Top tips for moving to Singapore with kids
Singapore is a family-friendly place to be, according to suitcases&strollers founder, Aimee Chan. She offers her top tips for moving here with a young family...
Moving to Singapore is a relatively straightforward experience if you accept the city as it is. The amenities and services work superbly and are all first world, but culturally at it’s heart it can still be conservative. Here are some tips for how to manage a stress-free transition to moving to Singapore with kids:
1. Take advantage of how safe and family-friendly the city is. Almost everything is kid-friendly in Singapore, so embrace your arrival and sightsee as a family. Even the poshest restaurants, attractions or entertainment venues welcome kids with very few exceptions.
2. Your house is your sanctuary, so take the time to ensure you pick the right one. Select housing that is right for your family’s needs. If you are a very social bunch, don’t choose a house (you’ll be too isolated) – go for a condominium where there are lots of children. If you are a family that likes to make a lot of noise, don’t opt for a small condo as you might find your neighbours turn unfriendly very quickly.
3. Keep cool by the pool. Because of the heat, it’s wise to opt for housing with a pool. Make sure you look to see what kind of kids’ facilities are on the grounds and how many children are using them. That will give you an indication of how kid-friendly the building really is.
4. Prioritise hiring your maid or finding a babysitter. Figure out your babysitting ASAP. Since kids are welcome everywhere and most families have a maid, part-time nannies and babysitters are hard to come by. If you want to have some child-free time, one of the first things you will need to find is childcare.
5. Put yourself out there to meet new people. This is the best way to learn more tips and tricks about settling into Singapore and, since most kids take the bus to school, you can’t rely on the school carpark to find your network. Join a club that has social events for wives (like the American Club or ANZA), a special interest support group (such as the New Mothers Support Group – perfect if you have a baby) or the forum Singapore Expat Wives on Facebook.
6. Travel, travel, travel. Singapore is one of the true worldwide hubs and you can get direct flights practically anywhere. Use your time here to explore the rest of the world – especially Southeast Asia – as a family and that will make your time in Singapore extra special.
Once you have a set of friends and you’re comfortable and self-sufficient in your new home, living in Singapore with kids is really a synch. It might not be as hip as Hong Kong or as bustling as Bangkok but it’s safe, clean, friendly and very easy to move around, which just about makes it perfect for any expat family.
Aimee Chan is a magazine editor and the founder of online family travel magazine www.suitcasesandstrollers.com. Her work has taken her all over the world from Bhutan to Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia. She is an Australian expatriate based in Singapore.
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