Before childbirth, many couples have started to worry about their baby after maternity leave. “Who can help look after my baby after maternity leave?” This is a major concern among young couples as many find it difficult to choose between hiring maids and putting their babies in infant care centres.
Let us first consider money factor.
Infant Care Centre
According to ECDA, the median fee for full day infant care service is $1357. Full-time working mother is eligible for a basic subsidy of $600.
There is an additional subsidy if total household income is less than $7500 a month.
Actual cost will vary from centre to centre.
On the average, it will cost you about $1000 a month to hire a maid, this includes basic salary, food, water and electricity, maid levy, toiletries, agency fee, medical expenditure, insurance.
Minimum salary for Filipino maid is $570, $550 for Indonesian maid and $430 for Myanmar maid.
Infant Care Centre - Advantages
1.To be an early childhood educator, the teacher needs to have a certificate that is recognized by ECDA such as the Certificate in Infant and Toddler Care and Development/ Higher Certificate in Infant Care as well as certificate in first aid. He or she needs to register with ECDA and attends EY1 or EY2 certification.
2.Because there is no language barrier, it will be easy for you to communicate with the educators.
3.The environment in infant care centre is usually designed to maximize the learning opportunity for your baby.
4.Baby will learn to play with other babies in the centre. This can help to hone their social skills.
Infant Care Centre - Disadvantages
1.When you put your baby in infant care centre, you have to pick up your baby before 7 pm. Sometimes, this can be very challenging, especially when the public transport network has an issue.
2.Furthermore, you will have to pack your diaper bag every morning before sending your baby to infant care centre.
3.Your baby may fall sick more often. Whenever children are together, there is a high chance of spreading viruses. This is because children are likely to use their hands to wipe their noses or rub their eyes and then handle toys, books or touch other children. These children then touch their noses and rub their eyes. In this way, the virus goes from one child to the next child.
4. You have to apply leaves when your child falls sick or the infant care centre closes for staff training or other events.
Advantages of Hiring a Maid
1. The maid can help to do housework. Besides taking care of your baby when you go for work, the maid will help you to do house chores.
With a baby at home, you will have much more housework to do such as cleaning highchair, washing baby clothes, sterilizing milk bottle, this is going to take away most of your precious off-work hours.
2. Some maids are good chefs. It is definitely nice to have food ready when you come back home after work.
3. When your baby sleeps, with the maid at home, you and your husband can go out for a quick date. The maid will help you to look after your baby when your baby wakes up.
Disadvantages of Hiring a Maid
1. Loss of privacy is a major concern among young couples. With a stranger at home, you and your husband will have to adjust yourself.
2. Because of widespread negative news about the maid, many young parents do not have much trust in maid in taking good care of their child. They will worry that the maid may mistreat their child.
Some suggestions about infant care centre
If you prefer to send your child to infant care centre, you should try to register with infant care centre as early as possible. This is to make sure the infant care centre nearest home is not fully. You can refer to infant care centre for detailed contact information of infant care centre.
A school visit is a must before you pay your deposit. This is to make sure you are satisfied with hygiene (it will be good for educators to wash hand frequently), layout, ventilation and lighting, teacher to student ratio of the infant care centre.
Different infant care operators have different ways of handling incidences like the occurrence of hand, foot and mouth disease. It is good to know their standard of practices so that you know your baby will be in good hands.
Some suggestions about hiring maid
If you prefer to hire a maid to look after your baby, you should pick one who is married with child(ren). This will ensure she has the experience in taking care of a baby.
To deal with lack of trust, you can install an IP camera at home, make sure it can be linked to your mobile phone via APP so that you can see what is happening at home at any time at anywhere. An IP camera will around 100 dollars. With the presence of IP camera at home, your maid may also be more vigilant while taking care of your baby.
If your parents or parents-in-law are not working, you may ask them to come to your house to do a random check.
All babies are curious, they will grab or touch objects that are new to them. Although this helps babies understand the surroundings, it endangers them as some objects like the knife and small toys can hurt them. It is therefore important for parents to do a thorough check on their flats, identify potential hazards in their homes and keep the dangerous objects away from the baby.