After KD was born, I actually extended a 2 months unpaid leave so that i can look after KD for a longer period to let him take on most of the vaccinations as well as i really wanted to do the weaning for him myself.. He was then placed in the infant care service when he was 23 weeks old.
This tips writeup is solely based on my own personal experience and please remember that every parents differs.
The reasons why i placed KD in an Infant Care is because I want to:
1) Lessen conflicts with baby's grandparents
2) Allow grandparents to continue working and earn an income
3) Go to work and go home together with baby (Infant care is opposite my office)
4) Continue to breast feed him (i can walk over in the afternoon to breastfeed him directly)
5) Expose him to an environment where there are english and chinese teachers whom took turns looking after the baby, and other than basic care, they also do activities with my baby such as singing, flashcards, finger play etc.
STEPS TO LOOKING FOR AN INFANT CARE FOR YOUR BABY
1) Google and look up for the near by centres within 1km from home and your offices
2) Email them separately to ask for some details (i have list down sample questions below, you should only ask a few questions and request for a site visit to talk to them and understand more)
3) Visit the centres and bring along a list of questions that matters to you very much and make enquiries from there. Observe the teachers, caregivers and babies.
4) Shortlist 2 to 3 centres and you may visit them again at different timings
5) Select the one that you most comfortable with and the rest you will know.. :)
TIPS WHEN VIEW INFANT CARE CENTRES
1) Best time to do centres viewing is 10am when they bathing the babies or just before 12pm when they feeding them. So that you can observe how the teachers take care of the babies.
2) Observe the areas to see if clean, hygenic? Do they have air purifiers etc?
3) Observe if the babies there are happy babies? (but during bath and meal times please do expect crying babies.. it's normal! lol)
4) Bring your baby along if you can and observe your baby.
QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK WHEN YOU VISIT THE CENTRE
- What is different about your infant care services from other centres? May i know more about your centre (such as open since which yr etc)
- What are your opening and closing hours? Are you open on Saturdays? If I am late to pick up my baby, is there any fines?
- What are your Infant Care Rates?
- Do I need to buy uniforms?
- What is the daily routine like for the babies? Do you separate the babies whom are at different stages (eg, crawling babies, walking toddlers etc)
- What is the infant food menu?
- I am breastfeeding my son, is your centre able to support if i bring in the expressed breastmilk or can i drop by in the noon to breastfeed him etc?
- What is the current number of infants that your centre currently has? What is the max that you can take?
- What is the current number of teachers that you have now? (asking this 2 questions separately and allows you to work out the teachers infant ratio on ur own.. cos if they tell u 1:3, it may be only 1 teacher and 3 babies currently only.. LOL i really visited a centre that has only 1 teacher and 3 babies!!)
- Do you have any vacancy for infant on xxx date? (1 to 2 weeks before the month you estimated to go back to work)
- As I am the only person taking care of my son full time since he is born, he will need more time to adjust, my intention is to put him one or two weeks before I start work and start from first day 2 hours, followed by half days then to full day progressively. Can I also be around for the first few days to let him get use to it? (important for yourself to tell the centre how you want to do it. Most teachers will ask you to place baby there and go shopping.. but i personally cant do it.. i also read up that its good to let baby adjust else the baby will also have withdrawl symptoms missing the mommy)
- How does your centre help in weaning my son from 6 months onwards?
- Do you have a trial period and how long is it at what price?
- Can i have your teachers' profile?
- What are the items that i need to bring for my child and what items are provided by the school?
- Is there any outbreak of HFMD or Chicken Pox in the past 6 months?
- What are the centre closure dates for the year 2013? (for you and spouse to plan your leave in advance to take care of your baby)
- Payment by? (usual is CDA and cheque/ giro but i asked for credit card too cos some credit cards have cash rebates if you spent a certain $ every month, in a way can help me save alot ;p)
TIPS FOR WHEN YOUR CHILD IS IN IFC
1) Buy tommee tippee feeding bottles if you wanna continue to Breastfeed for long cos it's the closest to a mom's breast. The baby wont have nipples confusion and can change from bottles to direct breast feeding "seamlessly" :)
2) Pack all babies belonging in ziplock bags label with baby's name outside
3) Ask if you can bring a week's daily clothes in every Monday so the rest of the day you dont have to bring so many things.. i packed my #1 things into 5 ziplocks, each containing a bath towel, a short sleeve romper for wearing inside, a long sleeve tee and long pants cos that place is air conditioned and quite cold. When he was younger there is a cap & socks in every zip lock too.
4) Ask if you can buy a whole packet of diapers and placed there.. You can buy again when it's running out and put at the centre
5) Make name labels and label your baby's everything. :)
6) Feed Childlife colostrum supplement and Sambucol when he is older to help him build up his immunity.
KD @ DELCARE
check out how many teachers he had got when he was there from 1 Apr 2010 to 30 Apr 2011!