What to Know Before You Hire a Babysitter

Securing a trustworthy and reliable babysitter is not a simple task. Here are some tips to aid in the process of finding sitters to interview, questions to ask during the interview, calling references and hiring a babysitter.

The best place to start looking is within the community you know: your church, local schools, neighbors, your workplace. Once you have some options, it’s important to check references. These may come from teachers, youth group leaders or from other families who have used the sitter. When you contact families the sitter has worked for, ask how many kids they have. Also, find out if they ever had any problems with the way the sitter interacted with their kids.

Observe Babysitter Interaction With Your Kids

The next step is to invite the sitter over to ask questions and see how he or she interacts with your children. This type of interaction shows the level of comfort your prospective sitter has with children. It is important to choose a babysitter that aligns with your method of parenting. Be sure to ask about the sitter’s training in first aid or CPR. Discuss what he or she may do in certain emergency situations. A competent sitter will be able to answer these questions and prove he or she can handle the job.

Is He or She Qualified?

Check your sitter’s qualifications against these characteristics recommended by the American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training Program: Does he or she have First aid/CPR training? Does he or she display maturity, good judgment, and common sense? Does he or she appear friendly, responsible and fun? Does the sitter smoke? Is he or she neat and organized? Beyond any qualifications, it is most important that you go with your gut. Do you get a good feeling about the sitter and do you trust this person with your child?

Ask babysitters what they charge up front so there isn’t any confusion or discomfort when they show up to watch your kids. Babysitting rates differ by location, numbers of children, experience, and many other factors.

After you hire a sitter, have him or her come to your house a half-hour before you leave to go over all emergency issues. “More than half the parents who leave their children with babysitters under 16 don’t leave emergency telephone numbers,” says Dr. Keener.

Discuss House Rules and Leave Contact Information

Make sure you discuss your house rules with the sitter and always leave a number where you can be reached at all times. Leave information about any schedules (feeding or sleeping), any food allergies, specific likes and dislikes and other important information a sitter will need to best care for your children. In the event of a life-threatening emergency, a medical professional is permitted to treat your child, experts say. But if it is a non-life-threatening injury, they will need parental consent to treat.

Call Home to Check on Kids and Babysitter

During the evening, be sure to call home, especially if you are not easily accessible. Call home at a time when you may be able to head off a potential problem, such as a half-hour after bedtime when the kids may be refusing to go to sleep. You could suggest some ways for the sitter to convince them to go to bed. Consistency between caregivers is very important when it comes to sleeping, eating, and discipline.

Get a Debriefing After You Return Home

Consider debriefing with the sitter when you get home. Ask specifically about areas where you think the sitter may have had trouble. Often sitters think your child’s behavior is a reflection on them and may be reluctant to admit any behavioral problems unless asked. Choosing a sitter with training in handling emergencies and checking the sitter’s references will make you more comfortable and your children safer.

Ask Your Kids About the Sitter

Depending on the age and personality of your children, you may get a good sense of the sitter based on information from your child. Did your kid have fun? Were they fed and happy when you returned? Many kids cry or display separation anxiety when their parents leave them with a new sitter, so pay more attention to your child’s behaviors and feelings when you return and not when you are walking out the door.

Credits: Robin Mclure, Verywell Family

Childcare in Singapore & Malaysia, Choosing Between Domestic Helpers, Nannies and Babysitters

If you’ve been toying with the idea of hiring someone to help with the kids, here are all the options available to you in Singapore & nearby Malaysia (with everything in malaysian ringgits terms)…

You’ve hacked it out by yourself long enough with a bub and a job – and without any help. You now know you’re a superwoman, but it’s also time to admit that you deserve a bit of “me time”. A fellow mummy friend tells you she’s got a nanny, and recently hired a helper.

“What’s the difference?” you ask. Well plenty, as a matter of fact. If you didn’t know by now, there’s more than one type of childcare option available for parents in Singapore. Besides helpers, you’ve also got babysitters, nannies and even au pairs at your disposal should you need someone to watch your kids while you’re at work, need a few hours to yourself or for that special date night. What’s the difference between each of them and how do you decide who will suit you best? Read on to find out…

Helper 
A helper, also known as a main, is usually a live-in foreign domestic worker (FDW), from the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar or India. She helps maintain the house and may carry out other duties.
Roles: Mainly cleaning and cooking, but may also be tasked to take care of kids, special needs patients, the elderly and pets.
Pros: Majority of people living in Singapore, local and expats, depend on their helper for practically everything, from cleaning and cooking to picking the kids up from school.
Cons: You’ll have to ‘train’ them to adapt to the way you like things done. Depending on the country they come from, some may not be able to speak English well.
Costs: Current average salaries for a FDW range from around $450-$700 per month, depending on how experienced they are.
Find a helper through 121personnel.sg or We Are Caring

