New infant care courses for domestic helpers

A baby in a nursery at Mount Alvernia Hospital. Two new courses on infant care will be available for maids from December, a move aimed to help parents search for caregivers.
A baby in a nursery at Mount Alvernia Hospital. Two new courses on infant care will be available for maids from December, a move aimed to help parents search for caregivers. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Two new courses on infant care will be available for maids from next month (Dec), a move its organisers hope will help parents in their search for such skilled caregivers.

The lessons will cover such topics as home safety, hygienic care and providing support to first-time breastfeeding mums, said the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Fast), which is organising the courses.

The trainers are from Aria Training and Consultancy, a local company that runs courses for maids.

Aria's general manager Jess Ang said on Monday (Nov 14) one of the courses is on the basics of infant care and will run over three full days. It will cost $90 after subsidies from Fast for members of its Foreign Domestic Worker Club and $180 for non-members.

The other is an advanced, 80-hour course that covers maternal care as well. It will be held every first and third Sunday of the month, over 10 months, and will cost $180 for members and $480 for non-members.

Ms Ang said the courses were developed with paediatric trained nurses, confinement nannies and Traditional Chinese Medicine physicians.

Fast executive director William Chew said three students for the advanced course will be given scholarships, based on their passion for children and their circumstances.

Demand for infant care skills is rising, said employment agent Ivy Tan of Apex Employment Agency, adding that on Sunday, she received three requests for maids experienced in taking care of babies.

"We shortlist those with experience but it helps if they go for further training on techniques and the cultural preferences of Singaporean employers," she said.

Fast also announced that its annual Foreign Domestic Worker Day will be held on Dec 11 at Singapore Polytechnic.

This year, it will invite employers to the event, which it hopes will draw 7,000 maids and their bosses, compared to last year's 6,000.

Celebrities from Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines, such as singers Yosi Mokalu, and Jenevy and actor Romnick Sarmenta, will provide entertainment.