Who should help moms raise the kids?

Mary Poppins, the most famous nanny in the world, is every mother’s “Shangri-La.” Competent and playful, she could discipline children with a song, some magic, and of course, a spoonful of sugar. But since Julie Andrews is not (and won’t be) available, moms have a pretty tough decision on their hands. Who should help them raise their brood? Someone older and born and raised a few feet from home or an au pair who will probably better at entertaining and teaching kids a new language than at making sure they eat right or that bedtime is respected?
Fallon Collins of www.greataupair.com—an online nanny and au pair agency—says, “Better to hire a foreign au pair, this way your kids learn about a different culture. It’s a huge advantage for them. We work in the United States but our girls come from all over the world.” But Emma Conti, from Florence, disagrees: “No young girls please. My kids can learn a new language at school or traveling. Our nanny is 50-years-old and has already raised her own two children. She’s nurturing and loving—when she’s putting the little one to sleep she even sings in dialect—and she also takes care of us parents by cooking some fabulous meals.” What do you think?