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Please help! Childcare advise needed

Please help! Childcare advise needed

Old Apr 17th 2016, 9:13 am
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Default Please help! Childcare advise needed

We may be moving to singapore in August.

We think it is an amazing opportunity and before kids we would be gunning for it. Now we have 2 young children (they will turn 1 and 3 in August) and we are of course concerned about the upheaval for them and their care ( both me and my husband will be working full time.)

We would love and advice / recommendations / hear experiences with childcare. Finding great childcare is imperative for us to make the move.

We would like both of them to go to nursery (ideally together) so that they have interaction with other kids) and then have a nanny for surrounding hours / sick days etc. it seems however that most nurseries start at 2 though. Are there any that start earlier?

Our priority is a caring , loving, fun environment over education at this young age.
We have been reading about live in maids but that seems a bit of a lottery and with no formal childcare qualifications. Can anyone give any advise on finding a maid who is great with kids or a qualified nanny and how much they cost?

We still need further info on our packages to see that we can afford the childcare, accommodation and lifestyle we want to lead.

We are not sure about areas to live. We would be working at NS18 and EW28, so quite far apart! We would want to live near one of these lines. We will choose location around nursery/ preschool.

We also want a 4 bed place. (Spare room for guests to stay) and would love to know ideas of cost for this. Or areas...we don't really know where to start.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay. Your advice would be massively appreciated. My husband and I have never even been to singapore and this is such a huge decision with the kids as our main concern.

Thanks so much

Singaporebound
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 11:49 am
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Originally Posted by Singaporebound View Post
We may be moving to singapore in August.

We think it is an amazing opportunity and before kids we would be gunning for it. Now we have 2 young children (they will turn 1 and 3 in August) and we are of course concerned about the upheaval for them and their care ( both me and my husband will be working full time.)

We would love and advice / recommendations / hear experiences with childcare. Finding great childcare is imperative for us to make the move.

We would like both of them to go to nursery (ideally together) so that they have interaction with other kids) and then have a nanny for surrounding hours / sick days etc. it seems however that most nurseries start at 2 though. Are there any that start earlier?

Our priority is a caring , loving, fun environment over education at this young age.
We have been reading about live in maids but that seems a bit of a lottery and with no formal childcare qualifications. Can anyone give any advise on finding a maid who is great with kids or a qualified nanny and how much they cost?

We still need further info on our packages to see that we can afford the childcare, accommodation and lifestyle we want to lead.

We are not sure about areas to live. We would be working at NS18 and EW28, so quite far apart! We would want to live near one of these lines. We will choose location around nursery/ preschool.

We also want a 4 bed place. (Spare room for guests to stay) and would love to know ideas of cost for this. Or areas...we don't really know where to start.

Sorry this has turned into a bit of an essay. Your advice would be massively appreciated. My husband and I have never even been to singapore and this is such a huge decision with the kids as our main concern.

Thanks so much

Singaporebound
For two kids, childcare may be quite costly. Domestic helpers will request a salary of maybe $6-700 SGD a month which of course you will also need to consider will they'll be staying with you.

Probably a good idea to reach out to a number of agencies here who will help arrange a suitable helper should you choose to use this route.

Some childcare links which may be of some interest to you. Some may be for local residents only though.

http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/childcarelist
http://app.msf.gov.sg/Policies/Stron...d-Care-Centres
https://www.childcarelink.gov.sg/ccl.../CCLS_Home.jsp

Good luck.

Last edited by Pollyana; Apr 30th 2016 at 1:09 pm. Reason: fixing link to get the thread back into a proper viewing size
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Basic salary for domestic helpers/maids is S$500 plus pm.
Gov levy has to be added to that which is S$280 ish pm.

Hiring live in maids is fraught with numerous difficulties especially if you haven't hired a maid previously.

4 bed apartment may cost from S$5000 to S$6000pm but can cost lots more depending on the location etc etc

I'm assuming you'll be working at Braddell and Pioneer which may be 45 minutes apart by MRT, don't think there's a quicker way between the two unless you drive a car and then it might only be ten to 15 minutes shorter and maybe longer depending on the traffic.
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 7:23 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

https://www.childcarelink.gov.sg/ccl.../CCLS_Home.jsp
might be helpful to read.

If both parents will be working full-time, a live-in nanny/amah would be worth looking at.
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Old Apr 21st 2016, 11:10 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Just to say Welcome to the forum As the guys have said, do your research, and keep on asking questions on here. Have to start somewhere.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 9:22 am
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Thank you very much for your responses, much appreciated.

Can you give anymore advice regarding live in maids and the common issues experienced?
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 10:05 am
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

The main problem is gaining confidence in a maid from Indonesia, Philipinnes or Myanmar sufficiently to allow her to look after a 1 yo and a 3 yo on her own. Let alone any language problems.

We've had maids for many years and it's not easy to interview and choose the one right for you.

How much trust can you put in the answers the maid or the agent will give to your questions.

How do you know the maid won't spend all her time on her mobile phone when you aren't there.

You can see many many maids 'looking after kids' in public places who are constantly on their mobiles and the kids are running riot.
Hiring a maid is the most stressful thing about ex pat life, imo.

That's not to say there aren't many excellent maids around.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Originally Posted by ex reg View Post

4 bed apartment may cost from S$5000 to S$6000pm but can cost lots more depending on the location etc etc
I've obviously got it very wrong.

Savilles an excellent company have just come out with this.
Singapore | You'll never guess which world city is the most expensive for renting a home - Business

I doubt if you could rent an executive HDB for the amount they note, never mind a private condo.
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Old Apr 22nd 2016, 11:20 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Link is not working for me unfortunately.

