Practical Life in Kingston


Childcare, Babysitting in Kingston


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For parents who work full time, childcare may be a necessity. Some parents choose to employ a nanny, while others prefer to take their children to a daycare centre.

Babysitting

Babysitters generally provide childcare for a short period of time, for example, while the parents enjoy a night out at dinner and a movie. Typically in Jamaica, people call on friends and family members to babysit - without payment. However, some people opt to pay for a babysitter for anywhere between JMD$500 and $3,000 for the night.

You would have to rely on word-of-mouth to find persons to do babysitting, or opportunities for you to do this. Options to get started include exploring possibilities through the Jamaica Household Workers Association (JHWA), placing an ad in the classifieds, check with local affiliate of Au Pair in America, JOYST Youth Exchange International.

JOYST Youth Exchange International facilitates outward cultural exchange and short term work abroad, including au pair, for students. They are affiliated with International Association for the Exchange of Technical Experience (IAESTE) and Au Pair in America that do exchange programmes with many countries.

JOYST Youth Exchange International Ltd.
2-6 Melmac Avenue, Suite 1A, First floor,
Kingston 5, Jamaica
Phone: +1.8769682124
Web: http://www.joystyouthexchangeintl.org

The JHWA may be a link to possibilities for working with families. Their contact is

Jamaica Household Worker Association,
4 Ellesmers Road, Kingston 10
Jamaica
Tel: (876) 277-7567 (cell)
Fax: (876) 929-0549

Note that an excellent place to always look for a professional nanny is on EasyExpat's job listings. You can also look for au pair in EasyExpat's classifieds. You can ask questions and find advice on the forums or directly with our network of expats.

EasyExpat advise that you recruit a babysitter who has had some prior experience working with children and who has taken a first aid course.

How to Find a Sitter

Babysitters generally provide childcare for a short period of time, for example, while the parents enjoy a night out at dinner and a movie. Some people opt to pay for a babysitter for anywhere between JMD$500 and $3,000 for the night.

You may have to rely on word-of-mouth to find a reliable babysitter. Ask friends for recommendations, or contact your embassy or a local club for expats. The Jamaica Household Worker Association could help with recruiting/ referrals. Easy Expat' babysitter search is an online resource.

For consistent babysitting, you may consider hiring an au pair.

Childcare Facilities

Some parents prefer to take their children to a daycare centre. To operate legally, a nursery must be approved and registered with the Early Childhood Commission; check with the Commission if the daycare you choose is registered. It is important to find a daycare that works for you and your child.

How to Find Childcare Facility

Like many other services, the best way to find a good childcare facility is by word of mouth. On online forums, like EasyExpat's Jamaica forum, Expat-oriented clubs and networks could find contacts that have leads. Check with your embassy for recommendations on international clubs and groups. Once you've pinpointed a few daycare facilities, be sure to visit them to determine which one is the best fit. Some factors to consider:

  • Budget: Your budget may help narrow down your choices. Take into account the number of hours and time to day you will need a sitter to determine your total costs.
  • Language: You may want to enrol your child in a foreign or bilingual daycare. Many schools, especially those with an international emphasis, employ dual or even tri-lingual staff and encourage the use of multiple languages.
  • Age of children: Daycare facilities often set an age range. Some schools require that children be potty-trained.
  • Location: This is often a deciding factor. The easier the commute, the happier the parent and child.
  • Services provided: Some facilities offer occasional care or partial care (i.e. 3 days a week or half day programs), while other facilities only offer full-time programs.

When choosing a care centre, also inquire about staff turnover. Consistency in caregivers is a major benefit for your child.

Prices for childcare vary, but you can expect to pay around JMD$500 per day for full-time care.

Update 13/02/2016



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