As a parent in Singapore, you would frequently face the perennial dilemma of nanny vs childcare – so, which is ultimately your better choice?
Following up from our detailed discussions about childcare options in Singapore, and comparison of babysitter vs FDW, MEIDE blog team now places our attention on the two most desirable childcare options: nanny services and childcare / infant care services!
If you’re short on time, check out our summary of the DIFFERENCES between nannies and childcare here:
- Waiting Time
- Costs Differences of Nanny VS Childcare
- Ratio of Nanny and Carer to Child
- Convenience of Time
- Convenience of Location
- Nanny Provides More Personalized Care
- Childcare Ensures Continuity of Care
- Incidence of Health Hazards – Nanny VS Childcare
- Kids Growth and Development with Nannies and Childcare
|Waiting Time||Fast / Urgent Possible||Longer Waiting Time|
|Costs||Usually Higher Than Childcare||Usually More Economical|
|Ratio of Carer : Child||Best – usually 1:1||Variable and never 1:1|
|Time Convenience||Flexible For Your Needs||Fixed|
|Personalised Care||Yes, available||Unlikely|
|Care Continuity||Self-Arranged||Facilitated by Centre|
|Health Hazards||Less Reported||Flu & Cold Common|
|Growth & Development||Individualised and Personal||Systemic and Proven|
|Bottomline Score |
(out of 9)
Also, you can simply scroll all the way down to read our bottomline and conclusion on nanny vs childcare!
If not, keep reading to figure out which would be best for you and your family!
Sadly, the waiting time for infant care in Singapore is too long. According to our government sources, it can range from a few weeks to a few months. And, that is upon your successful registration. If you have not even considered it, or started to make your application, expect an ever-growing queue in front of you.
In fact, our babysitting coordinators have faced real-life situations where the parents were told to wait AT LEAST 6 months despite already having had their application approved by the centre!
On the other hand, engaging a nanny service here in Singapore can be almost immediate. Yes, MEIDE Babysitting has provided nannies to our clients (in real desperate need) in as short a turnaround time as a few hours! These urgent and last minute babysitting services are available only in very few agencies. Thankfully, you can trust us as an established platform to provide it for you, amongst many other types of nanny services.
In summary, one of the most important considerations of choosing between nanny vs childcare, is when you require the start of your service and childcare. For parents who cannot afford to wait, we recommend choosing the nanny service like one provided by MEIDE Babysitting.
Costs Differences of Nanny VS Childcare
How much does a babysitter or nanny cost in Singapore?
How much does childcare (18 months old and above) and infant care (newborn babies to 18 months old) cost in Singapore?
The exact costs breakdown for these is actually beyond the scope of this article. (Click here to learn the details of nanny costs).
However, to give you an idea of the cost differences: as of late 2022 to early 2023 – infant care centres charge between $1,300 to $2,800 every month (excluding subsidies); childcare centres charge $750 to $2,500 every month (excluding subsidies); and nannies charge between $8 to $35 per hour.
Actual Childcare Costs in Singapore
Significantly, childcare allows babies of citizenship status to enjoy various childcare subsidies by the government as entailed by ECDA here. Most citizens will get the basic subsidy and $700 working mother subsidy every month. That makes your monthly expenditure go down to $600 to $2,200 per month for infant care, and $50 to $1,800 per month for child care. Yes, lower income Singaporean families can even attend childcare “for free” with enough subsidies from the government!
Actual Nanny Costs in Singapore
Depending on your actual needs for the carer and care arrangements, you can do a quick calculation of the monthly breakdown. The amount you should come up with is $2,000 to $4,500 per month for a personal nanny to take care of your baby at home. On top of this, bear in mind that most agencies in Singapore will slap on administrative and agency charges. Unfortunately, Singapore currently does not offer further subsidies for nanny arrangements.
Thankfully, at MEIDE, we do not charge any agency or administrative fees when you engage a babysitter or nanny. We simply charge a one-time platform fee starting from S$98 only. This makes engaging a nanny so much more affordable (compared to thousands of dollars of agency fees by other companies).
