"This year will be the best year of my life because I'll do what I love, which is to take care of children, to teach them and to learn from them." Remarks by an au pair from Mexico and a participant in the AuPairWorld Contest "The Best Year of My Life".
With this fitting quotation we would like to begin a look back on the past year, as this was also a terrific and highly eventful time for us at AuPairWorld. And as we also are doing what we love here at AuPairWorld, we are likewise looking forward to an exciting and rewarding 2015.
The first big highlight came in the summer of 2014. Our two millionth user, host family Franceschi from Italy, registered on the website. For us, this was a good occasion to travel to Italy and visit the Franceschi family and their au pair Elisabeth. We used the opportunity to make a video about a typical au pair day in their family and their beautiful city of Lucca, Italy.
There was also another AuPairWorld host family that had special reasons to celebrate in 2014. In cooperation with AuPairWorld, the clothing and fashion company Lands' End Germany organised a contest with the prize of a sponsored au pair year in the amount of 6,000 euros. A family from Northern Germany was selected as the happy winner.
In September more celebrations: Bringing together partners, employees and friends, AuPairWorld celebrated its 15th anniversary as a company and a website. We were very pleased to receive so many congratulations and to receive hundreds of impressive entries in our Anniversary Photo Competition.
Each year at its annual Entrepreneur Day, the state of Hessen in Germany gives awards to particularly successful companies in various categories. This year AuPairWorld received the "Hessen Champion" title in the category of "Global Market Leader" for smaller enterprises. The event was widely reported on in the German media, for example on the television networks RTL and hr-Fernsehen.
Uwe Regenbogen, founder and managing director of AuPairWorld commented: "It's terrific! For us – and by that I mean our great staff and our customers all around the world – it's recognition for successful work and cooperation over many years. We are very pleased to have received the title 'Hessen Champion 2014'."
We are constantly working to improve our website for our users. Again this year we provided lots of new information and tips about au pairing. On the website itself we implemented a new profile layout and many improvements in the AuPairWorld messaging system.
In the area of safety and security, there were also big developments. Our Security section was revamped and optimised, the website is now SSL encrypted and now only Premium Members see the full names of registered users.
In 2014 on Facebook we have also provided lots of customer care, given all kinds of information on many topics, and of course been very pleased to have so many visits and such a lot of nice feedback and sharing with our users. In the Christmas season, we have presented an Advent calendar this year.
In January next year, we will be introducing a unique new service for au pairs. The company AuPairWorld Local Services GmbH & Co. KG will be established in order to provide au pairs with the possibility of receiving a special set of services from a locally based "LocalCare Coach". These services will be provided by experienced host families to help make sure that au pairs get the most from their time abroad. The service will be launched first in Australia and can be booked for 6 months of ongoing contact with an LC Coach, support, and regular meetings with other au pairs for an all-inclusive price of 490 euros.
We want to say "Thank You!" to all our users for the great year that we have had together with you. By the way: The AuPairWorld team has also presented itself this year in our video "AuPairWorld: What we do". The video gives you a look behind the scenes at AuPairWorld.
We will be saying "Goodbye!" for the year 2014 as of 24 December and, after a short winter break, will be back in the office and serving you in the new year starting 6 January 2015.