A new trend it taking the capital. Hitting the headlines with Meghan Markle looking to hire a bilingual nanny for their newborn, in the last few years, the rise of families specifically wanting to hire a multi-lingual nanny to teach their child(ren) a second or even third language has become hugely popular.
But what are the advantages of hiring a bilingual nanny – and which are the favourite languages?
Science and Early Development
A recent study led by Janet Werker, a psychologist at Vancouver’s University of British Columbia, suggests that children who learn two languages at once may have increased cognitive abilities such as enhanced visual and auditory sensitivity [credit]. Furthermore, there have been MRI scans performed on mono-language and bi-lingual children’s brains. And the science shows that the brain activity of the bi-lingual children is often enhanced. This fascinating research shows that by exposing a young child to multiple languages it can aid in their later development. More and more families now recognise the science behind this. And are therefore looking to give their children the best start in life.
Often parents might not speak multiple languages, so they seek out a nanny with a specific language to teach to their child. The science speaks for itself.
Popular Language Choices
The most popular language choices, reflect the global languages of the world. Spanish is the first preference as it ranks fourth in the world (527 million speakers), and is found on most continents. Most of Northern American speak it as a second language. And both personal and commercial use of the language is now commonly found. Although French is still considered the diplomatic language of the world, Spanish is far more popular in people who speak it, and in turn families who request it. In fact Harry and Meghan wanted to find a Spanish nanny. Most likely Meghan values the influence of Spanish from her homeland America, and the benefits to learn the language.
The second popular language choice is of course Mandarin Chinese, with 1.1 billion speakers in the world. Of course, this language is specific to a region. But as China is fast becoming one of the leaders in trade and e-commerce, families who understand the value of their child speaking this language for their future career prospects are jumping at the chance to hire a Mandarin-speaking nanny. Mandarin speaking nannies are rare (outside of China), and the few that are working in the West are snapped up quickly.
As the demand for specific language skills increases, so does the supply and demand. In turn, this affects the salaries that families are expected to pay. Because Spanish is a widely spoken language the salaries have not been that greatly affected. This is also because there are many countries that speak it, including EU countries. However, the big jump can be seen in Mandarin-speaking nannies. As there are few of them working outside of China, they are in hot demand. They, therefore, can charge a high premium for their services. This can be a hard pill to swallow for families wanting to hire a Mandarin-speaking nanny. But ultimately if a family wants to have that language taught to their child, they have to pay the global rate.
A Spanish nanny would still command standard salaries, which can be found here. A Mandarin Nanny would be commanding almost a 30-50% increase on the standard rates. So it’s a big financial commitment for families who want to hire this specific language skill.
How to hire a Bilingual Nanny?
The great news is that families have lots of choice when looking to hire a bilingual nanny. And regardless of the specific language, they want to choose, there are lots of amazing nannies looking for work. Nannies who are keen to use their additional language skills to inspire the children in their care.
There are many routes to hire a bilingual nanny. You can self recruit, use your own network or online websites, or work with an agency like ourselves. Make sure you vet your chosen candidate or use a professional agency to help with the vetting process.
Every family wants to give their child the best opportunity, so if you are excited by the prospect of hiring a bilingual nanny – we’d love to help – why not get in touch with us here, and one of our consultants would be delighted to chat through more details with you.