Do you know your child care options in Singapore?
Getting married, planning for babies, and feeling edgy over how to take care of your future (or present) kids, whilst juggling your full-time work, is a pretty testing phase of life for most of us. Or, are you just moving in and new to Singapore?
Instead of feeling lost, why not find all your needed answers right here in this article?
Here are your 7 child care options here in Singapore, together with their pros and cons:
- Find A Babysitter (or Nanny)
- Enroll in Childcare Centers
- Enlist A Family Member’s Help
- Enlist Help From Your Community
- Hire A Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW / FDW)
- Get A Flexible Work Arrangement
- Be A Homemaker
Find A Babysitter (or Nanny)
Now, did you know finding a babysitter or nanny in Singapore can be rather fuss-free and fast? This is thanks to dedicated companies like MEIDE Babysitting in Singapore. Whether you are looking for a platform, a direct-to-nanny, or concierge or butler-like service – we have it all.
Unlike the past where nannies are usually only known via word-of-mouth, or passed between parents via old-school name cards and phone contacts, you can find babysitters very efficiently today. Increasingly, parents and families thus use a nanny or babysitter for all their child care needs. Indeed, whether it is a full-time, stay in, overnight or part time babysitter, all these available types of babysitters make finding a babysitter as a child care option very accommodating for parents. Let us take a look at the pros and cons of getting a babysitter as a child care option:
Babysitters in Singapore come in a wide variety. Hence, their costs can vary and be negotiated. Often, parents can pay exactly for what they need and avoid overpaying for child care services. Hiring a babysitter to take care of your kid is very cost-efficient. Besides, bear in mind that babysitters often provide one-to-one dedicated care for your kid!
Depending on your schedule and locations, you can arrange one or more babysitters. Because babysitters are located all over our little island, you can get relief easily. You can get someone to take care of your kids in a flexible manner. In fact, you can choose between leaving your kid with the babysitter at their place, or having the sitter stay at your place too!
Thirdly, babysitters can provide you handy and timely child care. When you need it the most, count on an on-demand babysitting service like MEIDE to get your required help quickly. Many other child care options would likely not be able to get you assistance so urgently!
The varying prices of babysitters can be good for parents on budget. However, it also become confusing and time-consuming for those who undertake finding a sitter by themselves. For a rather long period of time, this has been the case. Well, because we are problem-solvers at MEIDE – you can now no longer face this trouble – simply book via our online form and our dedicated coordinator will get back to you to settle everything seamlessly and efficiently. Yes, we get you the LOWEST prices possible. We fit it within your requirements and we do not take a cut from the babysitters’ pay at all!
Also, searching around for a sitter can be cumbersome for new parents or expats who have just arrived in Singapore. This is because they may not be familiar with the culture locally or know exactly what kind of criteria to look out for in a babysitter. Coupled with a list of their own needs, finding a babysitter who fits all the points, may seem to be an arduous task! Again, to counter this con, MEIDE will always arrange a specialized and experienced coordinator for you when you book here. Not only can we record and arrange the babysitting according to your individualized needs, we will also advise upon what should or should not be possible based on the latest and on-going situation of searching for babysitting here in Singapore.
Enroll in Childcare Centers
Immensely popular amongst locals – child care centers are a huge life-saver for families with children in Singapore!
Let us check out the pros and cons of having your children be taken care of at child care centers:
Huge cost savings can be made by enrolling your child in child care. With the government’s help (via MSF, ECDA and the like as of this time of writing), families will be granted varying subsidies based on their income, needs and other profile. Moreover, as the teacher-to-student ratio is always more than 1:1, the costs per student can be brought down. Hence, with these detailed calculations, parents will often find childcare centers to be the most economical of all child care options in Singapore.
A child care center can be extremely convenient for you and your spouse. Most centers operate for 10 to 12 hours a day, and 5 to 5.5 days a week. There are also over a thousand child care centers available in Singapore, and more than 50,000+ (and counting still) spots for kids! You can find and register very easily for child care by clicking here!
If you are an experienced mommy, you will know that many child care options have this loophole. What if your nanny or babysitter calls in sick suddenly? What is your MDW goes overseas or on vacation? With childcare centers, you can have less worry about sudden absences. This is due to multiple teachers present and availability of relief teachers, especially in larger pre-schools and child care centers.
Finally, your child gets to learn and develop holistically at child care centers. Not only are all licensed childcare centers in Singapore equipped with a dedicated and appropriate learning curriculum, the number of teacher-to-student ratio is kept monitored for optimal safety and learning. In fact, your kid would also enjoy the company of friends of similar ages!
