Advice anybody? Infant care centre or babysitter? Which is better?


Hi, jus to share my opionion here.
Infant care centre is more costly and strict timing. There is no 1-to-1 care, and if your child is not feeling well, they will call u to bring the child back, end up u need to take leave from your work and take care of the child yourself.

Babysitter has 1-to-1 care, although sometimes, they 'multi-task' and look after afew children, and do their hosuework. But timing-wise, slightly more flexible, can call them to inform u are coming late to fetch your child. Also, when your child is sick, they will still take care and u need not take leave to look after.


in my opinion if you can find a trustworthy bb sitter, it is better. esp if the caregiver is not looking after other small kids.

infant care is expensive and not 1-to-1 which i feel is essential for babies this small. suggest u visit the infant care ctrs you've shortlisted and see if u're comfortable.


New Member
still opt for bb-sitter... infant care-giver are mostly non mummies or new comers... can't afford to place me trust there...


in my opinion, i would put them at infant care since the caregiver are certified nurse but the cost is higher. However, if u r concern with cost, then probably settle with bb-sitter would be a better option.


Wow.. Thanks so much, mummies..

Really appreciate all your feedback..

After all the feedback i feel much more confident to make my choice..

I've checked out several infant care centres arnd my residential area (Kembangan/Bedok/Katong/Marine Parade)..

They are not only ex but the caregiver to child ratio is at least 1:2 to 1:5..

So far I wasn't able to find a babysitter arnd here except for one..

She stays next block to me & has experience taking care of babies..

The only disadvantages are she is currently taking care of a 16mth old at the same time & sge requests for 14 days leave a yr..

The advantage is she has a maid to do the housework for her..

I am in a dilemma as I seem to hve no other choice but to choose tis babysitter as i need to go bk to work end of tis mth..

Any advice?


New Member
Wow! Can ask for leave? My mum didn't ask for leave. Just an agreement with my neighbour that if needed, she will take leave to take care of her own kids. But my mum will inform them in adavance.

But babysitter is still better than infant care. Too many kids around, if one kid gets ill, might pass the germs around.


Yalor.. 1st time I ever heard babysitter must hve 14 days leave a yr.. though i heard it's v common in Hongkong..

So there goes my leave too.. cos' everytime she needs to take leave, I'll also hve to do so..

No choice la.. Baby more impt mah..

My auunt is also a babysitter but she is v flexi & she doesn't take leave either..

Btw, where does yr mum stay? Is she still babysitting?

Ya.. Most pple also agree that babysitter is still better than infant care..

Thanks for the affirmation.
hi grace,

i think that bb sitter is a better option. e infant care service is not as personlise as a bb sitter.

i noe that there are agencies that provide data of bb sitters at diff areas and you can kinda of visit them first before making the decision.


New Member
Hi Grace,

I sent my baby into an infantcare when he was just 2.5 months old. He is 5 months old now and is coping well so far.

The environment of the infantcare is good and comfy for my baby. We often dropped by unannounced and so far, we have been pleased with what we see.

There are definitely pros and cons to both kinds of caregiving. Of course, if u know the babysitter personally, you will feel safer to leave ur baby in her hands.

For us, we like the fact that there are SOPs in everything the infantcare does. Proably it is just us, but my hubby and I feel safer knowing that the school follows SOPs.

Hope this helps.


hi grace
i think both gt pros n cons... u gt to c wad ur pirorities

like mrs chua i send my gal to infant care when she is jux 2.5mth old nw she is 14 mth alr. she is coping well there with kids n teachers. n her progess is fast compare to same age.

bt jux tt when there is bugs around it pass ard... bt same goes as nanny. even u put at nanny if she or her family is sick her virus also pass on to baby. bt understand fr some mommy baby will get stronger later cos they exposed to more bugs when young.

childcare gt to follow the rule by mcys, max ratio is 1 to 3, all need to b trained also.

nanny wise v flexible nt like childcare gt to follow fixed timing. if u always ot late mayb also gd choice

bt jux to make sure u find a trustworthy wan. there is news where by some nanny keep queit when baby fall down or being shake also bt neva tell the mummy intime for treatment.

so u gt to cwhich 1 suit ur need more with the pros n cons in mind


Active Member
i also thinking of bringing my 18 mth old to child care. But overheard from my brother in law he did saw a chid care teacher did scram and throw the child and make the baby to sleep. Last time he also bring his 2 year old daughter to child care too. So i don't think childcare is good unless your bb know how to walk and talk. At least the teacher punish your child you know.


New Member
Hi Candice,

I guess not all teachers are good, there are bound to be some bad sheep.

