I took my kids and my neice to the mall today in Marin county and I was met by a parade of Spanish speaking Nannies with their little ones in tow. I could tell they were Nannies because they looked nothing like the little children they had with them. I could also tell they were Nannies because they treated the children in a manner that indicated they were not the parents. And I could tell they were Nannies because I speak Spanish fluently and I can understand everything these women say to each other as well as to the children.
I met a group of Spanish speaking Nannies at a park when I first moved to the South Bay and I was so excited to find and meet ladies that brought their kids to the park and sat and chatted in Spanish, my Spanish was going to improve! After having been at home for 4 years and not having used my Spanish professionally, I was excited to bring it out of the briefcase and dust it off. As soon as the ladies learned I was an actual parent and not a Nanny, they changed parks and I never met them again. In the time I was able to spend with them, I was apalled by their treatment of other people's children and the things they said about the children in front of them, because these children understood what they were saying. In the time I was able to spend with them that one day at the park, I was apalled by the high number of children that were in the care of what seemed to me, a high number of unqualified caregivers. These Nannies were apalled by the end of the playdate that I was the mother of my two children and that they had invited me into their inner circle without checking to see if I was a Nanny first.
I was approached at the end of the playdate by one of the Nannies and given a stack of business cards and asked to distribute them among my Mommy friends.
I believe that teaching our children more than one language is a good thing and that we are helping them to expand their educational opportunities by introducing them to 2 or 3 languages at a young age. I think that we should try to expose our children to people of all languages and all cultures. I also think that hiring people to watch our children is good for the economy and that everyone who wants to work in this country should get a chance to, Spanish speaking Nannies included.
Just know this, if you do pay someone to watch your kids, make sure you know them well or make sure you don't care about what goes on when you aren't there, because there is a good chance that they don't treat your kids or talk to your kids or act around your kids the same way that you do when you are with your kids. That is why they are called Nannies.