At childcare centers, your child may have a possible higher chance of contracting communicable diseases. This includes frequently – Hand Foot and Mouth Disease, Influenza, Rotavirus, COVID-19, Chicken Pox, the common cold viruses and others. Thankfully, with increased awareness, contact precautions and disinfection frequency, the risks are lower than before. Still, there is no 100% escape from this risk.
Expect a really, really long waiting list before your kid gets a spot at the center. In current times, due to overwhelming popularity, child care centers may have waiting times from a few weeks to numerous months. We heard stories about parents waiting until their kid had passed the maximum age allowed for the center before being dropped out of the waiting list. Ouch!
Last but not least, there will be closure dates by the center for cleaning, disinfecting, staff training, and so on. During these days, unfortunately, you will still need to engage your other child care options!
Enlist A Family Member’s Help
Enlisting help from a family member is a very popular and beneficial child care option! This could be grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, or even an elder sibling. Let us look at how the pros would probably outweigh the cons. That said, enlisting a family member’s help to babysit does not preclude engaging other child care options simultaneously too!
When a fellow family member helps to babysit, he or she inevitably builds a bond between the children, himself or herself, and the rest of the family. Indeed, with family, time spent together is always time well spent!
Other than forging closer bonds, getting help from a family member to take care of kids is practically free-of-charge! For families who face financial constraints, helping each other out is a win-win child care option that saves costs!
Lastly, communication between parents and the “babysitting” family member can be much smoother. Time can be saved explaining and orienting the babysitter if the sitter is a family member and already familiar with the needs and surroundings!
Unfortunately, a family member may not always be available. Often, our family members may already be preoccupied, or at work or school. Hence, enlisting their help over long periods of time may not be very ideal, as it does eat up their personal time.
Next, engaging a family member to take care of the kids can be a double-edged sword. As much as it can knit closer ties, it can also create tension or conflict, especially if incidents happen during the babysitting period. For instance, as not all family members are equally experienced, a teenage cousin may accidentally scald their baby cousin with hot milk unintentionally. This may cause unhappiness with the parents, as well as fear and guilt in the family member volunteering her time and effort.
Avoid such potential trouble with MEIDE’s help:
Book your #1 home services today, or join our team!
meide.sg is here for you, always.
Enlist Help From Your Community
Other than help from immediate family members, parents can tap on many available community-related child care options too. These include online mummy groups, forums, WhatsApp and Telegram groups, and even your neighbors.
Enlisting help from your nearby community is something peculiar as some mummies love it, whilst some remain very wary of it. Weigh these pros and cons before you decide on this child care option:
This is usually free of charge. Mutual favors often come out of goodwill and mutual understanding amongst families in the same situation and neighborhood. Or simply said, community help to take care of your kids is all part of our Singaporean “Kampung” spirit!
Therefore, lending each other a helping hand to take care of children can be beneficial between both families and increase cohesion within our community as a whole! Personally, we may even know of acquaintances who are as close to their neighbors as they are to their own family. In times of need, this strong support amongst fellow families really gives robust moral boosts!
Lastly, with the advent of technology, many fellow parents can now also link up with each other readily! Already, there are many community-driven playgroups where kids of the same age can play together. During this time, their mummies or daddies can then relax together and share tips and tricks to tide over their challenges faced as new parents!
Unfortunately, for those who remain wary, they are not without reason. Having help from anyone in your community without proper checks may pose dangers. Practically speaking, not all parents may portray equal vigilance when watching over their kids. Furthermore, when many children come to play, they usually become too engrossed in play and forget about hazards around them. Thus, the incidence of accidents when children are cared for by non-vetted community-related child care options may become higher, according to our experience.
Hire A Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW / FDW)
Traditionally, many young parents would consider this. Simply, they have been brought up by parents who themselves engage migrant domestic or foreign domestic workers (MDW / FDW) to help a growing family cope.
Thus, some family units end up thinking of this as the first, or only choice to take care of their children. We really beg to differ here!
Today, with increased education and knowledge around us, parents are increasingly aware of more options. On top of that, advancing technology and an evolving culture has made hiring MDWs not the “only option” anymore.
First though, a MDW or FDW can be really beneficial as a child care option. Not only can a full-time stay in helper take care of your children, they can also possibly cook, do grocery shopping, and handle housework, amongst other legally prescribed tasks.
Cost-wise, a MDW is arguably much more economical and affordable, especially in the long run. For an exact cost comparison, check out this article here. Trust us at MEIDE for we have done our research!
