Hi Everyone

So first of all – a big congratulations to Kiwi Families (and Rochelle in particular) for the launch of the new website. The site has really been rejuvenated and I have to say that it now qualifies as one of the ‘spunkiest’ websites out there – well done team!

Anyway – let me begin by introducing myself, I will try to make this short and sweet. My name is Cecilia Robinson and I’m originally from Sweden and immigrated to New Zealand at age 20, approximately 6 years ago.

I am the owner of a company called Au Pair Link. My husband and I started Au Pair Link about 5 years ago from our second bedroom in our tiny apartment. The reason why Au Pair Link was founded was because I was an Au Pair in America in 2004 and cared for gorgeous twin girls. When I decided to move to New Zealand I realised that there was no good Au Pair agency operating down here and decided to start Au Pair Link.

Au Pair Link initially started as a hobby which ended up taking over my life! I always tell people that Au Pair Link is a labour of love and while it has certainly been a tough 5 years – I can honestly say that I have loved every moment of it.

Today, Au Pair Link is one of the largest Au Pair companies in the world (top 5%) and we employ over 30 full-time staff across New Zealand. Au Pair Link is also the 5th largest home-based childcare provider in New Zealand having licensed through the Ministry of Education 3 years ago (this means that we provide an ECE curriculum, access to 20 Hours ECE, Winz subsidies etc).

In 2008 Au Pair Link founded the New Zealand Au Pair Association (NZAPA) to protect the interests of Au Pairs and Families across New Zealand. Raising industry standards in New Zealand has always been a passion for me because I want Au Pairs that travel ‘downunder’ to have the best possible Au Pair experience and for families to have a safe and caring Au Pair. Since Au Pair Link began operating in the New Zealand market and since we founded the NZAPA the average Au Pair wage has increased by 100 % and is now in line with International guidelines. New Zealand used to be considered quite ‘backward’ when placing Au Pairs and now we are seen as one of the leading destinations in the world!

Anyway back to blogging…In Sweden blogging is huge and I have just been aching to start my own blog so a big thank you to Kiwi Families for letting me have this forum! My blog will of course cover topics such as childcare but as I am also expecting our first child in August so I am excited to share my baby journey (and of course the selection of our first Au Pair) with other kiwi women and families.

Have a lovely day all!

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Cecilia Robinson, founder of My Food Bag, and Au Pair Link, is one of New Zealand's most successful female CEOs. Cecilia's business awards include: 'Her Business Best New Business award' in 2009, 'Businesswoman of the Year 2012’, ‘Best SME 2012’ and 'Supreme Winner of the Woman of Influence Programme' in 2017.

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