Nanny
A nanny is a person who provides live-in or temporary childcare services.
Roles: Childcare, but not infantcare.
Pros: You’re guaranteed professional childcare with training from nanny agencies and even nanny college! Norland Nannies hail from a world famous college in the UK and will be closest thing you’ll get to Mary Poppins. A Norland Nanny’s salary starts at £26,000 a year, that’s more than S$47,000!
Cons: Nannies only take care of your kids. You’ll have to do all the cleaning yourself or hire a helper for that.
Costs: You can hire a temporary nanny by the hour. NannyPro charges $15-$25 per hour. Full-time nannies are more expensive because you’re paying for experience.
Find a nanny through Nanny Pro or Find a Nanny

Confinement Nanny
A confinement nanny is someone who takes care of you and your infant specifically during your confinement period.
Roles: She prepares healthy confinement meals and your confinement baths, plus provides infant care and assistance with baby feeding and diaper changing. Some of them double up as night nurses. A confinement nanny also takes care of basic household cleaning and laundry as well as provides advice and tips on babycare for frazzled first-time mums.
Pros: Yours and baby’s every need will be taken care of (round the clock), by a trained professional during your confinement period.
Cons: Confinement nannies usually only stick around for the first month. But, it’s becoming increasingly popular to get them to stay for a few more weeks or months, until the mother gets a hang of things. Either way, you’ll have to bid goodbye to your confinement nanny sooner or later!
Costs: Varies according to live-in, daytime, nighttime or ad hoc, experience and independent or agency. A confinement nanny’s basic salary starts at around $2800 for 28 days, not including traditional red packets on first and last day, food expenses or levy charges.
Find a confinement nanny through Thomson Medical Centre or NannySOS. You can also send your current helper to attend a confinement nanny training course at Thomson Medical Centre.

Babysitter
A babysitter is a person who lives near you or your workplace, and who’s willing to watch your child for short periods of time.
Roles: Picking up child from school, childcare and sometimes light cooking for the child.
Pros: You might use these babysitters on an adhoc basis, but they are still experienced and reliable professionals. So, you know your kids are in good hands.
Cons: Since it depends a lot on proximity, if your schedules don’t line up, you’ll be in a spot of trouble.
Costs: Prices range by experience and starts from $18 an hour
Find a babysitter through Agent Bong, or Babysitters.sg

Credits: First featured on Honeykids, by Sheralyn Loh

Babysitter Singapore Prices – 2017 to 2018

Babysitting Job Scope

  • Taking care of toddler or baby at least 1 month old. Please specify your child age as some baby sitters do not take care of infants.
  • Child safety and hygiene are the main priorities of the baby sitters and nannies
  • Feed children, take care of their meals
  • Play with children or activities to keep them occupied
  • Fetch children from child care centre, schools or see doctor depending on parent’s requirement. (Additional fees top-up is required if applicable)
  • Activities requested by parents related to child
  • As taking care of your child is a huge responsibility, performing household chores are not the duties of our babysitters. They will only be able to do simple chores associated with baby such as clean, sterilize milk bottles, feeding, bathing baby etc.

 Ad Hoc Babysitting Hourly Rates

Price

Home Babysitting
– Daytime Babysitter
– (8AM – 6PM)
SGD $25
– Evening / Night Babysitter
– (6PM – Midnight)
SGD $25
– Weekend / Holiday Babysitter
– (8AM – Midnight)
SGD $25
Hotel Babysitting
– (8AM – Midnight)
– Within hotel premises
SGD $25
Outdoor Babysitting
– (8AM – Midnight)
SGD $35
Babysitting Twins
– (8AM – Midnight)
SGD $35
  • Ad Hoc babysitting rates (Singapore)/ part time hourly rates is for taking care of 1 child.
  • Price exclude transport fees which is applicable after 10pm (based on Grab or Uber fares).

Long Term Babysitting Monthly Rates (At Nanny’s Place)

Price

Weekdays Daytime Babysitter (10-12 hours Monday to Friday) SGD $800 – SGD $1200
Overnight Babysitter (Monday to Friday) SGD $1200 – SGD $1500

 

Long Term Babysitting Monthly Rates (At Baby’s Place)

Price

Weekdays Daytime Babysitters (10-12 hours Monday to Friday) SGD $2500 – SGD $3950
  • In general, average pricing for long term babysitting at Chinese nanny’s home is $800 (10-12 hours Monday to Friday) monthly. The babysitting service cost of singapore nanny mostly excludes the following:
    • Meals: solid food, milk formula
    • Baby’s necessities such as diapers, milk bottles etc. Parents are required to bring the items over to nanny’s home.
    • Additional weekends or overnight
    • Any transport fees for fetching children
  • Most nannies will prefer to help parents prepare cooked food for children under their care. They will buy fresh ingredients from the market such as fish for your child’s health and growth development. Top up is $50 to $100 if required.
  • It is chinese custom to give a red packet token to the nanny on the first and last day. The amount is up to parent’s own discretion.

Credits: NannySOS