Research indicates that the earlier a second language is introduced in the life of a child the better. Because of this many schools are offering language immersion programs as an option for students and their families as early as Kindergarten and even some preschools. Spanish and Mandarin seem to be very popular languages for these programs.
I have many families who host an au pair as a way to supplement the language practice at home. Au pairs are the perfect language tutors since they are with your children on a daily basis and can reinforce at home what the children have learned in their language program at school.
In addition to the children learning the new language, they can help the au pair learn English. This reciprocity can reinforce the new language for the children, by helping them better understand their own language.
Studies have shown that it is best to start children as early as possible on a new language and what better way than to have their caregiver speak it with them.
Here is an example of one of the au pairs in our cluster. She started to care for this little girl when she was a 3 months old and spoke to her in both English and Chinese. When the little girl began speaking she did so in both languages.
Go Au Pair has au pairs from all over the world. I encourage everyone who wants a bi-lingual child to explore this great childcare option.