Originally Posted by quad_red
I'd like some feedback please. Myself and the wife are currently in the process of introducing our first baby to his creche. It's an upsetting experience all round, particularly for my wife. We chose a creche close to her work and we visited it a few times and all seemed well. The manager is a nice friendly, professional girl and the staff were pleasant. One concern we voiced was that the girls minding the kids moved from room to room rather than there being a set pair in each room. The manager's point was that means it a was a big heave when the child grew into another room rather than being used to all the staff.
So we went along with it. However, on the second day where he's in the creche for an hour to get used to it, my wife has called me quite upset. Basically, the manager isn't in today and it appears all the staff, bar one, are non Irish.
Now, I'm not making any racist point here. Nationality is, to some degree, irrelevant once the person is caring and does the job well. But having exposure to Irish voices, accents etc. is preferable. And what does this say about the creche if they'll only hire foreign staff? Is it a cheap option? Cos we're paying top bloody dollar.
This has turned an already worrying, stressful experience up a notch. Should I start looking at alternatives? I'm going to say it to the creche manager later but how to say it without sounding like a red neck?
I used to think the same exact way as you. When I started to notice most childminders that are native English speakers, they were usually temporary visitors from Australia, NZ, and Canada. If I wanted someone for just the summer than it would not have been an issue. I was looking for something more long term and I did not want to be switching childminders, au pairs all the time. I wanted some stability and to get that I had to hire a foreigner that was a non (native) English speaker. I ended up hiring an Italian who had plenty of experience with kids but spoke very little English. She was here to learn and study English and was here more long term.
I will be honest, it was hard at the beginning; the culture shock and language barrier. But what mattered most to me was that my kids loved and accepted her, they were safe and well cared for. I trusted her more with my kids than with some of my own family
What happened to the kids being cared for by a foreigner? They are very comfortable with languages. They excel at Irish, Latin, French and of course English
. The teachers asked if we speak another language at home because they never saw kids pick up languages at that pace and so comfortably. I realised it was all the doing from the foreigner
I was first reluctant to hire. Even though she was here learning English, she communicated to my kids in Italian. They still can remember all the nursery rhymes and stories she would read to them. We still can't thank her enough because it was really her that made my kids excel at languages and other subjects at school. It was her foreign accent that made it easier to understand all the different kinds of accents we here today in modern day Ireland. My kids became more cultured and turned into food snobs
. My kids love meeting and making new friends that come from different countries and cultures.
If I were to do it all over again, I would not have any problem at all hiring a foreigner even a non-English speaking one to take care of my kids. If anything, there were far more positives than negatives and it helped open up all our eyes more.
My advice to you, don't be concerned about the lack of Irish people. Embrace the ones that are working tirelessly to make your child feel safe and cared for. If anything they deserve praise and gratitude. Management are not hands on and are not the ones looking after the kids. They are on the sidelines just collecting the $$$. Meanwhile, the ones that are actually looking after the children are not being paid or appreciated enough. If your child anticipates and loves going to the creche in the mornings and comes back to you happy, clean and gets along with the childcarers, than I would say there isn't a problem. If it's the polar opposite then I would be concerned.
If there is anything to be said about having non-Irish looking after kids, it teaches open-mindedness and acceptance. Children tend to be very smart and generally accept anyone who cares for them well regardless of where the person comes from. Racism and discrimination are usually taught in the home. I was the one who complained and got annoyed with her lack of English or couldn't understand her English (thank God only in my head). And for the entire time she worked for us, I did not hear one complaint from my kids about it at all. Kids don't notice something is different unless it's pointed out to them.
If the creche is unprofessional and neglectful by all means remove your child from that environment.
But if your concern is mainly regarding the non Irish presence, I would say don't worry about it. In fact, embrace it because it WILL BE a rewarding and enriching experience for any child.