She may not be a Maria from The Sound Of Music, a Mrs Doubtfire, or even a Mary Poppins. But if your baby is still very young, having a nanny or a babysitter who can provide one-to-one care for him could be the best option.

This is someone whom you employ to care for your baby in your home, or in their own homes. Most parents find one through word-of-mouth, based on recommendations from friends and relatives.

If you do not have any contacts for nannies or babysitters, you can find one through the Family Day Care Services. Initiated by the Ministry of Community Development and Sports (MCYS) in collaboration with child care centres, this is a more structured arrangement patterned after the existing informal care services provided by neighbourhood babysitters and nannies.


This service is suitable especially for infants and toddlers who require greater individual care and attention. Other than regular day care, the Service also provides care for children on an occasional basis. This flexible care arrangement allows parents to work out mutually acceptable arrangements with the caregiver.

The Service is implemented through selected child care centres. These centres coordinate training for the caregivers and match them with parents who need their services. Currently, the centres coordinating Family Day Care Services are: Adelfibel Infant and Child Development Centre Pte Ltd (Tel: 6767 9405), Cherie Hearts Child Development Pte Ltd (Tel: 6271 0080), and Joewe Playhouse & Educare (Tel: 9005 2219).

PROS

• Your child has one-on-one care. This is especially important if he is a young infant or toddler. Your baby will probably be held more often, and comforted when he cries.
• There is no need to wake your child up in the morning, if the nanny comes to your home.
• Similarly, it is more convenient for you as you do not have to dress your child and cart him off to a different location before work.
• Your child is cared for in a familiar, safe, environment.
• You’ll have more flexibility in setting baby’s routine, and rules for discipline, feeding, and so on.
• If you need to stay late at work or leave for work earlier in the morning, you can negotiate times and extra pay with the nanny.
• Baby falls ill less often, as there are no other children to catch germs from.

CONS

• Nannies can be expensive. If you use an agency, you will probably have to pay a deposit.
• It is not easy to find the right nanny for your child. You or your child may not ‘click’ with one, another may not practice hygiene at a level that you are comfortable with, and so on.
• If the nanny comes to your home, you have to learn to live with lack of privacy. Some people do not like the idea of having a stranger in their home all day.
• Even with the installation of a close-circuit camera, many parents are uncomfortable with the idea of abuse and prefer not to leave their baby alone in their home with a nanny.
• You will still have to take leave if the nanny is sick or goes on holiday.
• Your child may miss out on social interaction skills that are picked up at child care.
• The nanny may not be able to stimulate your child to your satisfaction.

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Child Care In Singapore: Child care & Infant care