Not to worry, unlike nannies, our caregivers care for children in their homes, not yours. This is what’s wonderful about it – your children can benefit from a cosy home setting near your house, without disturbing you as you work. With all the changes we’ve made to our working arrangements over the last few years, this can be a perfect compromise: flexible and hyperlocal childcare without the chaos and mess at home!
When you think about sending your child to someone’s home, you might be envisioning the traditional neighbourhood babysitter. A well-meaning auntie who’s opened her home to the neighbourhood kids. You might be thinking about all the stories you’ve heard about children being left in front of the T.V. for hours, bland and boring meals and discipline that includes threats and time-outs.
A Wonder Village home is nothing like that. While babysitting has operated as an informal sector with little to no training or professional standards, we are professionalising the sector by offering world-class training in early years care, quality assurance and ongoing professional development. In a Wonder Village home, you can expect a safe and nurturing environment, a caregiver who has a deep understanding of child development and a respectful approach that honours children.
We hold our caregivers to the same standards as (and possibly higher than) institutional nurseries. All Wonder Village caregivers must submit to police checks, undergo pediatric first aid training and have their homes thoroughly inspected by our quality assurance team.
As parents ourselves, we know there’s nothing more important than your children’s safety and wellbeing so our goal is to only have Wonder Village homes we would feel comfortable placing our own children in.
Good question – No. Wonder Village homes care for children under the age of 4 with a maximum of 3 children enrolled in a home. This is a ratio of 1 caregiver to 3 children, which is ideal for very young children. In Malaysia, taska (nursery) licenses can only be applied for if a centre is taking in 4 or more children so this is currently an unregulated sector. While most home-based babysitters take in a greater number of children without a license, we cap the number of children in each home to ensure caregivers can devote enough attention to each child. We also act as the standard bearer, by holding our caregivers to the same standards (if not higher) as institutional nurseries and conducting home visits to ensure the environment is safe and set up to provide a nurturing environment for children.
We are working on supporting our more established Wonder Village homes to expand into opening licensed childcare if they want to grow their business, but this will likely only be after they’ve been running for a year or more.
Generally, thanks to lower overheads and zero turnover, the costs of running a Wonder Village home are much lower than traditional nurseries or daycare. This means that Wonder Village homes can charge fees that are on par or slightly lower than nursery fees in your area, while keeping group sizes small. Despite this, your caregiver has the potential to earn much more than a typical nursery teacher which is really important for attracting smart, highly motivated individuals to this profession. We strongly believe that early years educators do a hugely important job and deserve to be compensated fairly.
At Wonder Village, our education philosophy is centred on what has been shown to be global best practice – learning through play. The early years from 0-5 are when children learn best through relationships and hands-on experiences that are led by their own interests. Wonder Village caregivers are not babysitters. They are passionate about giving children the best start in life and are trained to build strong relationships through caregiving activities and nurturing, observing and documenting true play.
Through practical life, songs, stories, art and regular outdoor time, all Wonder Village homes offer a warm and stimulating environment, perfect for a child’s growth.
We want our caregivers to be able to run professional small businesses, while still providing the best possible care to children. We help them by taking on all the hassle of setting up and running a small childcare business – from easy payment transactions, standardised policies, contracts and insurance coverage to the fun stuff like sharing photos and updates of your child’s day through a learning journal app.
Wonder Village acts as a platform and agency for self-employed caregivers. We take care of the training and work with caregivers to run high-quality, sustainable and successful businesses. In the absence of formal frameworks, we set the standard of care and support and regulate their work so that both caregivers and families can have peace of mind. Our ongoing professional development and growing resource library also means that our caregivers can continue to learn and grow, something that even most nursery teachers miss out on. Plus, they become part of a vibrant and active community of like-minded people who are passionate about children and can support them on their journey.
Essentially, we pave the way so that your caregiver can focus on what’s most important – providing the best possible care and education for children.