I think babies are not exactly very helpless when communicating. If they are being mistreated or they dont feel comfy in any way, I believe you can tell by their reactions when u bring them to the centre.

I agree with thasy that in an enclosed place, if one child falls sick, most if not all will get the virus too. They are afterall still very young.

Like for my baby, not one in his infantcare centre is not down wih a virus currently. I had to postpone his jab for 2 months because he was down with flu and cough.

Luckily, they are all getting better already.

siew chin

I think it is not easy on the childcare teachers to be looking after so many kids at one time. They are trying their best, but sometimes we do have our frustrations and our patience runs thin. Babysitting is pretty common overseas. they are not so reliant on maid as in singapore. u can check out for more info. My friend found her sitter through them.


Yeah.. I definitely agree that it is inevitable for babies to fall sick more easily at infant care centres..


I've been considering btwn infant care centre & nanny for a v long period already & hve summarised up all the points mentioned by all the mummies above..

To put it simply,

Infant care - ratio is 1 teacher : 3 babies
- fall sick more easily
- strict timing
- have SOPs

Babysitter - ratio is 1 babysitter : 2 babies
(the max)
- may fall sick (but not tat easily)
- can arrange flexible timing
- no SOPs

Hmm.. after much decision, I think I'll hire a babysitter then..

Thank you for all the info, mummies..

Really appreciate all your feedbacks..

Really comes in handy..
I sent my son to infantcare when he was 10mths, and saw a lot of progress in his motor skills. Before that he was at babysitter's place. No doubt bbsitter has more attention on baby, but I feel my son does not learn anything there! and I was getting worried he is too dependent on bbsitter. Plus she likes to put him on walker which I dun like.

At infantcare, my son has friends whom he can socialise and play with. I feel it helps build up one's EQ. The teachers there do group singing and story telling, so when he sees his friends also concentrating on the teacher, he also starts to focus. Whatever he sees, he learns very fast, like clapping, waving etc. Lately, I found the school also did 'creative arts' with him when he was 11mths. They gave us all the projects they did, like hand, foot and finger printing using watercolour, then decorate the prints to form a scene like Sea, Garden etc. using different types of scrap materials. Thought it was pretty interesting to get my son exposed to these. At the babysitter, he does nothing all day but eat, drink and sleep. Oh and watch TV!! (which I forbid). So boring!

I really have no regrets changing him to an infantcare. But on the other hand, I also think maybe 2-6mths when baby is still immobile on his own, more individualised care may be better. Once he is mobile, I would strongly suggest infantcare. Baby's best time to learn is 0-3yrs, why deprive them of the stumulation they need right.


New Member
I'm having the same dilemma as you.

Having much thoughts these days, I think my choice will be neither Infant Care nor Babysitter. I'll opt for getting my own maid with cam installed at home for supervision.
Monthly cost makes up to be about the same, i think.

Best option is definitely, to be a SAHM! However, you got to work things out with your hubby cos financially is tough especially when Cost of Living is superbly high these days.

Happy motherhood!


I regretted in placing my boy with baby sitter as baby sitter does not have a routine. Now my boy is 22mths, I find that he is progressing slower than my friends kid who is in infant-care/ child care. As I think he spend most of the time watching TV or doing nothing. He has full attention from the baby sitter as mine is one to one care, he demand the same attention from us. Till now, due to convienience my boy is till taking porriage for both meal. My baby sitter is so stubborn don't know how to talk to her to change, somemore she is my mum's friend.


Active Member
Grace: Either option is dependent on the person providing the care. If you can find babysitter through recommendation of someone you know well, then more assuring. If nt, pls be prepared that things won't be as rosy as you expected.

My B1 started infant care @ 3.5M and it was heartbreaking coz three days later she was sick for almost 1M with runny nose. She's now 26M and has been in the same ctr bt now in PG class. By the time she was 10M old, we saw a marked change in that her immunity improved and her turnout time from illness was down to 3D. She became the one passing bugs sometimes
We were fine with all these as it's expected. Btw, I think MCYS sets infant care ration as 1:5 -- bt what we like is there's more than 1 pair of eyes watching the bb all the time. We tried finding bbsitter and visited one that was personally recommended (fren's neighbour). Prob is the place was not child-friendly -- lotsa rosewood furniture, computer in the living room, sliding door in the kitchen (sitter sat she'll close when cooking bt can hear bb meh?). Worst when I asked what happens when my bb starts moving abt, sitter told me give a walker (which is nt recommended even by KKH) and she'll tie with string to the dining table so bb can move far <faint> As this was the only lead we got and time was running out, we visited two infant care centres nearby and settled on one. On hindsight, we really thank God for bringing us to the right centre. Nice environment (aircon -- so pricier), nice and supportive staff (gd for 1st time mommy) and gd management team. I learnt alot from the infant carers on how to care for my own bb e.g. introducing solids, potty training, etc. Most assuring is these are trained professionals who know the latest methods (for some bbsitters, it like you arguing with your in-laws abt how to raise the child).

