Are Your Bilingual Childcare Expectations Reasonable?

by contributor · 2 comments

What I did not count on were the expectations of the parents and the difficulties of finding a good employee who speaks French. The francophone parents were very demanding and expected it to be just like in their home country, some parents forgot to pay, and others just expected their child to be fluent in just a few short weeks.

After two years, two deaths in our family, and the sense that we were working all the time, we decided to close the school.

What I have learned from this experience is that, just like the other parents at my preschool, my expectations were unrealistic; I was looking for my vision of the perfect childcare environment.  I have adjusted my outlook and my son is now in a multilingual preschool where he is thriving and happy.

Tips for finding childcare that is right for you, no matter what country you are from and live in:

  • Adjust your expectations to the country you are living in; do not expect that it will be just like in your home country.
  • Prioritize and make a short list of what your must-haves are.
  • Research childcare/preschool options.
  • Reach out to parents at work, in your neighborhood, and ask for advice.
  • Join parent groups that have similar interests to yours.

Have you ever had your child in a bilingual or immersion daycare?  What were your experiences?  Do you believe that your expectations were too high?  Or do you have experience starting your own daycare?  What would you share with others interested in starting their own?

Isabelle Kuhlmeyer, a native of France, lives in the Seattle area with her husband and son.  She is interested in meeting with other bilingual and multilingual families so share support and community.  Contact us at Multilingual Living if you would be interested in participating in gatherings of this kind and we will pass on your message to Isabelle.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Thea September 20, 2010 at 10:51 am

Great reality check! I think also that parents, and schools/preschools need to help set reasonable expectations. The schools need to help set expectations by being very direct in all their communications with parents (verbally and in writing).

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2 Bobby Saint November 23, 2017 at 6:48 pm

I appreciate you providing some tips for finding a good childcare facility in another country such as adjusting your expectations and researching for other options. It is ideal that you be the one to adjust to the childcare facility instead of them as certain policies in that country may be different from your home country. You may probably need to communicate with the director of the facility to set some expectations. Also, it’s best to research or look for other options just in case your child would eventually go to preschool. The director may be able to recommend some educational facilities nearby which would really be very convenient and practical on your end. If I were to enroll my child in bilingual childcare, I would make sure to keep this in mind. Thanks.

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