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A new nanny agency with a touch of difference: languages
You will often hear people claim that if you speak English you don’t need to speak anything else because everyone in the world speaks it. Those who know anything about globalisation will tell you that in reality it is just the opposite: the more languages you speak the better. Therefore, it is not surprising to see many young parents looking to have their little ones tutored in another language from a very young age. They understand that the earlier a child starts learning a language the higher the chances he/she will become fluent in it.
As a result, parents are increasingly searching for bi-lingual schools, after school clubs and activities and of course, bi-lingual nannies. If your child is going to learn another language for a few hours a week, isn’t it better to do it every day and with a native speaker to ensure that your child gets well and truly the best start in life.
This is the philosophy behind the creation of St Pancras Recruitment. The staff they offer speak good English of course but more importantly, they can also speak other languages.
Marine Lienard, its founder, realised very quickly at the London nanny agency she worked previously that more and more families were looking for bilingual if not trilingual nannies. This is when the idea of creating an agency that specialised in this area came to Marine Lienard. This clever Sorbonne educated woman, who paid her way through university by doing a fair amount of babysitting and who came to England to work and get married, is about to have her first child. She told me that true to her word, she has already recruited a nanny from Ecuador, a real Mary Poppins, who, from day one, will be teaching her baby Spanish, one of the most sought after languages after French…of course.
But what type of languages are the most popular when it comes to the requests she receives from families? She tells me that French quickly followed by Spanish and then Mandarin come top of the list. However, some families also ask specifically for some more obscure languages or even dialects. Arabic spoken in some specific countries such as Moroccan or Lebanese is also in demand.
But is it always easy to find candidates? It has to be said that with some countries, finding the staff is not always easy and getting them a visa can be difficult. Because of this, the salaries that families are prepared to pay for the right person can be some time as much as £600 net per week although in most cases, nannies get paid between £350 and £500 net per week excluding perks such as overseas travel, gym membership, mobile phone, car and end of year bonus. But depending on the needs of the family for some this means working around the clock.
When talking to Marine, she is so enthusiastic about what her nannies bring to their little ones that she strongly believes that giving another language to a child is the greatest gift a child can receive. However, It is also critical for the child to be looked after in the proper way and by someone you can trust.
This is why checking each and every candidate fully is the one thing where absolutely no corners are cut. Would be applicants are interviewed face to face or via skype if they are not in the UK, references are checked and CRB checks are requested for both the UK and their country of origin.
In all cases, they are asked to have a recent first aid certificate and to have a good master of English. This latter ensures that they are able to integrate other nanny groups more easily, communicate with their charge’s teacher and sort out any problem they might encounter on a daily basis.
As a working mother of three multilingual children who are now grown up and who thank us every day for the additional languages they speak, I know how difficult it has been to ensure that our kids were receiving enough language practice and how my husband and I were for ever looking for nannies who could fulfil that role. I wished that at the time, someone like Marine had been around to help us. It would have made our lives so much easier.
If you want to find out more on raising bilingual or even trilingual children,
call Marine Lienard on 0207 183 4235