Kindergartens are very popular in Thailand, despite pre-school not being mandatory. They cater to children who are as young as six weeks up to children of five years and are run by properly trained teachers.
Personal recommendations can be the best way of finding a suitable centre that you feel comfortable with. For instance, arrange meet-ups with other expats in Thailand, join other families at parks and playground, or connect with others on online forums like EasyExpat's Childcare in Thailand forum and expat network in Thailand.
Also be sure to visit different care facilities to find one that works for you and your family.
This is a list of recommended international kindergartens:
Expect to pay around 6,000-10,000 baht a month in school fees.
Playgroups tend to be organised by resident expat parents to encourage social interaction and communication between children. Games, music and snacks will probably be provided, and it is likely there will be a small fee to cover costs.
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. In Thailand, babysitters may be called "childminders".
Usually young women are the babysitter's and may offer their services as a business. A babysitter should have civil liability insurance and the babysitter's parents must be informed if the person is a minor. Only baby-sitters aged 15 or more can ask for payment.
As with anywhere, there is no better way of finding a babysitter than through personal recommendation in Bangkok. Fellow parents at the toddlers group, crèche or school your child attends or friends and neighbours will children should prove to be helpful sources of information. Most families find a babysitter by word-of-mouth, letting friends and family know that they are looking. Parents may also try posting on bulletin boards at community centres, grocery stores, or expat hang-outs like Childcare in Thailand forum and expat network in Thailand. You can also post an ad in job listings for Teaching, Nanny, Homecare in Thailand.
Many of the large hotel chains offer a professional babysitting service, so this could be a helpful way of locating someone.
There are also companies however that offer such services. Many have stricter conditions than a less formal arrangement. There may be a minimum service of four hours and a maximum service of ten hours. Fees usually start from 500 baht for four hours of care, but expect to pay up to around 1,500 baht for ten hours (this will be increased on weekends and over public holidays) with extras being added for the number of children the babysitter will be required to look after and overtime fees if you are later returning home than expected.
The helpful thing about using a service rather than a personal recommendation however, is that you can be assured the company will have strictly vetted and provided a high level of training to the babysitter. Although Thailand has no formal requirements for nannies/babysitters, most will require that their babysitters hold a high school degree, and reputable companies should insist those they employ hold a certificate from Baan Dek Thai Nannies School. You can be assured they will speak good English and will have previous experience in looking after children.
As such, the standard of care and attention your child will receive is likely to be higher than if you left them with someone who has received no formal training in childcare. Most babysitters will be happy to take care of babies (even newborns) as well as young children and will be willing to sterilize and clean milk bottles, prepare food and feed the child or baby. If your child is older, then the babysitter will create fun activities for your child to enjoy or help with any homework.
Please do expect your babysitter or nanny to cook or clean for you whilst she is looking after your child. Those duties do not form part of her job role and should be left for a cleaner or maid., or written into their work contract.
Childcare Companies in Thailand:
You may also refer to our section on au pairs for full-time care.