Btw, the sitter you shortlisted is caring for a toddler who is at a very active stage so pls be prepared for 'accidents' as well as viruses which can come fr other child, the sitter and her family or the visitors she gets. Also, she's bound to bring you bb out too thus got other social exposure -- similar to when we bring them out ourselves to visit or go mktg, shopping etc. To avoid the challenge DNA faced, you nd to spell out do and dont and give schedule. This is same if you hv maid. In infant care, there is strict schedule -- plus supervised play and learnign activites which aunty type of sitters can't compare with hor. My B1 picked up nursery rhymes, learnt to dance, etc. The infant care ctr also had gym sessions included when bb cld stand, waterplay as well (10mins onli to splish splash around). They definitely don't use walks but have handle bars and wall of mirror to stimulate learning and mobility. Even had a jumperoo which was great help in building stronger muscles.

End of day, we're so blessed to hv found this ctr. Sure, the hrs are fixed bt looking at how B1 has developed and picked up things through her teachers, we know it's been the right choice. Moreover, with more teachers around, they also watch and check each other. Hope you'll be blessed with the best arrangement but just rmbr, it's nt possible to hv the perfect one! Even a SAHM also can't be watching her own bb all the time


Hi, Yes you can spell out do and dont and give schedule. But does she follows ??? It is another story. I have tries all means to talk to her but failed. Now I can only tolerate till end of the year when I start my boy in Child Care for N1.


Active Member
DNA: Am sorry that your bbsitter turned out like this. Hope you can take comfort that your sharing wl surely help other parents be wiser in their choice of child care help.


Overrall she is ok, she take good care of my boy and she dotes on my boy very much. But my boy is very spolit due to this, which we have a very hard time discipline him. What to do, this is the price we have to pay being double income family for not able teach our son personally.


Active Member
DNA: That's what I ask myself -- who's actually raising my B1? I truly thank God she's got gd teachers to guide her. Once home, we just hug and kiss her lots to assure her mommy &amp; daddy loves her and there for her. Veri nice that she recipocrates automatically
and it's also the culture in her CC to hug and 'kiss' amongst frenz -- even when they hv runny noses!
Actually I told hubby the excitement they display when they see each other and come forward to hug and kiss reminds me of a cult!


Wow.. Didn't know this thread has continued for so long till now..

Haha.. kk..

Btw, I'm back to work since the 27th of March till now..

So far.. So good..

Now I'm thanking God I chose this babysitter I mentioned earlier..

She's amazing..

My now-coming-to-4-mth old son has been so well-taken care of by her..

I'm very happy &amp; relieved that the babysitter I chose is very experienced with babies &amp; she's very cheerful, chirpy, friendly, responsible, patient etc.. But most importantly, she loves kids.. :)

Everyday after work when I go to pick my son up, she will chat with me &amp; update me on my son's daily progress..

And very honestly, to test her in the very beginning, I didn't tell her much abt my son's habits etc.

But everyday she'll tell me abt what he does, his likes &amp; dislikes etc.

She already knew everything abt him just within days of babysitting him!

I was very impressed..

She also encourages me to express my breastmilk &amp; she'll feed him with it..

She's also very patient with him trying to adapt to the feeding bottle cos' my son has been totally breastfed (latching on) all the way since he was born &amp; thus those 1-2 wks before I went bk to work, he was still trying to get use to the feeding bottle..

She wld also give me advice on how to prevent him fm vomitting milk etc.

She would also spent time playing with him everyday &amp; getting him to interact with her..

I'm very happy with my babysitter &amp; I thank God I made the right choice.. :)


Btw, the 18mth old baby she was babysitting will be attending a childcare starting April as his parents decided that it was time for him to interact with other kids his age..

He had been babysitted by her ever since he was 3 over mths old..

She told me she felt sad as she had been babysitting him for so long but no choice as all babies will grow big 1 day..

She had babysitted many babies before &amp; she has kind of gotten use to it.. but still can help feeling sad la..

The advantage is she can fully concentrate all her attention on taking care of my son from then on..


Btw, it's true, mummies..

Babysitter is indeed very much more flexible..

There were a few times I had to fetch my son later than usual &amp; she was still very ok with it..

