Practical Life in Valletta


Childcare, Babysitting in Valletta


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Child Care in Malta

There are both private and public childcare options in Malta. Childcare in Malta is inexpensive compared to the rest for Europe.

Public: Child Care Centers are for children ages 3 months to 3 years. Public childcare is offered to all Maltese children and families, but priority is given based on a needs assessment. Financial contribution by parents or guardians is based on means testing.

Private: Most expats enroll their children in private childcare centers, due to higher rates of availability.

  1. Things to consider when selecting a childcare center in Malta include:
  2. Is the premises clean and tidy?
  3. Are the toilet areas child-friendly and hygienic?
  4. Do the children look happy and content?
  5. What is the staff turnover like? There should be a display of staff members and how long they have worked at the centre. When choosing a care center, also check staff turnover. Consistency in caregivers is a major benefit for your child. Make sure that you completely trust any facility or caregiver you leave your child with. This is an important element in creating a happy situation, and a happy life.
  6. What are the hours of operation?
  7. Does the child care centre supply food?
  8. Can you visit the centre anytime?
  9. Ask to see the programming schedule for the week (i.e. activities your child will be engaged in) and inquire about routines (nap times, meal times, etc.)
  10. What are the fees and fee structures? Are there discounts for enrolling multiple children? What are the accepted methods of payment?
  11. Do you have to pay for public holidays and sick days?
  12. Do you have to pay for shut down periods (e.g. Christmas?)

Childcare Facilities in Malta

How to Find Childcare Facility

You may meet with other expat parents once landed in Malta to inquire about local child care facilities. Cafes, parks, and playgrounds (especially in Sliema and St. Julian's) are great places to meet fellow parents. You can also consult EasyExpat's Malta forums.

A full listing of Child Care Centers in Malta can be found on the Ministry of Education's web site.

Playgroups

There are many playgroups in Malta, especially in the Sliema and St. Julian's areas (popular areas to live amongst expats). A local listing of playgroups in Malta can be found on the popular KidsMalta web site.

Prices

The average cost of childcare in Malta is €250 per month (1 child). Sometimes discounts are given for multiple children (up to 5%-10%).

Child Care Vouchers/Subsidies

The Government of Malta provides a tax deduction to parents whose children attend Child Day Care Facilities in Malta (registered with the Department of Social Welfare Services [DSWS]). A list of qualifying facilities can be found on the DSWS' website.

Babysitting

Babysitters are generally employed on a temporary or short-term basis. Often a friend of the family or relative is employed for an evening to watch over the child at the parents' residence.

How to Find a Babysitter

Most families in Malta find a babysitter by word-of-mouth, letting friends, co-workers, and family know that they are looking. Parents may also try posting on bulletin boards at community centers, cafes, or expat hangouts. Networking with fellow parents at parks and playgrounds may also be helpful to find a reliable babysitter in your area.

It is not uncommon to interview potential babysitters in Malta, and allow them to interview you. Questions you may consider asking include:

  • Ask for recommendations
  • Inquire about their training (e.g. First aid courses, childcare courses)
  • Discuss pay rates, including extras for holidays and long hours
  • Discuss extra work (cleaning, food preparation, transportation)
  • Let your babysitter know about your children's allergies, schedules, preferences, if you will be providing meals, how often you require a babysitter, your television and Internet usage policies, household rules
  • Let your babysitter know about emergency contacts, including physician, family members, etc.

A great online resource is to post on expat forums, such as Easy Expat's Malta forum.

For consistent babysitting, you may look at an au pair. Consult the section on "Au Pair" under "Find a Job".

Prices

Babysitter prices in Malta are typically €5-€8/hour.

Update 25/05/2013


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