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FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Juggling family and work is never easy. Discuss about it here.
anycer
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FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby anycer » Mon, 01 Aug 2016 2:54 pm

Hi Parents,

My wife and I are both working full time and have a 2.5 month old son at home. I've just returned to work and my wife will be returning in the next few weeks. We also just recently decided to let our live-in helper go (long story, but we just value our privacy more than the convenience a helper brings).

So, that brings me to my questions for you all... any tips on how we can successfully transition Mom back into work? Any major pitfalls to look out for?

We are looking for a full time infant care program near our home (Tiong Bahru), but that's proving to be difficult. There are a few options, but most places have long waiting lists.

Alternatively, we'd be open to hiring a full time nanny, but the various nanny agencies have been entirely unhelpful - most are offering illegal workers (FDW's) that can babysit in their spare time. Where does one find a good, legal nanny? Someone who really cares about babies and won't be expected to cook or clean or do anything except care for the boy.

I understand these options will be a lot more expensive than a live-in helper, but we're prepared for that. Would love to hear from other full time working parents sans helper, as we're just figuring this all out!

Thanks!

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x9200
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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby x9200 » Mon, 01 Aug 2016 3:40 pm

To put it short - you need a lot of luck and the odds are pretty high you will end up having FDW again.

We had this problem 5y ago and were just lucky to find a local reliable nanny who is still with us, but it was just luck (mostly). Your best bet to help this luck is to ask around whether by any chance there is somebody available and worth to be recommended. You have to realize that not relying on an FDW is already a rarity and now, on top of this you still want to have somebody trustful and reliable. This is like a rarity of rarity.
If you really have a lot (I mean A LOT) of money, you may consider hiring a professional nanny from the UK (for example).

anycer
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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby anycer » Mon, 01 Aug 2016 4:48 pm

That's what I keep hearing, but I'm not sure what makes being in Singapore much different from being back in the States, where I would never have live-in help. Possibly the availability and access to other forms of child care?

One avenue that I've had some luck with is simply wandering around local HDBs. There are day care centers strewn about and some have infant care. They are all licensed and legitimate, but aren't western, which is totally okay with me. They are run by PAP, so I would have to pay significantly more than a local (around $2k/mo for full time), but I'm okay with that. Anyone here have experience with places like this? I can't find much online.

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby x9200 » Mon, 01 Aug 2016 5:16 pm

Yes, it's about the availability of the other forms. There is basically hardly any market for them as most of the people rely on the FDWs.

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 02 Aug 2016 2:47 pm

If you or your wife can start with an AM or PM (half day) infant care program and a part-time work schedule for a month or two, that's a great way to ease the transition. You can also start with one infant care center then move to another, preferred center (e.g. closer to home or office) when a space becomes available.

anycer
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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby anycer » Tue, 02 Aug 2016 2:53 pm

@BBCWatcher - I think that's what we're going to do. We found a local day care very near us that has spots open now. We met them this morning. We actually quite liked it and may stick with it, but we're also waitlisting at some of the usual western places that everyone recommends too. (Though, I'm starting to feel that those recommendations might be overblown). We're going to start with part time since my work is flexible and my wife is somewhat flexible on when she returns to work with the goal of going full time in the next ~2 months.

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby BBCWatcher » Tue, 02 Aug 2016 5:14 pm

anycer wrote:(Though, I'm starting to feel that those recommendations might be overblown).

Yup. Adults are often quite strange in projecting their own hangups and insecurities onto their children and (gasp!) infants. Focus on what matters, and you and your child will likely do well.

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby kopikang » Wed, 03 Aug 2016 10:50 pm

Hi ancer , we have similar situation . We arrived Singapore recently and baby is 9 month. And we sent her for full day care . We used to hv full time helper before we moved to Singapore.
I did not like that we have less privacy with the live in helper and that's why decided to send baby to day care when we Moved here .i chose day care because I believe and trust that my baby will b on safe hands. However , with 2 weeks now she been in day care , I am rethinking to have the option of hiring a helper and withdraw the day care . Reason below :
1) baby could not get quality nap time in day care . Not all baby sleep at same time . With the ratio of 1 care giver to 3 babies , they can't try to put one baby to bed and let the others wait or play themselves . My baby needs someone to calm her and set the environment ( curtain closed, quiet) to sleep but she could not due to she could hear other babies playing and the caregiver does not have time to try for 30 mins to put her nap.

