Some Thoughts on Why Hiring a Babysitter may be a Better Option than Daycare

BabysitterDaycare centers are a popular option for working parents. They provide a very necessary service within the framework of a registered company, but you will need to decide what is best for the child as well as taking into consideration affordability and convenience.

Hiring a baby sitter may have a number of advantages over sending your child to childcare, depending on your particular situation.

A baby or young child will naturally feel more comfortable in her own home. She can take naps in her own bed, cuddling her favourite teddy bear, while staring at familiar things in her room.

There will be a much better child-to-carer ratio with a babysitter, even if she is looking after several children at once, your child will get more individual attention than at a childcare centre where one carer might be looking from between 15 to 25 children. Your babysitter can read your child her favourite books, prepare food she likes, play the games she loves. Often a healthy and loving bond can form between child and baby sitter, such a bond is unlikely in a childcare centre.

You have far more control over the day’s events with a babysitter. Once you explain the family’s rules to the babysitter or nanny, she will be able to train your toddler to follow them. By rules, I mean family norms, which include things like nap times, TV programs, language used, the type of snacks allowed, and the kind of food for main meals. Most babysitters or nannies will also be happy to start preparing your child for school by reading early text books or using flip cards.

With a babysitter or a nanny, you are hiring her directly yourself. You don’t have layers of administration staff to go through when giving instructions. You will be responsible for keeping your babysitter happy in her work, and there are no other colleagues or bosses to influence her negatively. Also, the babysitter you select will be the one you get, whereas at a childcare facility staff will come and go, take annual and medical leave. Can you really be sure who is the one interacting with your child?

A far more flexible arrangement can be made with a babysitter than a daycare centre which will have fairly rigid rules about when children can be dropped off and picked up. If you suddenly have to work later than usual at the office, the daycare centre will most likely charge an extra fee and only be able to extend the pick-up time by half an hour.

Babysitters are generally a less expensive option than daycare centres which usually charge a fixed monthly fee, even if your were absent for half the month on an overseas holiday.

Your babysitter should be able to maintain a much higher standard of hygiene than most childcare facilities can. She should be constantly cleaning the surfaces, toys, furniture and floors that your child comes into contact with, as well as the usual pre and post meals hand and face cleaning. Even when children are sick with an infectious disease, their parents rarely are able to make arrangements to keep their child home and so typically they get dropped of at childcare as usual, putting all the children in the centre at risk.

So far this discussion has been about Babysitter or nannies versus childcare centres, but in Singapore, like many other places an in between option is often available in the form of a crèche in a babysitter’s home. This type of arrangement can provide the benefits of having a private babysitter, who looks after probably no more than five children or babies, has the typical flexibility and economy of a babysitter and doesn’t usually have the same restraints that a daycare centre has.



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