If you are going back to work, you’ll need to find someone to take care of your bundle of joy. This can be a significant decision as you are making the choice to share both physical and emotional control of your child with someone else – whether family or stranger – possibly beyond the familiar confines of your home.
When choosing the appropriate child care arrangement, take into consideration the age and personality of your child. Children below three years benefit most from one-to-one interaction with adults. Older children who are ready for peer interaction will benefit more from group care such as those provided by child care centres. Such places can provide more opportunities for socialisation.
Find out what child care options there are in Singapore and which may be the best for you and your baby. The information presented below comes from the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports’ (MCYS) Child Care Link here: https://www.childcarelink.gov.sg/ccls/home/CCLS_Home.jsp
CHILD CARE CENTRE
Child care centres in Singapore offer full- and half-day programmes for children below seven. Some centres have flexible programmes that cater to parents who work part-time. Certain centres also have infant care programmes that cater to children aged between two and 18 months.
Deciding to enroll your child in a child care centre is a major decision. This will probably be your child’s first time away from you, in a totally unfamiliar environment. He will be meeting new people, acquiring new skills and establishing a different routine.
There are many subsidies and financial assistance schemes available to make child care services more affordable for parents. These include centre-based infant and child care subsidies,the Centre-based Financial Assistance Scheme for Child Care (CFAC) and the Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA).
The subsidy rates are based on the programme type your child is enrolled in and working status of the mother. To qualify for working subsidy rates, the mother must work for at least 56 hours per month. The subsidy for working mothers comes up to $600 at an infant care centre, and up to $300 at a child care centre.
You can search for a childcare centre at MCYS’s Child Care Link here: http://www.childcarelink.gov.sg/ccls/home/CCLS_Home.jsp
• All centres have to meet Ministry regulations and requirements.
• It is one of the most affordable child care options out there.
• You won’t have to open your home to anyone, or have a stranger live in your home.
• If you need to handle personal business, you can do so without worry, as your child is in good hands.
• The programmes offer a holistic learning experience for children, optimising their physical, intellectual, emotional and social development in a safe and conducive environment.
• Centres with infant care programmes have a state registered nurse or qualified infant care teacher to attend to the health and safety requirements.
• Your child is taken care of in an environment that has many other children and teachers, so there is less chance of abuse, as compared to one-on-one care.
• Your child will learn from other children, making for easier transitions such as bottle weaning and potty training.
• No one-to-one attention. In a child care centre, your child could be one of 12 children being taken care of by a teacher. In an infant care centre, one out of every five babies. (As a general rule, the Childcare Centre Regulations state: One caregiver for every five babies under 18 months; one caregiver for every eight children from 18 to 30 months; one caregiver for every 12 children from three years).
• Your child will get sick more often. If your child is very ill, the centre will not allow him to attend. You will need to find alterative child care options or take leave.
• Child care hours are rigid. If you need to work late, you’ll have to arrange for someone else to pick up your child, or face paying a late fine.
• You have to be able to let go. Many centres dictate a child’s routines: when he should eat, play, and nap, so your child’s daily life is out of your hands.