2) my baby ended up fell sleep on me when I picked her up around 630 pm and she woke up when we get home. Too late for solid dinner and she is too tired to eat , and it's time for bedtime milk . So now she is only having one solid lunch instead of 3. We had to skip the morning one cause we do not hv time to feed her solid before day care .
As a consequences , she didn't get enough food in day time and started to wake up midnight for milk .

My baby started day care and 9 months old which she recognize a lot of thing and she cries when I drop her and leave here .

If you decided day care and your baby at this age 2.5 months , that's should still fine as he does not recognize much that should be just fine and he may get used to nap in noisy environment quicker .

So for my case I think I am goihg to hire a helper and send her for playgroup occasionally . But hiring helper in Singapore is so. Complicated and it is hard to find a good helper . Very depends on luck

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby toorak_girl » Wed, 21 Sep 2016 2:18 pm

Been there. We've tried live-in helpers, a nannie and FT day care- in the end we chose FT day care. There are probably more hiccups at the start, kids are not quite used to the routines and food. However, once the dust settles, it's actually a safer and more challenging environment for them. Learning to socialise at an early age is a huge plus too.

Not that helpers are necessarily bad . As others have posted, it's really your luck. Generally, we found the Filipina helpers to be better educated and more reliable than the Indonesian ones. Maybe try one or two options first and if it doesn't work out you can settle on the third.

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby Gesyca » Tue, 18 Jul 2017 1:05 pm

My family and I are relocating to Singapore from the US soon and have a 5 year old son, we are looking for FT childcare options as it seems schools don't start until 6 years old?

I'm a little confused regarding the childcare practices and I am not sure if I am supposed to be looking for childcare, some form of preschool or kindergarten, or a combination thereof. I would appreciate any advice and guidance as we will be moving quite soon and I am not certain I have this all sorted out.

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 18 Jul 2017 2:15 pm

Gesyca wrote:My family and I are relocating to Singapore from the US soon and have a 5 year old son, we are looking for FT childcare options as it seems schools don't start until 6 years old?

I'm a little confused regarding the childcare practices and I am not sure if I am supposed to be looking for childcare, some form of preschool or kindergarten, or a combination thereof. I would appreciate any advice and guidance as we will be moving quite soon and I am not certain I have this all sorted out.


fulltime out of home (at a center) baby care until of age to go to nursery / preschool with after preschool care is what you are looking at.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

Gesyca
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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby Gesyca » Tue, 18 Jul 2017 6:37 pm

Thank you, my son is five and will turned six in February so I am trying to understand if I need to enroll him in a school or simply look for childcare at a center. I would preferred to play some in a center now and hat have a little time over there before I place them in a school so that I can visit them personally. My job will be in district 5, Clementi area, could anyone recommend childcare in that area or close by?

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby PNGMK » Tue, 18 Jul 2017 6:59 pm

Gesyca wrote:Thank you, my son is five and will turned six in February so I am trying to understand if I need to enroll him in a school or simply look for childcare at a center. I would preferred to play some in a center now and hat have a little time over there before I place them in a school so that I can visit them personally. My job will be in district 5, Clementi area, could anyone recommend childcare in that area or close by?


What schooling system - that's paramount to your question. Singapore kids start the year they turn 7 - expat kids often start much earlier in Kindy.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby Gesyca » Tue, 18 Jul 2017 9:16 pm

I'm not ceratin yet, although i will be looking for an International School for my son when we get over there. Preferably something close to the Clementi area as that is where both my husband and I would work

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Re: FT Working Parents and No Helper Advice

Postby PNGMK » Wed, 19 Jul 2017 10:30 am

Gesyca wrote:I'm not ceratin yet, although i will be looking for an International School for my son when we get over there. Preferably something close to the Clementi area as that is where both my husband and I would work


ICS (Int'l Community School - very close to Clementi) runs programs for 4 year olds upwards on that keep them in school from 730 to 2pm. What some parents do is have a FDW (maid) pick up their kids after that and take them home so they can work full time.
I have gay, black, Asian friends and then JR8.


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