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Moving to Singapore in September - Childcare help please!

(6 Posts)
CLHenry Mon 01-Aug-11 11:12:00

Hi there,
We are moving to Singapore in September with my husbands work and I run my own business in UK and would like to work in Sing too once we have settled in.

We have a 14month old who we do a nanny share with in the UK, what are my childcare options in Singapore.

All advice and input gratefully received plus any advice on Singapore mums groups akin to NCT meet-ups etc so we can get to know other mums and children.

THank you in advance smile

papooshka Mon 01-Aug-11 13:17:33

Firstly do a search on Singapore on here, as there are quite a few big threads about moving here so you will learn alot that way. In answer to your questions...

Childcare options for a 14 month old would be for you to have a live in maid who could look after the baby, but is not properly trained. There are also some nurseries who will take young kids for a full programme, for example Sunflower BabyHouse.

Theres quite a few meetups, try New Mothers Support Group, St George's Playgroup, Blissful Babies, Singapore Active Toddlers.

Singapore is a great place for kids though, loads to do and the weather is good, albeit a bit hot!

good luck smile

laptopwieldingharpy Wed 03-Aug-11 11:08:38

What papooshka said.

Just wanted to add, there are no trained nannies as such but certainly no shortage of experienced mature maids.

I would say look for an older helper who has held a job for 3+ years. That would mean a person capable enough that their employers would have renewed her 2+1 contract and content enough not to be constantly looking for greener pastures (that's often just another $50 a month away).
These ladies are capable of running a household like a proper governess.
Also, many filippinas are qualified or at least trained as nurses/midwifes so quite good at standard baby/toddler care.

Go with a reputable agency and be very specific.

If you are in a condo, you won't need to worry about company in the first year or so as the pools and playgrounds are a very easy meeting point.
If you do not want to enroll your child in daycare, there are lots of "enrichment activities", just too many to mention.

TheBride Wed 03-Aug-11 21:35:05

Second what LTWH said. I am actually in HK (not Sing) but the two are not dissimilar in terms of childcare being dominated by helpers.

Whilst the helpers are not qualified, I am of the "it ain't rocket science' school of thought, so I'm happy to have a helper, and then she and I also take my son to playschool/other "enrichment activities" grin- great term. They do vary a lot though, so interview thoroughly, check references verbally if at all possible (lots of faked references flying round) and, in my personal experience, a more mature person (mid-thirties to mid-forties ) is ideal- more common sense, more settled, and fewer personal dramas.

Benefits of helpers are

- 6 days a week, all day contract
- they live in so you always have a babysitter
- They also do the housework/laundry/shopping etc
- They are very inexpensive
- If you treat them well and pay them a little over the going rate, they tend to stay with you so you get good continuity.
- they have sprawling personal networks of friends and family also looking after small children and your DC will have about 8 'helper playdates' a week grin

Main disadvantage can be that their English isnt always great, so i admit I do have a few concerns about language development.

laptopwieldingharpy Thu 04-Aug-11 03:47:30

LOL at language development.
They do occasionally catch bad habits, but short lived if you correct them casually and regularly and read to your child regularly.
On this front I would be very careful selecting a nursery for next year. Teachers/carers are not always native english speakers, and when they are it can be a strong american /australian accent. The pupils will also be mixed nationalities, so that makes an interesting combination.
Sorry this may sound a bit precious, but it did matter for me as I am not a native speaker myself.

TheBride Sat 06-Aug-11 09:16:09

Thanks LTWH. I've accepted that DS is probably not going to have received pronounciation grin. I'm not so worried about the accent as him learning to talk.

My helper's English is ok, but very heavily accented (as you'd expect) and she has little quirks like she uses he and she interchangeably and mixes her tenses up, so I do worry if DS might get confused and that might delay him.

I think you're right though- so long as DH and I keep the conversation flowing, we'll get there fine- might just take a bit longer, with a few more mistakes.

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