Bottomline on Nanny VS Childcare Costs
If you only require a few hours of care, or specific custom timeframes, engaging a nanny would save you money every month. However, if you require long-term daily care, childcare and infant care are definitely cheaper options.
Ratio of Nanny and Carer to Child
Now, something that might slip your mind as a parent considering between nanny services and infant care services – the ratio of carer to child (or teacher : student) is vastly different!
In today’s infant care centres and childcares, you should not expect a one to one carer to child ratio. Ideally, a ratio from two to five kids to one carer or educator is reasonable. However, with the realistic situations of teachers taking MC, on leave, and attending to other administrative duties, the ratio can range greatly from five to ten kids to 1 teacher even!
Hence, unless you are absolutely confident that your chosen centre is able to adhere realistically to their “advertised carer to child ratio”, the safer method to maintain a close ratio is by engaging your own babysitter or nanny.
Moreover, at MEIDE, our most common engagements are actually 1 nanny to 1 child. Yes, that is a really, really optimal ratio because the nanny places his or her full attention for your baby! For such ratios, it is hardly possible in childcare. Even if so, the childcare centre would probably charge exorbitant fees in order to maintain the centre and other administrative responsibilities in addition to this ratio.
All said, it is non-debatable that a nanny wins over childcare if you require a small and safe ratio of carer to child.
Convenience of Time
A nanny available at your desired time and date, can really do wonders for your schedule.
That is exactly what the time convenience benefit of a nanny versus childcare means.
In Singapore, childcare centres (and infant care) usually operate on fixed working days such as Monday to Friday, from 8AM to 5PM or 6PM. Sometimes, they operate on Saturdays for half a day too. For longer hours, you can consider the Sparkletots Centres which usually offer 7AM to 7PM for Monday to Friday. Almost all centres close on Sundays and Public Holidays.
However, with a nanny service, the date(s) and timing(s) are always much more flexible and negotiable. Speak with one of our babysitting consultants or coordinators today to arrange an individualised childminding schedule of your own!
Convenience of Location
In Singapore, there are plenty of childcare centres! You can search one by location and find those nearest to your residence here. However, the catch is that many have NO VACANCIES… (read above on waiting time). Or, the centre might not have suitable timings, teacher:student ratios, reasonable prices, or your desired learning programmes.
Thus, despite a seemingly assuring map of numerous available childcare around our island, the convenience of location may actually be a myth. (The good news is that our government is currently looking into this problem and trying to solve it)
As we speak though, MEIDE Babysitters offers the current most convenient childminding arrangements for you. Our nannies can go to your residence and take care of your baby or toddlers right there. In addition, if you require to go outdoors or for an excursion, simply let us know. We also have nannies catered towards this need – called outdoor babysitting.
Ultimately, nannies on demand still provide higher convenience in terms of location, as compared to sending your child to a childcare centre.
Nanny Provides More Personalized Care
At childcare or infant care, you will not be able to pick and choose the carer for your child.
However, by engaging nanny services like those from MEIDE Babysitting, you can actually specific details, preferences and restrictions about the nanny you require.
For instance, some parents are more comfortable with certain genders or babysitters from certain cultural backgrounds, from various religious affiliations, or with proficiency in particular languages.
If your child falls sick, chances are that they would not be able to attend childcare, but your personal nanny would likely still be able to assist you and attend to your child (albeit recommended with personal protective equipment).
MEIDE understands the importance of personalised care. In this aspect, engaging a nanny wins the alternative of sending your kids to childcare.
Childcare Ensures Continuity of Care
Next, continuity of care is a factor that parents should bear in mind when choosing childcare versus nanny options.
At childcare centres, there are multiple staff and carers. Hence, the progress and health status of each child is often recorded into their record logs and databases. Consequently, whenever any carer resigns or switches with others, the care continuity is smooth. Information can be handed over in a systemic format too when teachers change shifts to take over one another. In this sense, parents can have a peace of mind.
