For her work as an au pair with a Zionsville family during a particularly difficult time for the family, Antonella “Anto” Arnau – was recently named the 2023 Au Pair of the Year by the International Au Pair Association.
Arnau, 27, from Argentina, began working with the Serfaty family in Zionsville in March of 2021 after Jessica Serfaty gave birth to her son, Asher, who was born three months premature. Asher spent 103 days in the hospital, during which time Arnau learned how to care for Asher and bonded with the Serfatys’ then-3-year-old son, Grayson.
Arnau received the Au Pair of the Year honor on March 23.
Every year, thousands of young people from around the world travel to the U.S. through cultural exchange visas to live with American host families to help care for their children as au pairs. Through the experience, they get a chance to see more of the world, gain confidence and impact their host families and host kids’ lives, according to the International Au Pair Association.
To highlight the impact, the International Au Pair Association annually hosts a global “Au Pair of the Year” contest. Host families share why they love their au pairs through a written essay and video, and IAPA reviews a small number of them submitted by member agencies.
“Anto has been our au pair for over two years,” Jessica said. “She came into our family at an extremely integral time, during COVID, as we were expecting twins.”
At 20 weeks of pregnancy, the Serfatys lost one of the babies unexpectedly, which brought son Asher into the world sooner.
“It never seemed like there was a moment (Arnau) doubted joining us with COVID and now Asher’s medical situation, with so much unknown,” Jessica said. “But through and through, Anto was there and supportive.”
Five-year-old Grayson said that Anto is his best friend and loves her.
“I love her because she always takes care of me,” he said.
Arnau continues to build memories with the Serfaty family in Zionsville and said she is touched by the award.
“It was such a huge honor to be considered for the nomination,” Arnau said. “It’s like a huge hug from my host family.”