So I'm American, DH is German and we live in Germany. DS (now 6 months) is growing up bilingual German / English.
Anyway we've been searching for very part-time childcare here in our home -like 2 days a week for 3-4 hours each day. We finally found a wonderful, heartful woman we like very much. We already know her and she is very good with our son and he seems to really like her. Starting in January she's going to come two mornings a week as a mother's helper.
Thing is, she's Russian and speaks no English and her German is quite poor. I was wondering if we should ask her to speak only German with DS...or just let her use Russian with him, which would clearly be much more natural and easy for her. Here are my concerns:
If she spoke Russian with DS, it could confuse him. I do know kids can have many languages and manage just fine...we have multicultural friends whose kids know four languages, it does work. But this would only be a few hours a week, and ultimately will end. We were already thinking when DS is a bit older and walking and more social it may be good for him to go to a childminder who has 2 or 3 kids. So this current situation could go on for anywhere from 6 months to 2 years (he'll start part-time preschool / daycare at age 2). Of course there's always the chance it works out so well we just keep her on as chldcare well into DS's childhood. But I don't see why he should learn Russian necessarily.
BUT, her German is so incomplete. Not only would she be modelling poor German for him (even though he does get correct German from every other direction), but it is not natural for her and I wonder if she could actually be more present and involved with him if she were just using her native language.
So, WWYD? Ask her to use German with him, or just let her use her more natural first language, Russian?