With babysitters and nannies, the onus lies with the parents instead. Hence, whenever there is a change of carer, the information needs to be re-conveyed to the new carer via the parents. Hence, continuity of care ends up to be the mother/father/grandparent responsibility. On the brighter side, if you are an organised person, you get to be in greater control of your kids’ care.
Otherwise, hit us up – our babysitting coordinators can help you too! Just let us know.
Changing a babysitter or nanny can be smooth and seamless with MEIDE’s centralised database and coordinating services too.
Book your #1 home services today, or join our team!
meide.sg is here for you, always.
Incidence of Health Hazards – Nanny VS Childcare
The truth is, childcare involves many kids, many teachers, and other administrative staff around. Although it can be fun and crowded, the flip side is that germs can fly around more easily.
Ask any mother or father whose baby goes to school, and it would be unsurprising to find how much more frequent their kids and themselves catch the cold or flu bug!
Indeed, it has been scientifically proven too, that sending your child to childcare increases the incidence of viral transmission. Whilst that itself may not be entirely bad, it does mean frequent “downtime” and “unpleasant episodes” or bearing with a stuffy nose, fever or cough.
Hence, for families who prefer to keep away from germs for the time being (note: you cannot avoid it forever though), perhaps a personal nanny at home will help. The 1:1 ratio means less risk of catching a flu or COVID-19 even.
Falls and Accidents
Lastly, it would be prudent to note that the incidence of other health hazards has not been proven to be higher in childcare in Singapore. Although the ratio of teacher to student is higher in childcare, the childcare centres often take precautions and ensure their carers are well equipped with safety knowledge, appropriate certificates and even infant CPR.
However, when you engage a nanny of your own, it would then be your own responsibility to ensure your nanny is qualified in those areas. Be sure also to evaluate how conscientious and careful your nanny is.
And of course, be sure to always babyproof your surroundings at home to make it as safe as the surroundings in (most) childcare centres!
Kids Growth and Development with Nannies and Childcare
For a start, your kids would very likely develop social skills faster when they attend childcare versus being taken care of at home with a nanny. This is because he or she would interact with many more children of similar ages, and other people at childcare!
At childcare, children are also staged at various learning courses so as to monitor and enhance their developmental skills. The curriculum is structured and systemic in Singapore early childhood centres. This is not always the case with nannies at home.
However, engaging a nanny can also be beneficial if the parents at home plan a similarly structured learning programme. Furthermore, a nanny can provide more personalised teaching too. Did you know that at MEIDE, we have had clients who already have a babysitter but still engage an additional nanny from us to enhance their child’s learning progression?
Lastly, childcare and infant care centres often already have many stimulating gadgets, toys and books around. The kids share these learning materials together. The amount of available teaching tools at childcare is definitely, more often than not, greater than one’s personal toy stash at home.
Conclusion of Nanny VS Childcare
Before you weigh the pros and cons all over again, remind yourself that the best option is not just what is best for your baby.
Choose what is best for your family, as a whole! A happy parent begets a happy baby. If you end up all tired, stressed and broke, your baby would likely not be able to reap the desired benefits too!
Do not forget that nanny services and childcare services are NOT mutually exclusive. In fact, many parents, especially first time moms and dads, benefit from utilising both at the same time! For example, enrolling in childcare for normal weekdays, and following up with hiring a nanny for weekday evenings or weekends.
Overall-speaking, as you may see from our detailed comparison above, the nanny option seems to win with more points. However, that is not to say a nanny or babysitter is the best option for you. There is simply no one-size-fits-all approach – each family has their own needs. For many families, childcare can be a real life-saver too!
If you are still in doubt, rest assured that we are always here for you. Keep reading for more insights into parenting, childcare, nannies, and more! Or simply contact MEIDE Babysitting for further advice (we do not simply sell babysitting services – we want the best option for you even if it means helping you to make the choice to enrol in childcare)!
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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