Friday, October 27, 2006

snorts and worries

The Little Madam's slight sniffliness has developed into a full-blown cold (which helps explain her irribility of late), and it hasn't taken long for my sinuses to mucous-up in sympathy.

The timing's not exactly convenient, since we were supposed to be meeting our potential caregiver today. It's been postponed until tomorrow, but in all honesty I doubt that she'll be any safer from our bogey-germs by then.

I shouldn't judge until we've at least met the nice-sounding woman who's offered her home and her childcare services, but already I'm not totally sure she's the right person for the job.

For one thing, her English is "not one hundred percent" (her agency's words - she's from India). Kiwis tend to speak pretty quickly compared to other English-speakers, and I tend to mix fast-speaking with spoonerisms and mumbling. There could be a lot of opportunity for mis-communication.

Then there's the fact that she has no formal childcare qualifications whatsoever. She'll be studying toward one while she's working, but it's really not the same - I just envisioned that the person showing my little girl the world would have been trained already.

Also, not meaning to be racist - I'd far rather that the person who spends 15-20 hours per week with TLM was of either the boy's culture (English, Welsh) or mine (Chinese, Kiwi). I reckon TLM would be more comfortable with that.

Though, aside from the first concern, I'm probably making too much of it. Just because a person hasn't book-learned something doesn't necessarily mean they aren't going to be great at it. And there are probably tons of well-adjusted kids who're being raised by caregivers of a different culture and language from them (like the children of expats, for instance).


mike sebring said...

Hi there,
Speaking of speaking, how often do you Kiwis say "I reckon"?
I have not been keeping up, I hope things are going well (aside from the wee one's cold).

Beth said...

Hi Violet,
I think this sounds a bit dodgy! Is there no one available who is qualified? In England it's illegal to be a childminder without dong the qualification first.
Have you looked into daycare nurseries?
I was really wary f putting Eve in one at first - I was going to get a childminder, but since she has been there, I've been very happy with the care they give her and her development has rapidly increased from being around the other kids.
:-) Good luck and hope this cold doesn't last as long as Eve's has!

Violet said...

mike: Hi, long time no email! I can't speak for all Kiwis, but I probably don't say "I reckon" often enough - certainly not as often as I say "eh".

beth: In NZ the aim is for all childcare workers to have some sort of qualification by the year 2000-something, but I'm guessing that it's still okay for the unqualified ones to work. The daycare centres are all booked up at least until the end of the year, then they choose from whoever's on the waiting list. At such short notice, there was only the one person available with this particular agency who was willing to do half-days. I hope Eve isn't sick for much longer :-)

The Editter said...

my Kiwi neice and nephew live in Thailand, have a Burmese nanny and Filipina teachers at their school attended by kids from everywhere so they've all kinds of influences on their accents which are sometimes weird!

The most important variable in education is the relationship between the teacher and the child. The Burmese nanny isn't qualified but she loves and cares for the kids and they adore her in return - and therefore learn well from her.

Good luck - there's no ideal solution to the work/childcare combination, but I hope you find something that works well for you all.

Angela said...

When I finish school and start work I know I will have to leave my precious little boy with someone. He will probably end up in daycare. I hate the idea, but with school loans I will need the money. I think there is a rule or something that says it has to be hard to leave our little ones. Hope everything works out wonderfully.

Make Tea Not War said...

My daughter's absolute favourite of the care givers at her day care is a Japanese male. As long as this lady is kind and gentle- which she certainly sounds like- TLM will be fine. And she has to be doing something right if her son is obviously flourishing and well socialised. And presumably, as TLM gets older you'll eventually move her into something more structured where qualifications will make more of a difference.

I've had a terrible sinus infection all week. Hope yours goes away sooner.

Violet said...

the editter: you mean, TLM could end up sounding like a cast member of "Goodness Gracious Me?".

angela: the irony of it all is that I'm totally keen on TLM being in daycare, at least part-time, because she will probably learn so much more than when she's just hanging out at home all day.

mtnw: Too bad about your sinus infection. Mine disappeared overnight, though it was replaced by a severely stiff neck requiring several doses of Voltarin.

Thanks all of you for sharing your thoughts. It really does help.

happy and blue 2 said...

Hope TLM is better soon.
And I hope the childcare service works out..