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Maids - Live in or live out? Interview questions?

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peppercorn girl
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Maids - Live in or live out? Interview questions?

Post by peppercorn girl » Sun, 29 Apr 2007 1:01 am

I am moving to Singapore next month with two children - 4 and 8. I have no experience in employing a maid and would welcome some advice from someone who has first hand experience with maids.

I require someone to take them to and from school and also look after them after school. I will be working long hours so will also need someone to give them dinner and put them to bed occassionally.

Can anyone give me some advice on:
Is it better to have a maid live in or out? What are the benefits of each?
What are the costs involved?
What questions do i need to ask in interviews to ensure i get the best one for my children?
Will they be able to help with homework and take them on outings?
Do they cook and do the supermarketing shopping?

Thank you for any advice. :)

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Post by kirstyL » Mon, 04 Jun 2007 9:33 pm


It depends what u want. the most common is live in. It cost about $600 per month and u get an Indonesian or Phillipino girl. From my experience they are not highly educated, so dont expect them to be able to help with home work. But usually they can cook alright, you may have to teach them to cook your favourite dishes, as they are mostly used to asian foods. Usually they dont drive so if you mean take the kids to school on bus or in train or walk them then it should be ok, but they will still need to be shown where to go because SG is not their country. I have an Indonesian maid, she does not undersand much english, but ok. My husband is local so i get him or his parents to translate for me! But they stay in your house, you provide them all they need and basically they are there for your kids all day, which sounds like what u need. Otherwise it will be very expensive to have a maid who doesnt stay with you. As for help with home work, most people will go for a tutor. I hope this is helpful. Any further questions let me know. As for questions, ask lots, the agents tend to try and push maids on you and the maid may not even understand what u r asking. Good luck.

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Post by Jeppo » Tue, 05 Jun 2007 1:48 pm


If you want your maid to improve her english, the indonesian embassy holds free training sessions twice a month. Check out ... lang=eng#6

Also, you can learn indonesian at the indonesian school for free at the cultural center there (sanggar budaya indonesia).

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Post by gabrielmom » Wed, 06 Jun 2007 5:28 pm

Hi kirsty

I have two domestic helpers who come in once a week to help with cleaning the house. Costs about $10 - $20 per hour per person, depending on the type and size of house. It is good, especially when hubby and me eat out most of the time. Baby goes to infantcare from 7am to 7pm, where he is well taken care of Singaporean teachers certified in early childhood education.

For live-in maids, you need to let them know that their priority is looking after the children (cooking, washing, good habits), then household chores. Do they have any experience with young children, what types of food can they cook, do they have children? It will be good to pre-empt them what to expect of your children (eg. tempers, nap times). Don't expect the maids to understand Singapore because they are also considered 'expats'! You need to be with them during the first few marketing trips to ensure they go to the right place, buy the right stuff. Good luck!

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Post by markhed » Thu, 07 Jun 2007 11:56 am


We are interviewing a transfer live in maid today and I just read on the Net that you have to pay a 5k bond to the govt for all maids? Is this the case? I spoke to my friend who just left here after two years and he said he did have to do this.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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Post by markhed » Thu, 07 Jun 2007 11:57 am

Sorry, I should have typed my friend said he DIDNT have to pay the bond..

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Hope I don't scare you

Post by miss_jay » Fri, 08 Jun 2007 3:01 am

But please please please be wary of your maid and not be too lenient with her.

My good friend recently found out that her maid had been bringing back home those Bangladeshi construction workers and doing the nasty with them while my friend and her husband were out at work.

That's not the worst part. Their 3-yr old son was at home and left to his own devices while the maid entertained the men on my friend's MARITAL BED!!

It was an awful experience for her... I just hope you are able to monitor the maid's behaviour, maybe ask a neighbour to pop-in once in awhile just to check on her.

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Re: Hope I don't scare you

Post by jpatokal » Fri, 08 Jun 2007 5:46 pm

miss_jay wrote:But please please please be wary of your maid and not be too lenient with her.

My good friend recently found out that her maid had been bringing back home those Bangladeshi construction workers and doing the nasty with them while my friend and her husband were out at work.
Oh, that's horrible. Lower social orders should not be allowed to breed, the planet has enough of the scum as it is.

Vaguely heretical thoughts on travel technology at Gyrovague

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Post by mxlah » Fri, 22 Jun 2007 10:35 pm

I cannot believe you would even consider it the maid's job to help your child do homework. I employ a Philippino helper who may not have the world's best education but I can assure you she is very intelligent. I get the feeling that some people equate education with intelligence; the two unfortunately do not always go hand in hand. Although my helper is very intelligent and even if she did have a good education I would still feel it was my job as a parent to spend time with my children to help them with their homework. Surely your child's education is one of the most important and valuable things they aquire through life and the main input for progress must surely come from the parents rather than anyone else. I could go on at length from what I have read from yourself and also the responses which have been given by others; but my advice is to consider the worth of long working hours compared to giving a few more hours in the week to your child - even though all it might be, is to help them with their homework!

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