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Child Care


A caregiver is more than a babysitter for your child. The caregiver will take part in some of the earliest development and education that your child will receive. For that reason, choosing childcare can be a hard decision.

Child care can be one of the largest costs of raising a child. So the choice often comes to finding a balance between what is affordable and what is the optimal setting for your child.

Child Care Centers
Child care centers offer full-day or half-day crèche and nursery services to children below three years old in Hong Kong. Centers that are registered with the Social Welfare Department are operated by trained child care workers. Child care centers may be privately operated, run by non-profit-making organizations, or subsidized by the government, so fees vary.

The Hong Kong government offers financial assistance for children attending child care centers under the Kindergarten and Child Care Centre Fee Remission Scheme.

But child care centers are usually closed on holidays and if your child is sick, he or she will need to stay home so you will have to take the day off, too. Check whether the center attended by your child provides extended-hour services, with more flexible drop-off and pick-up times.

Foreign Domestic Helpers
Many families in Hong Kong employ foreign domestic helpers to provide live-in housekeeping services. You may hire a helper who is trained and experienced in childcare to take care of your child. There are several advantages to doing so: one-to-one attention, the familiarity and convenience of your own home, a consistent companion for your child. You also do not have to worry about getting your child ready and out to day care before you leave for work. The helpers will also help you with household chores.

You may engage employment agents to help you select your helper and complete the necessary application paperwork, including visas and work permits. To employ a helper, Hong Kong residents need to produce proof of income and agree to pay the minimum wage for helpers. Please refer to the Immigration Department’s guidelines for more information about foreign domestic helpers.

Sources: Social Welfare Department, Student Financial Assistance Agency, Immigration Department