To Give Children an Edge, Au Pairs From China – Ginia Bellafante

From the New York Times:

In a conference room at a Holiday Inn last week in Connecticut, 167 young women from 22 countries received a tutorial in catering to the needs of the affluent American child. Many of the women were German. But two drew particular attention, Kunyi Li, 23, and Man Zhang, 24, among the first au pairs from China.

Their services are in great demand, in part because so many Americans have adopted baby girls from China. Driving the need more aggressively is the desire among ambitious parents to ensure their children’s worldliness, as such parents assume that China’s expanding influence will make the sophisticates’ language decades hence.

Au Pair in America, the 20-year-old agency that sponsored the two young women in Connecticut, had received no requests for Chinese au pairs until 2004, said Ruth Ferry, the program director. Since then, it has had 1,400. [Full Text]

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