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Moving to HK - please tell me about Childcare!

  1. #1
    Jen Spain is offline Registered User
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    Question Moving to HK - please tell me about Childcare!

    Hi All,
    My husband and I are moving to HK in Jan as he will teaching at the Australian International School. I am an accountant and will be looking for work once are settled, however I am quite worried about getting the appropriate care for our 16month old daughter. She goes to a lovely creche / childcare centre here and loves it and we are very comfortable that it is run at very high standards. We would like to continue her in a creche in HK but only hear about nannying arrangements. Can anyone please provide us with some advice / information on whether childcare centres exist, and what kind of monitoring etc is done to ensure a high standard of care? If not, how on earth do you find a nanny with whom you are comfortable on leaving your precious babe with all day??
    Thanks in advance,
    Jen

  2. #2
    aldougie is offline Registered User
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    Jen

    There are no creche/childcare facilities available in HK that you are looking for. Nannies are hugely expensive but you can contact Rent-A-Mum to get an idea of the costs involved in hiring a qualified nanny. The rest of use helpers to look after our children whilst we are at work. This is a time consuming process to get the right one and even then it can be a bit hit and miss but as you won't be going straight to work when you arrive you'll be able to give it the time needed to find the right one.

    Good luck with your move.

  3. #3
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    It is not true that there are no creche or day care centres in Hong Kong. Here is a list of creches and day care centres provided by the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department:
    http://www.info.gov.hk/swd/download/FCW/occs.pdf

    The document is arranged by area. I had one friend and another acquaintance who sent their children to St. Simon's in Sai Kung. Both of them had had problems w/ keeping helpers. Their kids also learned to speak Cantonese very well.

    If you are more interested in a creche or day-care centre than you are in having a domestic helper, consult the list and go and visit some of them to see if you'd like your child there.

    Good luck in your move.
    Last edited by rani; 11-12-2004 at 02:03 PM.

  4. #4
    Jen Spain is offline Registered User
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    Thanks so much!

    Thanks loupou, it is so reassuring to hear that - the main reason we are keen on a creche is that as we only have one child we would love Ally to get to know other kids (and an opportunity for us to meet some people too) and learn Chinese at the same time.
    Cheers,
    Jen

  5. #5
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    You will probably find that your helper will meet up with lots of other helpers who are minding children and there are quasi-playgroups going on all the time. That is what happens with my daughter. You could also enrol your child in one of the many activity/playgroups around (eg. Panda Junction, Gymbaroo, swimming lessons etc etc depending on where you live).

    There are lots of other advantages of having a helper:- they can help/take over your household chores (embarrassed to say I haven't ironed a shirt for about 7 years) and can be around to babysit if you want to go out for dinner, you don't have to be home on time from work, etc. Even if you pay above the minimum wage, they are very reasonably priced for what you get.

    I agree that getting a good one can be hit and miss. I would recommend you get one from someone leaving Hong Kong. They often advertise in Dollarsaver
    http://www.dollarsaver.com.hk/
    That way you can speak to the previous employer and get an idea about what to expect. For example, I like cooking, so that wasn't important for me in looking for a helper. But I needed someone who could look after my daughter. By speaking to the previous employer, I was able to get an honest assessment of her abilities and I have been very happy with mine.

    I don't know anything about the government run creches, but personally I would be reluctant to send my daughter to a non-english speaking environment. New country, new creche + a new language might just be a bit much for a little one. But perhaps they have English speaking ones?

    Best of luck from another Australian accountant.
    Last edited by jane01; 11-12-2004 at 06:49 PM.

  6. #6
    Jen Spain is offline Registered User
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    Thanks Jane

    So much food for thought!

    On another matter, I would love to ask you a few questions about the job market - would you mind if I sent you a direct email? I'm a CA working in risk management / auditing and would love to hear about your experiences and take on things over there.

    Regards,
    Jen

  7. #7
    scr
    scr is offline Registered User
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    Are you coming on a dependant visa ? If so you won't be entitled to work unless you get a job where your employer is willing to sponsor you.

  8. #8
    jane01 is offline Registered User
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    I have sent you a pm with my home email address.

    Regards

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