Maids complete pilot run of infant-care course

The course was developed by KK Women's and Children's Hospital and NTUC's Seed Institute, an early childhood training provider.
The course was developed by KK Women's and Children's Hospital and NTUC's Seed Institute, an early childhood training provider. PHOTO: SEED INSTITUTE

Ms Larra Jay Rodriguez has looked after children in the Philippines, but she recently learnt that some of her care methods were wrong.

For instance, the 34-year-old maid found out that, when preparing milk, she should pour water before - not after - putting in milk powder, to be more accurate in getting the water amount required.

She was one of 13 maids who took part in the first run of a pilot course that trains them in caring for infants aged up to 18 months.

"The trainers explained the concepts well," said the Filipina. "If ah ma (grandmother) asks why I do something that way, I can also explain that this is what the professionals taught us."

The course was developed by KK Women's and Children's Hospital and NTUC's Seed Institute, an early childhood training provider.

They plan to offer 100 training places in the course this year.

This comes amid calls for more support for home-based infant care, as many families still prefer that. Only 8 per cent of infants are enrolled in centre-based care.

Each run of the course is held over four Sundays and costs $310, which is paid by the employer.

The first run ended yesterday with a half-day session that employers were encouraged to attend so they could "establish a common understanding" with their maids on how infants should be cared for, said course organisers.

The maids showed their employers what they had learnt about tasks such as diapering, bathing and feeding infants.

Employers and maids also listened to trainers go through the key learning points.

Civil servant Gayle Goh, 29, said: "It gives me peace of mind that my helper gets trained, and it's good for her professional development and morale. It's a win-win situation."

Priscilla Goy

•The next run of the course starts on June 4. To register, e-mail info@seedinstitute.edu.sg

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2017, with the headline 'Maids complete pilot run of infant-care course'. Print Edition | Subscribe