Childcare is a big part of the au pair experience (alongside language learning, cultural exchange, and opportunities for travel!). For some people, it is the downside, the work you have to do in order to have fun. But as I am currently a professional caregiver/nanny planning my future career as a children’s librarian, I see this as an invaluable part of the cultural exchange.
I currently nanny or babysit regularly for nine different kids here in the Atlanta area, and each family has a unique approach to parenting. There are different rules, different emphases, and, of course, very different kids! I could (and probably will, once I get to Austria) talk about some of the ways that American parents raise their children, as well as my own philosophy of child care, but that’s not really the point of this post.
I want you to meet Anna Sophie.
She just turned one in February, and she is a bright expressive little girl from Krenglbach, Austria. Her parents want her to be raised bilingually, so they currently have an American au pair, whom I will be replacing at the end of the year. I will speak to her in English, while her parents speak to her in German.
Part of my job includes picking English-language books (especially songbooks) to take with me to Austria. Believe me, I’m really excited about that part.
So here’s Anna Sophie, the real reason for my time in Austria!