In fact, she told me it's ok for me to pick him up later as she loves kids &amp; she will not mind at all abt the timing..

Thanks for the advice too, kidzskidz..

But most of the points you've mentioned, I don't have probs with them..

I also told her from day 1 that I do not believe or trust in sarongs to put my baby to sleep..

I also don let him slp on our adult beds as I'm worried he may fall fm it..

And she wld respect my decisions &amp; ways of taking care of my son as she says we are his parents..

Thus, she wld let him slp &amp; play on mattresses placed on the floor instead, which I mentioned that I preferred..

Whenever she wanted to try something new like when my son started liking to being rock to slp, she wld ask me for permission if it was ok for her to try putting him in the sarong then..

I told her she cld try as long as he was being supervised, only then she tried letting him slp in the sarong..

Her place is also all baby-proof, thus no need to worry abt "dangerous" furniture..

She told me she doesn't bring baby out either as she's always at home supervising her maid..

She's quite strict with her maid as she doesn't even let her maid open the doors.. She does it personally &amp; her maid doesn't have the house keys..

Her maid will not need it as she's always at home supervising..

She told us her maid solely concentrates on doing all the housework etc while she solely concentrates on taking care of the baby..

I noticed that too as I had observed her taking care of the 18mth old before..

She would follow him everywhere he goes as he has started learning to walk &amp; he would be walking everywhere with her "tailgating" him.. Making sure he doesn't fall down or bump into things..

I personally feel this babysitter's v professional compared to many others..

She knows the do's &amp; don't's of babysitting..

But of course too, given the fact she's not that old, (she's in her 40's) &amp; she has taken care of other babies before who are big kids now.. (she has photographs of them displayed in her rm)

When baby is slightly older, we'll bring him to baby gym sessions..

My older son was taken care of by my mum when I went bk to work when he turned 1 yr old..

He never went to a childcare centre &amp; only went to nursery school, then kindergarten..

However, he's still ahead of others when it comes to studies..


New Member
Hi mummies,

is anynow keen looking for a homebase INfant care @ AMK.. feel free to drop me email for more information.

[email protected]

some of the good points.. they have flexible time slot... and as well infant night care too..

Rest assure..good recommendation... they will provide service like professional infant massage to enhance growing and right brain training( optiona


New Member
Hi I also wish to share my experience with regards to putting your child into infant care or babysitter.

Personnally I myself grew up livig with a babysitter. No doubt the one to one attention is great. However when it comes to my own child, I decided to place him into infant care as I feel that I can trust the caregivers there.

Babys placed with babysitters also have to depend on the baby sitter's environment. I also do not want my child to be lazing about just passing time each day, or picking up some funny antics (or perhaps vulgar language if the family practices it?)

Most of the caregivers are trained teachers. Plus they have an SOP to follow and will always keep track of what food the baby has ate, what time they sleep, how much intake etc. Its like a log book of their activities.

The teachers will interact with the children both individually and also as a group. Be mindful that sometimes, total individual attention may not be good for personnal growth as it may make the child very dependant on the caregiver. As a group they are exposed to songs, development toys etc.

Also the toddlers will develop a routine. Cooked meals are also provided for by the centre. (Except for infant's own milk, toiletries). Like that the child will also learn not to be fussy with food.

On the plus side, I noticed my son became more independant. Prior to that, my mum was the sole caregiver. He was so dependant on her that he refused to let any other people carry him. But after he started infant care and "socializing" with the teachers and other toddlers, now he likes to be independant and play by himself and also allow other people to carry him. Not so sticky as before.

The drawback of course, will be that he tends to fall sick easily when the virus bug is spreading. However, some people has said that this is normal for kids to fall sick during this period as it is part and parcel of helping them to build up their immune system. By the time they reach Kindergarten or Primary school, the tendency of falling sick will become lesser, as compared to children who grew up in a "protected" environment.

Personally I feel, it is not too good to keep them too "protected". On the contary they may fall sick even more easily as a result. I cannot assert how true this theory may be but it does sound logical.

Then again, there are strict timings to adhere to for infant-care. But on a hindsight, it is good that we, as parents, should place our children as priority and not fall back on "convenience" knowing that a babysitter will always be on standby to take care of your child on your behalf so it gives you all the more reason why you should stay back and be tied up with work.

Well thats all I have to share. = )


New Member
Oh, and a point to add... just wanna say that I'm not totally biased against babysitter.
Infact, I'm still in touch with my babysitter of 27 over years... Hehehe....

But of course, times are different now with the way of the education system. That is also why some may prefer putting kids into infant/childcare to commence early learning as compared to letting babysitters/maids to take care.