Until one has gotten down to really hiring a MDW or FDW, one may not fully appreciate all the possible and intricate difficulties! Here are some possible problems with hiring a full time stay in helper (FDW) to take care of your children:
- Suitable accommodation and space need to be provided and that may be a concern with the limited living spaces many families have in our tiny island
- A reduction in personal space and privacy may be faced by family members when sharing the same house as your FDW
- Getting a right FDW is almost akin to matching your family with a “new family member” – and quite dependent on fate or luck (as some may call it) – some families get along very well and manage to blend their FDW into the household smoothly, whereas others may end up changing helpers frequently and face multiple setbacks!
- There are certain risks such as your FDW getting pregnant or absconding, and so on, which would be advised to you when you engage a FDW via an agency
- Some families may choose to hire a FDW on their own – which may save costs, but pose even higher risks of problems if the process is not handled properly! Furthermore, doing so may require you to spend time and energy doing proper research and administrative tasks.
- Last but not least, MDWs are often not professionally-skilled enough to provide holistic care for your children, unlike nannies or babysitters from MEIDE. Thus, not only will MDWs face risks of being overworked and breaking down, they could even pose physical danger if assigned work that they are not properly trained for.
Get A Flexible Work Arrangement
Depending on your child’s age, the number of children you have, and your family’s life goals, getting a flexible work arrangement could be a rather sound child care option!
For example, if both you and your spouse take turns to look after the kids, and combine this option with sending the kids to childcare center, you may actually be able to cover all the requirements to take care of the kids!
Moreover, now with additional help, you and your spouse can also choose to hire a babysitter part time. He or she can accompany and fetch the kids from school. This can further free up your time.
A flexible work arrangement is quite an “in” thing nowadays. Even with a growing family, you can now keep your job and develop your career plans simultaneously!
Not only does it allow you to increase family bonding time, it also allows you to plan and participate in more enrichment activities with your children! You can achieve all these, whilst working your way up the corporate ladder. Perhaps, amongst some of the “over-achieving” friends we know, their flexible work arrangement might just be the secret to their success in juggling work, family and lifestyle!
Your boss or organization must be open to the concept and allow you to have a flexible work arrangement! Not many places may allow this. Thankfully (or not), with the pandemic, many workplaces now have no choice but to allow this.
Also, for some people, they may not have sufficient discipline to adhere to work if it was made “too flexible”. This might instead backfire and lead to decreased productivity. Thus, self-discipline and integrity is definitely increasingly important for workers having a flexible work arrangement.
Book your #1 home services today, or join our team!
meide.sg is here for you, always.
Lastly, it may seem daunting, but a switch in careers may also open up the door towards a flexible work arrangement. Amongst families that MEIDE Babysitting has interviewed, we have witnessed parents change from a 9-to-5 desk job to a freelance helper, babysitter, financial advisor, or the like. With such an endeavor, one could really experience flexibility in their schedule to take care of their kids finally.
Be A Homemaker
Now, all the child care options above may be viewed as economically viable as purported by our Singapore government’s little note here.
Yet, have you considered the simple, yet wholesome child care option of being a full time homemaker, seriously?
In today’s modern world, we believe too many parents under-value the importance of being as close as possible with your children as they grow up.
You will get to experience a whole new realm of freedom, fulfillment, and responsibility as a homemaker. As compared to working full-time, a homemaker takes on household duties, inclusive of taking care of the kids, as their full-time work. Although there are no longer the stresses of the corporate world, you will still need to plan and adhere to your daily schedule to cope with the demands of household chores, errands, and caring for your family members!
As a family unit, when one partner becomes a homemaker, it most possibly means reduction from dual income capability to relying on just one person to bring home the bread. Some people find it difficult to sustain financially with just a sole breadwinner.
Secondly, couples may face stress on both sides. For one, the sole breadwinner will become stressed about requiring to maintain the constant flow of income. As a result, he or she may face a heightened sense of fear of losing any income-earning ability. Conversely, the homemaker may face stress about losing touch with the working world and getting looked down upon by certain others. As much as this should not be the case, it is still a problematic scenario seen in Singapore today.
Nonetheless, MEIDE is fully supportive of whatever decision you make. Ultimately, your family and your own well-being is of the utmost importance (to us too)!
In conclusion, taking care of your kids here in Singapore can be quite a lot easier than one imagines. There are many child care options to choose from! Furthermore, most of these child care options are not mutually exclusive. It is common to see families in Singapore utilizing multiple of these options simultaneously.
In fact, you can always try one option and move on to another option if you or your family find it beneficial!
For sure, raising children is much more than just finding and engaging child care options. Hence, keep reading on across our babysitting and parenting blog at MEIDE to enhance your knowledge and equip yourself with hacks to make your life easier!
Stay connected with our MEIDE Babysitting blog to learn more! It’s free-of-charge and entirely made for parents and babysitters.
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