Infant Care vs Domestic Helper vs Nanny vs Grandparents: Which Child Care Option should I choose?

Infant Care vs Domestic Helper vs Nanny vs Grandparents: Which Child Care Option should I choose?

Peter and Jane are expecting their first child and while they are excitedly sharing their news to family and friends, there are a lot more challenges they will have to ponder about and overcome as they prepare for the arrival of their infant.

With the increase in dual-income families in Singapore, parents who are going back to work be it part-time or full-time after their maternity or paternity leaves will sooner or later need to start contemplating about their infant care and child care options.

Are you a soon-to-be parent, or a new parent, who has come to the stage where you’ll have to wonder about who will take care of your infant? You may also feel slightly worried and panicky as your days of maternity and paternity are drawing to a close.

Before you start to feel the separation-anxiety about leaving your precious tots in someone else’s care, know that you are not alone! In fact, studies have shown that leaving your baby with quality caregivers can benefit them positively – cognitively, socially, and emotionally.

Which Infant Care or Child Care Option Should I Choose?

With a variety of options available for child care help in Singapore such as asking for the help of their babies’ grandparents, hiring a live-in domestic helper, a day-time nanny, or even sending them to an infant care, which option should you choose? To help parents, especially first-time parents make an informed decision, let’s lay down some of the advantages, disadvantages, and costs of each option!



Many Singaporean couples would often consider this safe and logical option, especially when their own parents have retired and wouldn’t mind looking after their grandchild. More importantly, parents and in-laws are people who they can trust.

However, in reality, there are many other considerations when choosing this option such as their whether their parents live in close-proximity of their homes or do their parents already have other young nieces or nephews whom they are taking care of.

For instance, if Peter and Jane live in Punggol, while their parents live in Jurong East and they go to work at Shenton Way, it simply doesn’t make sense to ferry their child to-and-fro across Singapore during peak hour traffic.

Grandparents may also feel burdened if they have to care for an additional child, no matter how much they say that they are okay with it. If you think that maternity and paternity is tough, having to wake up at odd hours in the day and at night, grandparents who are aging each day, may find it even more challenging to do so.


Whoever the family member is, children and parents will feel more at ease with this arrangement. Furthermore, being cared for by a family member will definitely strengthen the bonds in the family, which is an invaluable and intangible benefit.


Although all grandparents love their grandchildren, they may have differing parenting (or this case grandparenting) styles from you. Some may spare the rod and spoil the child, giving in to your little ones’ whims and fancies, which may not be what you desire for your child. Sometimes, telling an outsider what they should or should not do may be okay, but how would you tell your own parents to stop giving in?

This may then lead to quarrels and arguments and cause greater disharmony within the family.


This option doesn’t have an actual “fee” to be paid since they are your own family, and this form of help can be remunerated in other ways.


Live-In Domestic Helper

Foreign Domestic Helpers are great help in managing our household chores, doing an excellent job in maintaining the cleanliness in our homes, and many of them are also great cooks! Quite a number of Singaporeans are also not unfamiliar with living with a domestic helper and some may have been brought up by one as their parents had to go to work.


Besides caring for your child, a live-in domestic helper is also able to complete the day-to-day household chores you have at home. Especially when you now have so quadruple the amount of laundry to do and things to clean when you have a baby!

Another benefit would be that domestic helpers will continue to assist you in caring for your child even on the weekends. For busy working professionals who may have occasional meetings during the weekend won’t have to make alternative arrangements.


Since a domestic helper stays within your home, some individuals may not enjoy the reduction in privacy.

Even though you may be able to alter and correct their “parenting” style, there may also be cultural differences or language barriers when communicating your preferences.

Also, some domestic helpers may not be mothers and thus wouldn’t have the appropriate knowledge and experience to care for an infant.


Be prepared to fork out about $450 to $600 per month, and an additional one-time $6000 to $6400 for the maid agency fees, work permit application fees, foreign domestic worker levy, maid insurance and security deposits.

Since your helper is living with you, you will also need to be responsible for their daily necessities. Think electricity, food, phone bills, et cetera.


Nannies / Babysitters

Nannies are usually older women who have a vast experience with looking after infants and young children. Some nannies would travel to your home every day and will help to babysit your infant for about 8 to 12 hours as you head out to work. Some nannies work from their own homes and you will then have to drop your baby off before you go to work.


As compared to the foreign domestic helpers, nannies have more experience in looking after infants and toddlers and will give their undivided attention to your child.

Although not necessary for you to go looking for qualifications, but if it helps you be more assured, you can look for nannies with qualifications from the Association for Early Childhood Educators (AECES) and Adventlinks-SAUC Education Centre.