No offence to anybody ya.. =)


Active Member
Hi all, im staying in Toa Payoh, will all ur advise, im still thinking infant care and baby sitter. Maybe till i meet up and visit them, then i will decide. (BTW Grace, whats SOP)

But before that, anyone know of good babysitter or infant care in Toa Payoh area??? if not i cant start visiting and seeing which i prefer hehe.


New Member
there's a home base infant care at AMk ave 10, the babysitter there have background of baby right brain training and also willing to take care day and night.. for more information email me at [email protected]


Active Member
Looking for babysitter to look after my 2mth+ baby while i went for holiday end of June. any recommendations? or is there any infant care centre that can take care of baby overnight for 4 nites?


New Member
Looking for stay-in nanny (day &amp; night) to look after my 1 month old baby. Can arrange for a day off in a week. Any recommendations welcome. Thanks.


New Member
hi Koala,

i know that NTUC childcare they do also provide Infant Care??

any idea e est fees? will pop by..


Hi BB,

NTUC do provide infant care also, my baby has been with them for 5 months. The care takers there are caring, not like those when times up, they just throw the baby at you and they knock off work. The idea of putting my bb is I want him to get use to more plp, the cons side is when he is sick you have to take leave but guess in this world, nothing is perfect. Baby sitter I will not consider because in future they still have to go to school, it might be too late to train them. The NTUC infant care I am refering is just opp of AMK hub, do take a look there.


Oh dear, after reading this thread i am totally confused again.
i hv only recently placed my ds at the infant care as i hv return to work. my ds is 13 months now. but i am now thinking of withdrawing him from infant care and getting mil to take care.
but i wonder if i am doing the right thing.

some of the reasons are that
- i really not too sure if he will learn much at infant care. while there is a ratio of 1:2, the teachers all seem so busy to teach him anything. i believe they will leave him to play by himself and they will concentrate on the younger babies.
- the teachers comprise of like 3 aunties and 1 young teacher. so really again, will my ds learn much? what about other infant care? are they all qualified teachers?
- mil was there early 1 day to pick him up and she saw him crying and no teachers bothered about him. it's very sad for me to know that they actually leave him all alone to cry. while i understand that there is no 100% attention, but he is crying and the teachers ignored him. maybe i have selected the wrong infant care centre?
- many pple say that babies will learn to be independent when placed in the infant care. i agree wih that. but sometimes i wonder , is there a need for them to be independent so early. after all, they are still so young.

seriously, i do not know what my end decision will be. guess, it's really a personal choice but i hope i dont make the wrong decision. sighz...


New Member
hi Koala,

how much does they charge for IFC? we do hv $300 fm govt subsidy, don't we?

hi Jo,

ratio of 1:2 sounds already gd as ever heard it's abt 1:3 (or 4)..sometimes what we see is only a-sided 'story' during e incident..prob yr bb crying may be similar to what e theory is - do not go over immediately..duno just citing an eg..did yr MIL ask e teacher during then? what was their explanation??

i do hear of some NTUC IFC with aunties and / or early 20's's v realistic..locally it's so..what can we do..however, i believe IFC guidance is in a way better than home-nannies..

why dun u observe further n visit / find out more fm other IFCs? where's yr current IFC? do they provide e 'educational' schedules to show you?
Hi all, i am thinking of babysitting at home.Would like to do a small survey and would really appreciate your help with it so that i will get a better idea of how to suit the needs of the parents and babies and to ensure that baby is safe and parents are happy.

1)Should i put baby safety gate next to the main door where parents can take a peek any time of the day or at balcony which is not easily seen from the door but can be seen from all corners of the house so i can see baby wherever i m.

2)should i place matteress within safety gates or foam mats.

3)What type of activities would you like your children to have when under babysitter?

Thank you in advance for answers.I hope to be able to provide quality service for parents so that they will know that their kids are in good hands.


Hi BB,

MIL didnt ask e teacher why he was crying lei. True lor, shouldnt attend to him immediately. Think i will try to find out abt other IFC. When i was there with DS on e first 2 days, i did notice that they sometime leave babies to cry for quite a while. Got 1 baby hungry but cos they feeding other babies, they leave him to cry. but then again, they can only attend to a few babies at 1 time.
The IFC i send my ds to doesnt has any curriculum. Curriculum only apply to 18mth and above. So, they try to cater to the babies as and when the babies' needs arise.


New Member
hi Jo,

hmm...if so, e next time if it happens again, no harm to just 'bring out' e question..cos i'm know if there's a theory behind it or simply too occupied

i thot when infant abt 6mth onwards will need to be occupied by something such as toys to how do they take care of a few since it's not 1:1??