Should You Opt for Infant Care or Hire a Nanny?

Are you heading back to work after your maternity leave?

Leaving your infant in someone else’s care can be a tough decision to make. Thus, it is essential to have a trusted and responsible adult who can support your family. 

Most parents consider these options  - getting help from grandparents, hiring a nanny or sending baby to an infant care in Singapore.

Looking after a child can be tiring, and our aged parents may not be up for it in the long run. Often, most families narrow it down to the latter two. 

Infant Care Versus Nanny – The Pros and Cons 

1. Baby-friendly Environment 

Nannies usually care for babies in their own home, on top of running their household. Experienced nannies should have a baby-friendly space that is clean, inviting and safe. However, not all nannies would be able to convert every corner of their home to prioritise the baby’s safety and developmental needs.  

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At infant care centres, parents can trust that the spaces dedicated to infants are built for them. All interior design of childcare centres in Singapore must be compliant with the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)’s requirements. This includes age-appropriate toys and carefully planned spaces for infants to move around safely (e.g. padded floor mats to support crawling bubs). 

2. Caregiver to Infant Ratio 

Many nannies care for more than one child at any one time. If you are looking for a nanny that only looks after your child, you may expect to pay more for that individual attention.  

The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)’s guideline for infant care in Singapore is 1 educarer to 5 infants. More educarers would be hired when more babies are enrolled. This means that closer adult supervision is available for the babies. 

3. Training, Experience and Baby Caring Methods 

Nannies are usually a neighbour or someone’s relative. Most nannies are self-taught and may stick to their traditional methods of childcaring. Some parents may find it challenging to change those ways to their preferred ones. Although nannies may not have formal training, their experience in taking care of children (including their own) and positive recommendations through word-of-mouth could help parents narrow down their search for a trusted nanny. 

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Infant care educarers must have a certificate in Early Childhood, Early Years or equivalent. In addition, they may be required to have a valid certificate in first aid recognised by ECDA. 

4. Flexible or Fixed Schedule 

With a nanny, you can have more flexibility in arranging for her help. It could be for a few hours or certain days in a week – as such, nanny’s fees are usually by the hour. 

In comparison, there are fixed hours for infant care centres and childcare in Singapore (e.g. 7am to 7pm for full day, and 7am to 2pm for half day). Parents can take their child out of school earlier, but fees will not be pro-rated. 

5. Structured Curriculum and Learning Space 

Some nannies may not have the know-how to set a purposeful schedule for the babies, and mainly attend to their basic needs. If the nanny has more than one child to care for, she will have to find ways to keep baby occupied while she steps away. 

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Do babies only drink milk and sleep in infant care? Certainly not.

A fixed arrangement is in place as little ones thrive on routines from their early years. Trained and certified infant care teachers are responsible for keeping with a structured curriculum. Babies are observing and learning even when they seem to be unaware. Tactile sensory activities, open-ended toys and simple crafts are some of the fun they get to explore. 

6. Alternative Caregiver Arrangement  

If nanny is unwell, parents will not be able to send their infants over since she is the only caregiver. There may be some unforeseen disruptions in arrangements and parents may have to take urgent leave. 

Should the infant care teacher be unwell, there are usually other teachers to take over. Working parents can continue sending baby to infant care unless you prefer not to, in situations of a virus outbreak, should it arise. 

7. Budget and Subsidies 

Budget is another factor parents look at when deciding between hiring a nanny or sending baby to infant care. The cost of hiring a nanny is not subsidised. 

Did you know that the Government offers subsidies for infant care and childcare in Singapore to working mums? This helps lighten the costs for families. 

Affordable Infant Care in Singapore: Little Footprints Preschool 

A welcoming environment coupled with trained teachers and a holistic programme supports a young child’s development during the early years.  

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The infant care centres at selected Little Footprints Preschool are designed to raise confident, respectful, and reflective individuals. Children are nurtured by educarers who understand that care and assurance establish trusting bonds. Before long, kids are all-ready to explore the world they live in. 

Check out Little Footprints Preschool’s thoughtfully planned infant care facilities for children 2 to 18 months. Book a school tour to find out how your preferred centre can support your parenting journey. 


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