Hiring a nanny may be slightly more expensive than a foreign domestic worker and they do not necessarily help you in the household chores.

Also, the same problems of having different parenting styles may come up as conflict.


The cost of hiring nannies in Singapore is from $700 per month.


Infant Care

Preschools which offer Infant Care services provide full day and half day options for children aged 2 months to 17 months. Unlike all the other options, infant care centres have a more professional context in which they usually have an educational curriculum which would help develop your child cognitively, socially, and emotionally apart from just looking after them.


Preschools with infant care offer a structured day for your child, with time for various learning activities, nutritious meals, and regular nap times. They will learn to hum or move to nursery rhymes, listen to stories as their teachers read, and develop their little muscles as they play in the premises.

Infant Educarers also have to be qualified which assures parents that their child is in good hands!

Unlike the other options, infant care also helps develop a child holistically, providing them with the much-needed social element in their formative years which can be extremely helpful for young children.

Another advantage of infant care is that when your child grows older and is prepared for pre-nursery or playgroup, they would already be familiar with the preschool environment. It definitely makes it easier for them to ease into their early education!


Location and availability of infant care spaces in a preschool are often the top things to consider. Since the number of infant care spaces are much lower than that of child care, due to smaller class sizes and simply the fact that not all preschools offer this service, there are usually long waiting lists for spaces.

Parents who wish to send their child to an infant care would need to do so relatively early on; some may have already started looking even before the birth of their baby!


Anchor Operators that offer full-day infant care have fees that are capped at $1,276 while Partner Operators have a maximum fee cap of $1,400 for Singapore Citizens (SC) children.

For premium infant care and child care centres like our award-winning Reggio-inspired Mulberry Learning, fees are slightly higher.

Even though the costs of infant care may be high, don’t you think your precious tots deserve quality care?

Our Awards

Infant Care At Mulberry Learning

At Mulberry Learning, our infant care programme focuses on the use of Experiential Learning as the main approach for infants and toddlers, enabling them to develop and learn through their own reflections and experiences. Your child is encouraged to be mini-explorers as they navigate their way through our beautifully-crafted learning spaces, discover how to play with classic toys, musical instruments, and textural materials.

Besides our carefully-crafted curriculum, our infant care area is furnished with comfortable cots for your little ones to take their naps, indoor play area with baby gym equipment, and several centres also feature an infant spa where your babies get the privilege of spa sessions with bubbles, whirlpool jets, and soothing lights in specially imported spa pods!

Teacher-to-child ratios are kept at 1:3 and our dedicated educators undergo over 250 hours of training, thereby ensuring that children are nurtured and guided by passionate and well-qualified professionals.

Find out more!

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All in all, parents need to carefully consider each option and weigh the benefits and cons before they decide on this important step for their precious infants.

See What Other Parents Say About Us!

  • Choa Chu Kang

    I would like to show appreciation towards Teacher Karmela for going the extra miles to ensure the safety of the children. Thank you for your patience towards the children especially during assembly period when all the children gathered. – Parent, Jean Ng
  • Cairnhill

    I would like to show appreciation towards Teacher Karmela for always being so caring and responsible towards our children. From the way you look at my child and the way you talked to the children, I know that it’s beyond just a teacher’s act. – Parent, Chang Chu Yen
  • Marymount

    I would like to show appreciation towards Teacher Joanna for her patience in engaging my daughter and also keep pace with her learning style. – Parent, Amy
  • Tanjong Pagar

    I would like to show appreciation towards Lingdi Lao Shi as she has really stepped up and done a good job for N1A. I observed that my daughter Ellie has learnt a lot more, singing more songs etc. Appreciate the frequent updates from Teacher Hajar even on a Saturday! – Parent, Peiling Tan
  • Alexandra

    I would like to show appreciation towards Daphenie, lead teacher at infant care for being caring and patient towards our child. – Parent, Sim See Kiat
  • Shenton Way

    I would like to show appreciation towards Teacher Helina as she is caring and attentive, and look after my son well. – Parent, Doreen Woo

About Mulberry Learning

Established in 2006, Mulberry Learning is an award-winning Reggio-inspired preschool with 11 locations around Singapore. Mulberry Learning is the world’s first and only preschool network certified by the USA for the Habits of MindTM framework, and its curriculum has been voted as “Singapore’s Best Holistic Learning Programme” for 3 years running by leading parenting publications.

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If you are still unsure, take this chance to explore Mulberry Learning’s beautifully crafted Reggio-inspired learning spaces from the comfort your home with our Virtual School Tours. Find out more about our award-winning curriculum and speak to our principals in real-time!


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