Market for 24-hour baby care

SOME parents are paying up to S$1,400 (RM3,094) a month to leave their babies at a childcare centre. 

Newborn 24-Hour Care in Katong takes in babies for hours, days, weeks – even months. 

Nine-month-old Tiffany Ng, has been living at the baby-care centre for the past four months and will probably stay there until she is about a year old. 

Her parents, an operations executive and an administrative clerk, take her out every weekend and make one visit on a weekday if they get off work early. 

Said Tiffany’s father, 35-year-old Ng Chong Kian, who works night shifts: “I can’t stand hearing children cry.'' 

The couple have a three-year-old son, who was looked after by Ng’s mother from the time he was born until he reached two. 

Ng said his mother, in her late 50s, wanted a break from looking after children. 

He added that the decision to leave the baby at the centre had been made after much discussion with his wife. 

“We need to rest after a long day’s work and it’s difficult to do so with a baby crying.” 

Centre manager Golfin Chong, 39, said he started the service after realising there was a market for stay-in baby care. 

“Executive mothers don’t work from nine to five, they work from nine to 11. 

“These people don’t want to employ live-in maids because they’re not confident that they’ll be well-trained or trustworthy.” 

Chong, who insists that his wife stays home to look after their two daughters, aged eight and nine, operates the service from a three-storey corner terrace house. 

A sociologist, Assoc Prof Alfred Choi, said leaving a child at the centre was similar to leaving him with grandparents. 

There would be little negative impact on parent and child bonding as long as the parents spent sufficient quality time with the child during the weekends, he said. 

“If the parents lack social support and have to put the child in the centre, they need to pay greater attention to ensure that the child is fed with both quantity and quality time.” –The Straits Times/Asia News Network 

  • Another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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