Working mothers have no choice but leave their children with carers while they are at work. Here are 9 essential and practical tips to deal with maids, childcare centres, grandparents and babysitters to ensure your child's safety.
It’s possibly the scariest thing about being a working mum. It’s the question that haunts mothers as they return to work. Is my child safe and happy with their carer? In Singapore, the carer is most likely your maid. If you’re lucky, your parents or in-laws help out. Or your child is at a childcare centre.
A story recently published in the Daily Telegraph (an Australian newspaper) about a Sydney family whose daughter was photographed by their maid and her boyfriend sent shivers down my spine. The maid and her boyfriend took naked photos of the children in her charge and sold the pictures to a pedophile ring. All this happened while the family was living in Singapore, but their daughter told them only 3 years after the event.
In another incident, a teacher at My First Skool dragged her young charge across the room and pushed him down with force, which had parents up in arms after the video of her doing this went viral. The teacher was arrested but parents are not sleeping any easier at night.
If an incident like this could happen at an accredited daycare centre which presumably screens its employees, then what could happen with a maid in your own home? After all, there is no official screening for maids. Maids don’t have to be accredited in any way. There is no minimum training required.
Children are vulnerable to abuse or injury through the poor judgment of their carers, be it a grandparent who leaves the stove on; a babysitter who lets her boyfriend in; a maid who uses her mobile phone while crossing the road with a toddler; or a childcare worker having a bad day.
So what is a parent supposed to do? Studies show that children are more often harmed by people they know than strangers. So don’t be afraid of being labeled as being overprotective or “bubble wrapping” your children. Demand high standards from their carer.