Thursday, September 4, 2014
What's a Bǎomǔ?
The awesome thing was I got to leave Noelle with Grandma (my mom) for the first seven weeks that I went back to work! It was such a blessing to know that someone I love and trust was watching over my sweet eight week old baby girl. As mom got closer and closer to going home, Jimmy and I had to buckle down and decide what we were going to do.
What do you do for infant care in Taiwan?
If we were Taiwanese, we would probably have family members available to take care of her. However, we are foreigners in a strange land. We have no family here permanently. So what were our options?
Number 1: Baby Center
A baby center is similar to daycare in the USA. They often have a lot of babies, a lot of sickness, and rarely speak English. On the plus side, the workers do activities with the babies. They send you pictures of things your baby is doing or has done. They fill out a communication book for you so you know how your baby's day was. If you are really, really fortunate there might even be another foreign baby there.
Number 2: Bǎomǔ (保姆) / Nanny
So what's a bǎomǔ? Basically a bǎomǔ is a nanny or a private childcare provider. You can find one that will either come to your home and only care for your child (uber expensive) or for about the same price as the baby center you can send your child to their home where they care for a few children. Just like any child care provider, a nanny can be good or bad. The nannies here almost never speak English. Also, you should make sure to use a registered nanny so they have some accountability on their standards and the number of children they are able to care for at one time. On the plus side, a registered nanny will often fill out a communication book for you. Their schedule is more flexible when it comes to pick up and drop off times. They might live really close to you, and they also do activities with your child!
After lots of research, interviews, and visiting baby centers, we decided that a bǎomǔ would be the best for us and for Noelle. We love Mrs.Wu! She is a really sweet Taiwanese lady who lives right around the corner from us. She doesn't speak much English but she is teaching us lots of new Chinese words and she goes the extra mile to make sure she gets important information translated for us so that we can understand it. Noelle is one of three kids she looks after and they all play well together. If you are considering your childcare options in Taiwan, do what works for you and your baby. But we love our Bǎomǔ!