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In Search of the Bilingual Advantage: Bilingual nannies provide children with a developmental edge

An increasingly global workplace and mounting evidence of the cognitive benefits of early language learning have families looking for caregivers that can not only provide dependable supervision but also language immersion and cultural enrichment.

April 11, 2012 - PRLog -- Contact:
David Allen (858) 381-5211

SAN DIEGO, California — Mary Poppins may have pronounced herself to be “practically perfect in every way,” but for a growing number of families, the response might be “great, but do you speak French?”

Though engaged parents have always been selective in searching for childcare options that are safe and enriching, an increasingly global workplace and mounting evidence of the cognitive benefits of early language learning have families looking for caregivers that can not only provide dependable supervision but also language immersion and cultural enrichment.  

Ambassador Nannies, a San Diego-based agency specializing in bilingual childcare and language tutors, is one company with its sights  set on changing the way families think about how their childcare decisions might fit into the bigger picture of nurturing academic success,  social development and cultural awareness.  David Allen, one of Ambassador Nannies’ founders, has developed international academic programs for young people for almost two decades.  During that time, he has seen a steady evolution from the time when only a small segment of American families made language fluency and cultural exchange a priority.  “When we offered language immersion programs in the 1990s,” Allen notes, “we were attracting the children of expatriates or a small segment of families who traveled abroad regularly, and our students were almost entirely from elite private schools.”  

When asked about the thinking behind starting a bilingual nanny and tutor service in San Diego now, Allen points to the “globalization” of everyday American life, a growing awareness of the importance of language and cultural fluency, and the particularly international character of San Diego’s families and culture. “I think it’s universally recognized that the internet and new technologies have made the world smaller,” Allen notes, “but the change can also be seen in the infrastructure of our daily lives. Our markets are stocked with foods from every corner of the world and freshly baked baguettes, our kids crave sushi and Thai food, and the school trip is as likely to be to Tuscany as to Washington D.C.  We developed Ambassador Nannies so that parents raising children in this increasingly global context can make bilingualism and cultural awareness a natural part of their children’s development.”  

The popularity of bilingual childcare is also being spurred by mounting clinical evidence suggesting that bilingual children enjoy a number of significant advantages in cognitive development.  In her book Raising Bilingual Children (Mars Publishing, 2003), Carey Myles writes, “Bilingualism has been linked to a variety of positive cognitive benefits, including early reading, improved problem-solving skills, and higher scores on the SAT, including the math section.” Myles also notes that bilingual children demonstrate “better listening perception” and “are more skilled at interpreting and manipulating grammar to communicate clearly.”

For many San Diego families, teaching their children more than one language isn’t just about seeking a social or intellectual advantage.  San Diego’s position as a border city, research and university hub, and simply as city famous for its weather and natural beauty has made it home to an increasing number of international families. For these new arrivals, a language other than English for their children is a necessary link to their family and cultural heritage.  Marc Mischkind, Ambassador Nannies’ co-founder, is a native of Paris who moved to San Diego a decade ago and recently became an American citizen.  His own son attends The Language Academy, a public French/Spanish immersion magnet which is only one of a number of bilingual schools that are flourishing around the County, including the Albert Einstein Academies, the French-American School, La Petit École, Longfellow School and the Chinese School of San Diego. As Mischkind points out, “A number of our clients have children in bilingual schools like the one my son attends but are not fluent in the target language. For those families, a bilingual nanny becomes both caregiver and tutor, helping the children complete homework and develop a native accent.”

“Too often,” Allen adds, “childcare is seen as a something parents are obliged to settle for in order to maintain a career or find balance in their lives. We believe that professional caregivers who can combine the roles of nanny, tutor and language coach make the time children spend with a nanny an enriching advantage, not a necessary compromise.”

For more information on this topic or to schedule an interview, contact David Allen at (858) 381-5211, or by email at dave@ambassadornannies.com.

Visit Ambassador Nannies online at  http://www.nanniesinsandiego.com

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Ambassador Nannies is the leading provider of bilingual childcare in San Diego County. All nannies are experienced and thoroughly screened and background checked as well as CPR and First Aid certified.

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Source:Ambassador Nannies
Location:San Diego - California - United States
Industry:Childcare, Family
Tags:San Diego Family, Childcare, Nannies, Babysitting, Education, Bilingual, Infants, Health
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