Thursday, May 24, 2012

Families Turn to International Au Pairs to Teach Children a Second Language



Bilingual Au Pairs Provide Both Childcare and Language Education

 With the increasing need to prepare children to enter a global society, a growing number of American parents are demanding childcare providers who can offer their children first-hand knowledge of another culture, language and traditions. Whether it is Chinese, Spanish, German, Russian or Swedish, families across the United States are seeking childcare providers who speak a foreign language. One childcare option gaining popularity among parents is an international au pair, a live-in childcare provider who is able to teach children a second language in the home.
Why the growing interest in raising bilingual children? For children, the benefits of learning a second language range from superior problem solving skills and enhanced school performance to having a better understanding of other cultures and traditions. With growing global competition for the best jobs and admission into top-rated schools, parents also want to prepare their children for a professional career in which speaking a foreign language and cultural sensitivity are competitive advantages.

"Most experts agree children are more likely to become proficient in a foreign language if they learn the language at a young age. Choosing a bilingual caregiver who interacts with children on a daily basis is a perfect fit for parents who want to expose young children to a second language," said Melissa Fredette, Executive Vice President of Cultural Care Au Pair. "Au pairs bring great enthusiasm into the home and are excited to teach their host children about a new language, traditions, food and music-allowing children to develop an understanding of another language and culture first hand."
Au pairs live and study in the United States for one year on a J-1 cultural exchange visa in exchange for providing 45 hours of childcare per week. The U.S. Department of State regulates all au pair programs in the United States, offering parents the peace of mind that their children are in the care of a carefully screened, qualified caregiver.

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