Moving to Singapore - Domestic Help

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familyof5
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Moving to Singapore - Domestic Help

Post by familyof5 » Sun, 26 Aug 2007 8:14 am

Hello,
My husband and I are moving to Singapore early next year. We have 3 children, the eldest will be almost 2 and a half, and our twins will be about 11 months old.

I understand domestic help is very affordable in Singapore, and frankly with 3 children under 3 years old I'm pretty excited about the prospect. I wonder if any of you could give me some advice/insight about the process, including any pitfalls. I have also heard about departing families 'advertising' their maids/nannies in the hope that they will continue employment with a good family. Where and how is this done?

I presume the general process involves going through an agency of some sort. Do some agencies have better reputations than others?

Thanks for your help.

sprite
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Post by sprite » Sun, 26 Aug 2007 11:12 am

Yes, I'd say you could do with some help. You can go through an agency and yes there are some that have better reputations than others , but finding a maid by word of mouth seems to be the best way. Do you know anyone here in Singapore at all? That would be a good place to start.

cbavasi
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Post by cbavasi » Sun, 26 Aug 2007 9:21 pm

Like previous poster mentioned there are many agencies but probably best to go through word of mouth and to interview prospective candidates when you get here. You may want someone who's primary responsibility is to take care of the children or maybe just the eldest while you deal with the twins or vice versa. Perhaps you want someone who is more hands on with the housework, cooking...etc. You'll get a good idea the more people you speak with.

There are several message boards at the supermarkets and clubs and I actually found our new helper here on this site in the classifieds section. If you are not moving til the new year best to get it sorted once you get here. You will need to prove that you (or your husband who will probably be the person on all the forms) are a resident with proper paperwork including tax and company information.
PS - I have a 3 year old and 7 month old so let me know when you get here :)

familyof5
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Post by familyof5 » Mon, 27 Aug 2007 5:37 pm

sprite, no i dont know anyone in singapore at all.

cbavasi, the more i think about it, the more i think i'd really want someone to take care of housework/cooking/cleaning so i can do the fun stuff with the children for a change. i'll check out the classifieds section, thanks. my husband will probably arrive early in the new year, so hopefully we can have a few candidates lined up to interview when i arrive in feb. i'll certainly let you know when i get there. how is your new helper working out?

cheers, Meg

cbavasi
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Post by cbavasi » Mon, 27 Aug 2007 8:19 pm

our new helper is absolutely fantastic but i had more knowledge when hiring her as our last helper had been with us 3 years (in jakarta) and i kind of knew what would work/not work for our family.

i will send you a PM with a couple of agencies that were recommended to me as well as places for your husband to look when he gets here.

familyof5
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Post by familyof5 » Tue, 28 Aug 2007 2:32 pm

hey thanks, i got your message.....tried to reply but can't send private messages yet - apparently i need to clock up a few more posts before that feature is available to me! anyway, thanks again and i'll PM you when i can.

cheers, meg

sprite
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Post by sprite » Tue, 28 Aug 2007 3:08 pm

Prestige at Tanglin Shopping Centre has a good reputationas a maid agency.

familyof5
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Post by familyof5 » Fri, 31 Aug 2007 11:08 am

cbavasi, i sent you an e-mail. thanks for yours. meg

happymom
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Post by happymom » Wed, 12 Sep 2007 3:55 pm

Hello, We are also planning to move to Singapore early next year. I have 2 year old twins and hoping to find a good maid. Can you please give me suggestions for good agencies ?

thanks

Harjit
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Post by Harjit » Mon, 17 Sep 2007 8:47 pm

hi all

ditto the latest messages. we are moving out there in the new year too with our 2 boys (2.5 years and 9 months). I am also taken with the idea of someone helping out with cleaning and housework whilst I look after the kids! I will probably not be working initially either and so would love to meet up with other mummies in similar situations so please do get in touch!

hamiltongirl
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Domestic helper

Post by hamiltongirl » Sat, 22 Sep 2007 11:43 pm

I was reading your post with interest. It has taken us 12 months to finally get someone to help out in our household, and it has been a blessing. We are an aussie family and I work freelance and study part time, as well as being a stay at home mum of one. It just frees up time for you to spend time with the kids instead of feeling guilty about all those jobs that need doing. I don't know what I was thinking not getting someone in to help. Our foreign domestic worker (helper) lives in with us and is very discreet and gives us our space when we need it.

The reason for my post however is to point out to you certain issues with agencies. Please make sure you go to a reputable agency, one that has been recommended to you. I have been working with H.O.M.E. Shelter for abused maids and some of the agencies treat their newly acquired recruits very very badly. Bear in mind also that very often a maid will bring with her a big debt which she then has to spend a very long time working off, without any pay for herself, which goes to the agency for 'placement fees'. Many girls spend 2 years paying off their 'debt' without any salary to send back to their families.

Make sure that the agency has been accredited with the MOM and think very carefully before just walking into an agency off the street. The treatment of the girls 'waiting in the window' (which is illegal by the way) I have discovered has been truly atrocious - no food, very little water, no place to sleep, and a so-called medical exam which ends up being not legitimate.

In December 2005, there was an excellent human rights report entitled 'Maid to Order - Maid Abuse', which discusses Employment Agency Misconduct.

http://www.siiaonline.org/foreign_domes ... misconduct

If you wish to find out more about agencies and employing a foreign domestic worker, I am happy to be contacted by PM or by email at fran_wray@yahoo.com

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