What is the reality with renting now? Everyone says rents high blah blah blah, but isn't there a glut of rental properties? (same as Penang, you might say).

I'm just plugging 4 bedroom anything into property guru and 8000+ properties have come up! Looking at lowest-ish SGD 2600 per month in Pasir Ris. OK, it looks pokey and who wants to live in Pasir Ris, but just saying.... is there a lot of properties out there?
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Old Apr 23rd 2016, 2:10 am
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Originally Posted by bakedbean View Post
Link is not working for me unfortunately.

What is the reality with renting now? Everyone says rents high blah blah blah, but isn't there a glut of rental properties? (same as Penang, you might say).

I'm just plugging 4 bedroom anything into property guru and 8000+ properties have come up! Looking at lowest-ish SGD 2600 per month in Pasir Ris. OK, it looks pokey and who wants to live in Pasir Ris, but just saying.... is there a lot of properties out there?
Bit far for sure! I couldn't believe how cheap this 3 bed place was being advertised at compared to what I'm paying now so naturally I decided to check it out, this happened to be in Pasir Ris. I'm near Harbourfront at present so location wise doesn't get much better.

Anyway, I decided to use MRT and bus to get to said place as this would be my main mode
of transport if I ever moved there. It was crazy that at 9:30am I set off and by 11 I still hadn't reached the place yet lol. I decided against moving there.

You might be able to get a 4 bed place for about $4K in Punggol too. For exec HDB, some friends of mine stayed in a 4 bed and it was very nice, they paid about $2600 pcm total for it. They were near Compassvale I think. Both these are not central areas.
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Old Apr 24th 2016, 5:34 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Originally Posted by ex reg View Post
I've obviously got it very wrong.

Savilles an excellent company have just come out with this.
Singapore | You'll never guess which world city is the most expensive for renting a home - Business

I doubt if you could rent an executive HDB for the amount they note, never mind a private condo.
Yes and they say average rent in London is just under £1k.... can only think they have averaged rental costs out including what people pay for one room in a flat / house share.
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Old Apr 24th 2016, 5:39 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Originally Posted by ex reg View Post
The main problem is gaining confidence in a maid from Indonesia, Philipinnes or Myanmar sufficiently to allow her to look after a 1 yo and a 3 yo on her own. Let alone any language problems.

We've had maids for many years and it's not easy to interview and choose the one right for you.

How much trust can you put in the answers the maid or the agent will give to your questions.

How do you know the maid won't spend all her time on her mobile phone when you aren't there.

You can see many many maids 'looking after kids' in public places who are constantly on their mobiles and the kids are running riot.
Hiring a maid is the most stressful thing about ex pat life, imo.

That's not to say there aren't many excellent maids around.
Yes this is our biggest concern. We have been recommended to find a maid from a leaving family and through recommendation, but we don't really know anyone out there, so will be asking lots on here and other sites!
Thanks for all your comments, it really helps to get people's opinions and hear their experiences.

Regarding properties,
We are finding it hard to look at properties as have no ideas about the areas. Ideally we want something in tween our two work places, near the tube line. But we will prioritise the nursery over our commute.
Any recommendations on area along the tube lines to our 2 work places?
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Old Apr 24th 2016, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

For those unaware, the areas are Bradell and Pioneer.

To me the distance between those two places is quite vast. Depending on budget, look at condos in Newton, Holland Village.

If cost is an issue, you can get cheaper condos in areas like Bukit Batok (suitable for Pioneer) and places like Pasir Ris / Punggol. However the last two will be a nightmare for Pioneer. Take a look at property guru to get an idea.
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Old Apr 24th 2016, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Originally Posted by Mlee888 View Post
For those unaware, the areas are Bradell and Pioneer.

To me the distance between those two places is quite vast. Depending on budget, look at condos in Newton, Holland Village.

If cost is an issue, you can get cheaper condos in areas like Bukit Batok (suitable for Pioneer) and places like Pasir Ris / Punggol. However the last two will be a nightmare for Pioneer. Take a look at property guru to get an idea.
Thank you. I will look into those.
Yes Bradell is one area. The other would be in Changi Business park near the airport. Is that Pioneer? Sorry I don't know any of the areas, just starting to research them.
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Old Apr 24th 2016, 10:54 pm
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Default Re: Please help! Childcare advise needed

Originally Posted by Singaporebound View Post
Thank you. I will look into those.
Yes Bradell is one area. The other would be in Changi Business park near the airport. Is that Pioneer? Sorry I don't know any of the areas, just starting to research them.
Pioneer and Changi are at opposite ends of the island.

But for Changi and Bradell then you have a chance to look at accom along the east/west line in say the Payar Lebar or Aljuneid areas or maybe the circle or pongol lines around Serangoon.
Those areas and others close by have a lot of ex pat condos.

On the maid issue maybe you can consider one of you not working for say the first 6 months after you've hired the maid just so you gain confidence on how she handles your children.
Maid recommendations are better than nothing but your own feel about the maid should count for much more.
Two types of maid basically.
The new hire who still resides in country of origin where you can talk to her over skype.

Secondly the transfer maid who for many reasons some good some bad has been returned to the maid agency and here you can speak to the maid in person.

My wife will only hire a maid who lives on a small holding or 'farm' or away from the city in their home country. City girls, who have better language skills, can be too worldly wise.

Although agencies will tell you if the maid is found to be unsuitable then you can exchange her for another choice this is not good for you and certainly worse for the maid so don't consider you have an easy way out if things don't work out.
Maids have to pay extortionate agency fees and each time they are transferred another 2 months salary is added to the fee.
On the other hand don't be easy going and think that if you pay more than the basic wage then the maid will automaticcally give you better service.

Last edited by ex reg; Apr 24th 2016 at 11:09 pm.
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