Hiring a nanny? 7 things you should know

Here are important things to consider if you plan to leave your little one with a babysitter or nanny.

Hiring a nanny? 7 things you should know1

So, you’ve had your baby and loved spending his newborn days with him, but reality has come knocking: You’ll need to return to work soon when your maternity leave ends.

For most Singaporeans, there will be a number of childcare options. Some prefer to place their baby in an infant care or childcare centre while they’re at work, while others hire a domestic helper to look after their baby at home.

Another option is to find a suitable nanny or babysitter.

Financial planner and mum of two Evangeline Lee found this option to be the most viable after she had her first child, Julie, now 5.

Since her work hours were “erratic and flexible” ― she works anything from two to six hours a day, usually meeting clients ― Lee didn’t want to place her child in a full-time childcare arrangement.

“I was happy with my work schedule because that meant I could spend most of my time with my children, but it also meant that I needed someone reliable to help me watch them when I did have to work,” she says.

Her solution? A babysitter who lives five minutes away from her ― she pays her $18 an hour for her babysitting services.

“Madam Lai was a recommendation from my neighbour, who hired her as a nanny when her kids were younger. It was perfect because at that time, she was watching just one other toddler, and she was happy to be paid by the hour when I dropped Julie off.”

Part-time babysitting arrangements are also ideal for parents who may need some time off, for example, to run errands, attend an older child’s school appointments, even to enjoy a date night.

If you’re mulling over hiring a part-time nanny to watch your little one, there are several things you need to consider.

1. Don’t limit your options
There are many ways to find a babysitter who best suits your needs, so don’t just pick the first one that comes your way. Make it known that you’re in the market for a nanny by sending the word out to your family and friends. Nannies that come with references from people who know are often more trustworthy. You can also place ads on your social media platforms, or in online classifieds, to seek babysitter applications.

 

Make it known that you’re in the market for a nanny by sending the word out to your family and friends.

 

Joey Ng, mum to Jacob, 2, found her nanny through a bulletin board at her neighbourhood RC. “I thought it would be good to engage her because she lived in the same block as me. It is really convenient for us and she is great with Jacob.”

A number of websites and agencies list nanny services, too:

·         Find a Nanny
·         BBNanny
·         NannyPro
·         Nannies on Wheels
·         Nanny SOS
·         Babysitters Singapore
·         Caregiver Asia

2. Recognise that your nanny is your employee
Your potential babysitter may seem to connect with your baby right away, perhaps, your peewee (and even you) might be drawn to her right away. But always remember that this is an employee-employer relationship, and that you are paying your nanny to take care of your child.

Once you draw those boundaries in the relationship, you’re better able to focus more on the attributes that you’re looking for in a nanny (for example, that she has to be hygienic, dependable and honest). This way, you’ll worry less about whether she likes you and your baby.