The Singapore government is hollering for young couples to have more babies and PM Lee has promised to build more childcare centres. He also pledged to raise the standard of the kindergartens through the MOE kindergarten scheme. Despite that, the problem with childcare is still one of the biggest concerns for any parents-to-be, and it can be worse if the parent is a single parent.
Older children can post different challenges as well, and there is this myriad of problems surrounding children and childcare. What other options are available besides sending your children to childcare centres?
Let’s explore some traditional and yet out-of-the-box options
1. Hire a nanny
A nanny is a lady who helps to care for your child at your home, and also cooks meals for the family and washes the clothes. The only difference between a nanny and a domestic helper is that a nanny is usually a local woman who is older and has experience with caring for a child. A nanny can stay at your home to help you out, but most nannies will usually go home after a 10 to 12 hours’ shift. Most people hire stay-in nannies for their confinement period and sometimes, can book the nanny for more than one month if they know that help is needed for the new mother. Some parents also hire nannies to care for their young children during the day while they are at work. These nannies will go home at night when the parents are back.
2. Hire a full time domestic helper
This can be an option if money is not a problem. Having a full time domestic helper can be a great stress reliever for some parents as the helper will make their schedules more flexible. A helper can also help to cook, clean and wash for the family, allowing the mother to breathe easier. This is especially helpful for working mothers as they do not have to worry about household chores as well. However, we have all heard of stories of nightmare helpers, so if you are choosing this option, do be aware of the dangers of not vetting and training your helper well.
3. Ask for help within the family
If you have a big extended family, perhaps it is a good idea to seek help within the family. Besides your parents, perhaps there is an aunt who is retired and is able to help you with your child. Safety for your child is definitely a number one concern, and a family member is one of the most ideal option. If you are living near to a family member, she can also help you to pick up your child from school if he is already at a school-going age.
4. Work at a kids-friendly co-working space
Ever hear of a kids-friendly co-working space? If you are a mum or dad who runs your small business and works out of a co-working space, it is a great idea to work at one which is kids-friendly. There is a co-working space called Trehaus and it is an office with a childcare centre. Imagine how convenient it would be to bring your child with you to work, leave him at the childcare centre right inside your office and head off to work. Picking up your kid after work is also a breeze!
Therefore, don’t fret if you can’t find a childcare centre or infantcare centre near your house or office that can accept your kid; there is always something else you can do!