. He was nominated by the Duncan family with this heartfelt video. Au Pair of the Year is an annual competition for host families to send in nominations of their amazing au pair that has made a difference in their lives. This year we received a number of outstanding and profound nominations which made us laugh and cry all at the same time. We are incredibly proud of each of the au pairs that have given their time and effort for their host families. After a difficult process of choosing the Au Pair of the Year, we have decided that the winner goes to.... NATHAN ROUSSEAU Congratulations for being such an amazing sibling to your host children. The special memories you have created [...]
I would like to nominate the Gerring family for the host family of the month. I’ve been in New Zealand for almost 11 months when I had to go into a rematch for my last month here. My host family in Auckland was moving and sadly I had to leave them. I was really worried about finding a family for only one month, I mean how high are the chances that there’s a family needing an Au Pair for a month? When I finally got the email that there’s a family not too far from Auckland looking for an Au Pair I got excited. I had luck with my first host family already and I didn’t expect to find a wonderful family again. But when I talked to Crystal on the phone for the first time, I felt relieved, because she sounded very nice. When the day came and [...]
Jana is amazing with both our children (age 4 and 9). She connects with each one in a very special way. The other day I arrived home, and then my eldest mentioned that Jana had promised to play a game with him. Even though she was off, she took the time out to spend 30 minutes planning with him, just because she had promised she would. Nothing is a problem for Jana. She is super flexible and can change plans as needed to fit in with what needs to get done. The other day I had worked late at night and left the kitchen tiding to the next morning. The children were sleeping in late, and I got to the kitchen to tidy it, Jana had already taken care of it for us. She goes above and beyond expectations. I mentioned we should do something with some old banana’s [...]
I would like to nominate the Bartlett family for host family of the month. Why? This question is very hard to answer in just one letter, but I will do my best. Dear Caroline, Chris, Georgia and Victoria, This is my attempt to thank you for the last 8 months we have spent together. I appreciate all the fun we have had and all the small and big things you did for me. Since my first day, you welcomed me into your life and your family, as if I had always been a part of it and I have felt more than comfortable ever since. Making a stranger feel like a family member can be difficult, but all your efforts made it seem easy. Whether it was inviting me to family dinners, birthday parties or holidays you always made me feel welcome. By asking about my day, my family [...]
We would like to nominate Lara Ahrenholz for Au Pair of the Month. We have been lucky enough to have Lara in our house for 10 months and will be sad to see her go home soon. When I asked our youngest child Billy why he liked Lara, he said, ‘I love Lara’, I asked why do you love her, he said ‘because she is the loveliest person in the world’. A pretty good reference!There are many reasons why we would like to nominate Lara.She has been so good with our boys. Our eldest, Zach, didn't want to go to his school holiday programs any more, he would much rather spend time with Lara. She is very creative, when Zach was learning to count in the ‘10’s’ she pulled out the lego to teach him an approach to learning this, something I would never have thought of! We have dedicated [...]
When you’re meant to spend a year with a person you’ve never met before, it’s not the grand gestures that make the experience amazing, but the little things. It’s every dinner we share together, most of them entertained by the days adventures and things learned not only by our 2 year old daughter but our au pair Annalena. It’s the new games, songs, and dances she’s taught our daughter. It’s how she engages in hours of imaginary play, donning all sorts of costumes and building or making all sorts of art and craft. It’s singing loudly and enthusiastically in music class or at home to the Wiggles! It’s our family’s excitement to be learning German and experiencing traditional German food in our home. It’s the trust Annalena has earned from our family because she makes smart decisions in every aspect of her own life and always puts the needs of [...]
It's been almost ten months now since I first arrived here in Wellington, and I'm still just as happy and excited to be here as I was that first evening when I got off the plane. And I owe it all to my wonderful host family; John, Andrea, James and Sam, and Charlie! From that very first night to now they have been nothing but welcoming and supportive, and I think that has made all the difference. I very quickly felt like I was part of the family, rather than someone who just lived here, and that in turn has made this year so much more fun and rewarding for me. Before I left for New Zealand, everyone kept warning me about homesickness and even after got here there was still a lot of talk about homesickness and how to cope with it. And to be honest, all that talk [...]
Children start learning numeracy skills from the time they’re born. This learning happens through everyday play and activities. As a child gets older, they learn more numeracy and maths skills, including understanding numbers, counting, solving number problems, measuring, sorting, noticing patterns, adding and subtracting numbers and so on. When you talk with your child about maths concepts in your everyday activities, it helps them understand how and why maths is useful. So depending on what your child’s ages and stages are there are several different ways that you can support their learning and development. Numeracy for under twos. Your baby loves hearing your voice and enjoys stories and songs with repetition, rhyme and numbers. Some things you might already be doing, or could start doing, with your baby to build numeracy skills include: Counting: The first one’s the easiest and most obvious and is simply to count. When [...]