Working late hours, stressful workload and a crying baby at home. Does this sound like you? If yes, maybe it’s time for you to look for a maid to take care of your child at home.
It is common for working parents in Singapore to hire a maid to take care of their children at home. However, one must keep in mind that no matter how well trained or caring a maid is, it does not serve as a replacement for a child’s parents. In recent years, headlines have also reported cases of maids abusing children in the absence of parents. So here are 3 risks of getting a maid to care for your child you might want to consider before actually hiring one.
1. Risk of child abuse
It was only in January this year that The Straits Times reported a case of a maid being arrested after a CCTV recording showed her dipping a toddler’s hand in a hot pot repeatedly, resulting in serious burns on the toddler’s hands.
Photos of the maid dipping the infant’s hand into a hot pot and the burns suffered on the infant’s hand afterwards. PHOTOS: AMY LOW MEI LIANG/FACEBOOK
While this may be one of the more extreme cases of maids abusing children, you should not let your guards down since your child’s safety is at risk. Once you hire a maid to take care of your child on your behalf, it is inevitable that you expose your child to dangers of mistreatment.
2. Impacts on development of your child
No matter how caring or well trained a maid is, she cannot serve as a replacement for a child’s parents. Raising a child is not just about taking care of his/her physical needs such as meals and going to the loo, but it is also about the values and practises you inculcate in them. For instance, meal times are the golden opportunity for you to teach your important social skills such as table manners. When you hire a maid to take care of your child, you risk missing the opportunity to teach such values to your children, or maybe even spoiling them as children get used to asking their maids to run their errands for them.
3. Financial cost
One should also not ignore the financial costs of hiring a maid. The table below shows a rough estimate of the breakdown of the fees incurred when hiring a maid in Singapore.
Cost of hiring a maid in Singapore
The total amount you should expect to pay upfront when hiring a maid would be somewhere between $468 and $2,683 (excluding security deposit), with variations depending on whether you qualify for the levy concessions, depending on the maid agency, and whether it is your maid’s first time working in Singapore. With all these in mind, you may want to consider the dangers of hiring a maid for your child carefully before making your decision.