The Covid-19 or coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on everyone’s life, not least those that live and work in Bangkok. Some families have been forced to work from home due to social distancing; some have lost jobs while others have carried on, trying to make the best of a bad situation. Whichever category you fall into, if you have childcare needs, you will no doubt have got lots of questions about what you can and can’t do now that we are returning to form of normality.
At Kiidu, we understand your concerns and that you will, of course, want to put the wellbeing of your family first while at the same time making sure that you meet all the legal requirements. At the time of writing, no legal restrictions are prohibiting the employment of a new or existing nanny. However, they will need to comply with the regulations which are affecting everyone else in the country. Here is our guide to employing a nanny in the current climate.
What if my nanny is from overseas?
We appreciate that many nannies come from other countries in ASEAN such as the Philippines or Cambodia. Assuming that your nanny has remained in Thailand throughout the lockdown period, she will be able to continue as usual with all visas automatically being extended until July 31 2020. However, it is essential to understand that after this period has elapsed, all visas will need to be extended or renewed as standard, and you should ensure that this is done correctly.
If your nanny returned to her home country before lockdown, she would not be allowed to re-enter Thailand until after June 30 2020, when borders are scheduled (but subject to change) to re-open. At which time, your nanny will need to enter a period of self-isolation for 14-days where she should not come into contact with anyone else (where possible). After the 14-day, quarantine has passed, and if she isn’t displaying any symptoms, she will be able to resume work as normal.
Once again, at the time of writing, the current curfew times in Thailand are 11pm until 4am when, by law, everyone must be off the streets. It means that if your nanny does not live with you and would need to travel between these times, other provisions need to be made. It may mean that she stays overnight occasionally or you change your plans to ensure that she can be home before 11pm or after 4am. Obviously, these times are likely to be relaxed in the forthcoming weeks.
Wearing of face masks
As per government guidelines, your nanny should wear a face mask while she is in a public place. However, what you choose to do in your household is your decision although we would suggest that if you are employing a new nanny that you request a face mask to be worn at first. We do recognise that some children may find this disturbing and it could slow down the forming of a bond, in which case, you should use your judgement.
Although the number of reported symptoms in Bangkok has been very low in the last few weeks, you must remain vigilant and aware of the symptoms. As lockdown measures start to ease, it is critical to be mindful that there may be a second wave of infection. You should therefore look for members of your household, including you nanny, displaying any symptoms which include:
- A new and persistent cough
- A high temperature (above 37.8 degrees Celsius) or unusually warm to touch on the chest or back
- A loss of or change to taste and/or smell
If you or anyone in your household displays any of these symptoms, you should isolate yourselves and seek professional medical advice.
How to reduce your chances of contracting the virus at home
You and your family will no doubt have been practising ways of containing the virus over the last few weeks, but it is possible that your nanny hasn’t been doing the same. It is therefore essential, especially as she will be caring for children that she employs good practice. This involves:
- Frequently washing using soap or antibacterial wash for a minimum of 20 seconds
- Covering your mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Wiping surfaces with antibacterial spray
- Practising overall good hygiene
We are aware that younger children, in particular, will need to be managed more carefully to ensure that they do all of the above.
Schools and kindergartens are still closed and will remain closed for the foreseeable future as things currently stand. Of course, this will make managing and containing the virus easier but can put incredible strain on parents and create an extra burden. It is for this reason that many parents now require a nanny to provide some assistance. If you find yourself in this situation, we would advise that you read our advice about finding a full-time or part-time nanny in Bangkok.
Caution with inviting an outsider into your home
Unfortunately, the coronavirus has made some people more desperate, not just in Thailand but around the world. It means that some disreputable people are looking to make money or take advantage of the situation. As such, we recommend that you are even more vigilant than ever before if you are looking to employ a new nanny or indeed invite anyone else into your home. Using the services of a reputable agency will make this task a lot easier. However, should you have any concerns; you should inform the agency immediately.
Here at Kiidu, our objective is to introduce experienced nannies to families living in Bangkok. We always ask for and can provide, references and any other information that you may require allowing you to make an informed choice of nanny. We can also assist with finding maids, tutors, caregivers and drivers on both a long-term or short-term basis. Please contact us for more details.