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Grannies for Nannies?

Eldercare Jobs

Eldercare Jobs

It is interesting that the government has anticipated the need for increased nursing and professional helath-care workers to staff the nursing homes being planned. The government hopes to employ mostly Singaporean retirees and housewives for this purpose.

Same here! I mean I agree. There is a large pool of people in Singapore who are not working full-time, but who have a lot to offer. The benefits go both ways. What is more fulfilling: Watching soap operas on TV all afternoon? Or taking on the challenge of helping raise the next generation of Singaporeans?

These jobs pay reasonably well, too. So after a year of being a nanny you can treat herself to a month's holiday overseas. It's a lot better than rotting in front of the TV.

"Grannies for Nannies" is a serious proposition, just as is Stay-at-Home Mums for nannies and babysitting jobs. The hardest part for a nanny is finding the best family to work for and the hardest part for a family is finding the right nanny.

That's what we are here for...

Training for New Maids in Singapore

maids in Singapore

 

maids in Singapore

Maids in Singapore

You can be sure of one thing about our government, when there is a problem it will take steps to address it. Now they have turned their attention to our domestic foreign workers.

Nine maids have died this year as a result of falling from high-rise buildings. That's 9, I mean N-I-N-E. To me that is an almost unbelievable number, and it is only early September. Let's hope there are no more for this year. Or ever.

Explanations given for this high rate are that most of the domestic foreign workers who end up in Singapore are from rural areas of their home countries and therefore don't have a good feel for working in a high-rise. It might be possible, I suppose, but it does seem pretty unlikely. Just 'cos you are from a farm means you are going to fall out of a high window when you hang out the laundry?

Nah. Not all nine of them.

I'll bet that at least some of them are so distraught by their circumstances of what must seem like an impossible amount of debt they racked up by just coming here, the loneliness of being being virtually locked up in an apartment all day without the chance to socialise with others from their own culture, the gruelling 14 hour workdays, and the sometimes less than humane treatment from their boss families, that jumping seemed easier than coping with their situation.

So thankfully there is now a compulsory course called Settling-In-Programme (SIP) which has replaced the previous entrance test after complaints that it was too hard to for non-English speakers.

The course is compulsory and takes one day to complete. You can see from the newspaper clipping to the left it is not about how to fold the laundry, but about real, serious, important, issues which will affect almost all new maids who come to Singapore to work.

As well as talking about safety in high-rise apartments the lecturers also inform the maids of their rights and what their employers are expected to provide, such as being present in the room and supervising a maid if she has been instructed to clean a window.

Whilst I am not absolutely sure of this, I believe the maids have also been instructed in how to get help if they need it. Occasionally it has been discovered that a maid has been abused, underpaid, underfed, locked up and made to work extraordinary long hours without rest, her passport taken away from her, and with a burdensome debt hanging over her, and she hasn't known how to get help, who to call or what to do.

The raison d'etre for the Find a Nanny web site is as much about preventing the exploitation of young women who are enticed to come here to solve their financial woes, as it is about giving local families a way to find local Singaporean women who want nannying and babysitting jobs.