Singapore

Pilot course to train maids in infant care kicks off

Ms Larra Jay Rodriguez has looked after children in the Philippines, but she recently learnt that some of her care methods were wrong.

For instance, the 34-year-old maid found out that, when preparing milk, she should pour water before - not after - putting in the milk powder to be more accurate.

She was one of 13 maids who took part in the first run of a pilot course that trains them in caring for infants aged up to 18 months.

The course was developed by KK Women's and Children's Hospital and NTUC's Seed Institute, an early childhood training provider.

They plan to offer 100 training places this year.

This comes amid calls for more support for home-based infant care.

Only 8 per cent of infants are enrolled in centre-based care.

Each course run is held over four Sundays and costs $310, which is paid by the employer.

The first run ended yesterday, with a half-day session that employers were encouraged to attend so they could "establish a common understanding" with their maids on how the infants should be cared for, said course organisers.

The maids showed their employers what they had learnt about tasks such as diapering, bathing and feeding infants.

Employers and maids also listened to trainers go through the key learning points.

Civil servant Gayle Goh, 29, said: "It gives me peace of mind that my helper gets trained, and it is good for her professional development and morale."

The next run of the course starts on June 4. To register, e-mail info@seedinstitute.edu.sg. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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