3 things you must know before putting your baby in infant-care centre

December 04, 2018
  • Isn’t infant care like hiring a babysitter or a maid, just more expensive?
    1 / 3 Isn’t infant care like hiring a babysitter or a maid, just more expensive?

    Many people mistake infant care for a babysitting service that provides routine care like diapering and feeding, and think it’s handled by nannies without much training, says Jamie Loh, principal of Learning Vision @ Kent Ridge infant- and childcare centre.

    In reality, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) requires infant-care educarers to be certified in infant and toddler care, be trained in first aid and have at least two years’ experience in a childcare or preschool setting.

    This gives you peace of mind at work, knowing that your little one will be in good hands, says Charlotte Wong, senior business manager of Kinderland Educare Services.

    There is support among the staff, compared to a babysitter or a maid who’s alone. You also won’t have to worry about how clean or safe the babysitter’s home environment is. “Centres are equipped with safe and age-appropriate play equipment or climbing structures to promote physical activities,” Charlotte adds.

    A bonus: You’ll make friends with other parents whose babies are enrolled in the centre.

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  • Will my baby get enough attention? 
    2 / 3 Will my baby get enough attention? 

    ECDA stipulates that there should be one educarer for every five children. But many centres offer more individualised attention.

    In fact, a key advantage of infant care is the lively and dynamic learning environment. Your child will enjoy age-appropriate activities such as stories, songs and music. This means he has the stimulation he needs to develop well.

    Baby will also hone social skills while playing with his peers at the centre – a plus point, since most children grow up in small families.

    Some parents also worry that their kid will get hungry during the day, Jamie notes, but good centres have regular feeding schedules and routines.

    Related: How to boost Baby’s immunity in infant care

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  • When should I start my search for infant-care centre?
    3 / 3 When should I start my search for infant-care centre?

    From the second trimester of your pregnancy, Charlotte suggests. This is especially so if the centre is a popular one or is located in an area with high demand.

    Visit www.childcarelink.gov.sg to shortlist centres near your home or office. Attend their open houses or ask to visit, Jamie advises.

    This will give you a better understanding of the type of programmes available, so you can make an informed decision.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: One in 10 babies in Singapore go to childcare centres

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