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School holidays -Working mothers?

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Prune
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School holidays -Working mothers?

Postby Prune » Fri, 12 Oct 2012 3:29 pm

We are relocating to Singapore in March 2013 and we have a 2 year old who will start school in September 2013. My husband and I both work, and will continue to work in Singapore for the same companies. I understand that we have to put our childn in the nursery or find a nanny befores he starts school in September, but what do your children do during the long school vacations? Is there some temporary creche type thing just for the holidays, do you hire a nanny in advance, do you send your children to summer camps? I'm not quite sure of our options in Singapore, if any.

Thanks in advance for any hints and tips :)
Last edited by Prune on Mon, 27 May 2013 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

movingtospore
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Postby movingtospore » Fri, 12 Oct 2012 4:39 pm

You can definitely hire a live-in nanny or maid as they're called here.**but** keep in mind that they ARE maids who babysit and not nannies. So, you may not want to leave your child with them 24/7. There are good ones, bad ones, and everywhere in between. But in Singapore you will not a get a true nanny.

There are plenty of camps at the International Schools but they are often half day. There are also some good local preschools which may be a better option for the first couple years as they go year round, pretty much. There are some in every neighbourhood.

cw1483
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Postby cw1483 » Fri, 12 Oct 2012 4:50 pm

Hi Prune,

I thought the same when I was first planning to move to Singapore. My child is 3. I couldn't see any info on spring break camps or summer camps.

I first asked around on International Schools, seems to have breaks for summer, winter, etc.... around 35-50 days off a year, depending what you choose (most closes at 5:30pm).

Then I visited different nursery and asked to see holiday schedules and it varied by night and day. Example, I ended up choosing a no frills nursery at a HDB and their hours are 7am-7pm (though you don't need to leave your child all day, but they charge as full-time rates, only). The holiday calendar there were just 20 days a year. I figured between my vacation and my spouse's there is more than 10 days a year to cover that.

I think you just have to search around.

Prune
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Postby Prune » Fri, 12 Oct 2012 6:53 pm

thank you so much for the above info's.
I will contact the local nurseries in Singapore then, it seems they don't have such long holidays. cw1483, would you be able to tell me the name of the nursery you use?

Is there usually a waiting list for the local nurseries, or should I just drop by and hope for the best? :)

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Postby Eastbound » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 2:07 pm

Prune,

in Singapore, there are kindergartens and day care centres. The kindergartens close during school holidays and have shorter operating hours (usually from 8,30-9 am to 5,6pm) but day care centres operate throughout the year and only close during public holidays and for about 5 or 6 days a year (once every few months for teacher planning purposes). The Ministry of Youth and Sports has a list of all kindergartens and day care centres licensed by the ministry (these are local nurseries only). You can do a search and select the best option in terms of location/school fees for you and your child. Both my kids (a 2 and a 4 year old) attend a day care centre, full day, as I never considered a live in maid to be a suitable option for us.

good luck!

PS. You can select several day care centres or kindergartens, give them a call and make an appointment with the principal to visit the school.

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Postby cw1483 » Wed, 17 Oct 2012 5:05 pm

This is the website I used to find full-day child care centres.
http://www.childcarelink.gov.sg/ccls/home/CCLS_Home.jsp

I pretty much went down the list of anything that has full-day and showed a green vacancies/yellow vacanies for my child's age. Operating hours are listed on that site as well. (Note the rates appear to be a couple of years old because none of the facilities rates match that website).

My child attends Sheffield http://www.sheffieldkidsworld.com.sg/ but I wanted First Skool as they were very nice too... http://www.myfirstskool.com/ (both had the same amount of holidays and is posted on their website).

Good luck!

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Postby Prune » Mon, 22 Oct 2012 9:34 pm

Great! Thank you so much for the info and the links, it seems quite expensive. D: We are finalising the contract now and considering my husband's company is refusing to pay for our child's schooling and the base salary does not incorporate any fees related to education, I don't know if we should accept the contract :(

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Postby cw1483 » Tue, 23 Oct 2012 12:54 pm

The childcare listed on the sites are from $600-$1500month. I paid $1150 month for montessori preschool in the states and did not get a 12 hour day (but 10hr day). So to me the Singapore rates are very reasonable.

I don't know if your package is for the long haul or under 3 years (where your child will not need to attend primary school yet), but if it was short-term, nursery schools are not nearly the price of International Schools. It's when you have school age children and you are not sure they will get admitted at a local school near your home, then the S$25,000 International School tuition per year becomes a big concern.

Prune
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Postby Prune » Sat, 27 Oct 2012 2:39 am

Ok, so by my calculations, if we wanted to have another baby, the nursery for the tiny ones are like 1000/month min, x12 months, then 3 months or so per year for the big kid at like 600/month, would it technically be cheaper to get a good live-in maid if we were able to find a good one? (though I assume that is a different issue altogether!)

(Eastbound, you said a live in maid was not a suitable option for you -why was that, if I may ask?)

I'm just trying to work this through as we try to negociate our contract. Sorry if I sound daft :/

cw1483
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Postby cw1483 » Tue, 30 Oct 2012 9:41 am

Live-in Maid was not a suitable option for me either. I do not get housing from my employer if I have a maid, I need to make sure there is an extra bedroom (or maid quarters). I just feel at the costs of an extra room and the inconvenience of an additional person living in the house was a bit much.

If you get free housing and can accomodate this then maybe.

Also, you have a contract to get the maid, so it's not that easily to term the contract. Budget for about S$1000 month(for entire maid+insurance+food)....which is much cheaper than day care.

Not only do you have interview her for the job, but also as a house-mate/flat-mate. In US, we can get aupairs(under age 26), and my mom-group friend said she was tired of telling the young au-pair to please put on more clothes as she walks around with skimpy outfits. While she could not dictate what the aupair wears, all she could do was asked during work hours she wear a collared shirt and pants....after work hours in the evening at home, the maid could still wear whatever she pleases.

My other friend got a granny type of maid thinking that would be safe. The maid was great with the kids and a great western cook, but the maid herself prefers her own local home foods over pasta. So after dinner, she would be cooking all sort of stuff that my friend was not accustomed to. I thought it was great that chicken adobo and all sort of food, but my friend had no heart to tell poor granny maid that she can't cook ethnic food in her house and just have to deal with the house smelling like curry and sorts.


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