For working parents, ensuring the safety of children when they are home alone can be tricky. With an increase in cost of living the cost of hiring a nanny has increased, according to Dubai-based working mother, Riza Gochuito.
Childproofing your home and teaching children about household safety is essential, according to the 44-year-old Filipino national and mother of three. Without the help of a nanny, how does she keep her children safe?
Nannies are costly in the UAE?
“My eldest daughter is 13, while my youngest son is seven. We had a nanny for 12 years but in September 2019, we decided not to keep one.
“Having a nanny in Dubai is very expensive. I also feel like having a constant nanny makes children unaware of how to manage a household.”
The cost of the visa, salary and other expenses makes having the service expensive, according to Gochuito. To counter the cost, she has not only childproofed her house, but has made sure her children know the dos and don’ts to follow when home alone.
Parents are responsible for ensuring safety
“We live in an apartment. All our windows are locked and secure. They do not open. My children have been trained since they were little that going out in the balcony or opening windows can be dangerous.
“I’ve told them what can happen and how accidents can be fatal. They can fall, get badly hurt ad might not see mummy and daddy forever.”
When Gochuito and her husband are at work, their eldest daughter, Lara, holds fort at home after the trio comes back from school. “They come from school at four in the afternoon, and I am home by five. They only spend an hour without me.
“Even though Lara is old enough, she is still a child. She is there to supervise but it is not Lara’s responsibility, I make sure everything is safe at home.”
Riza’s husband, Erwin Gochuico, 47 said they are still worried about their children and call them to make sure everything is all right.
If having a nanny was cheaper, Erwin said they would still consider keeping one, provided they could trust her.
Check up on children
He said: “We still think of the ‘what if’. We have no choice but to trust our daughter. As parents, we always remind them of the safety precautions they need to take.
For Lara, Alessandra, 10 and Jacob, 7, opening windows and playing in the balcony is strictly forbidden.
“They are not allowed to go or play on the balcony. The main door of the house is also locked and they are allowed to open it, only with our permission. If there is a visitor coming, we tell them and only then do they open the main door.”
However, since Erwin and his wife both work close to home, the stress of leaving their children unsupervised is a bit lesser. The proximity of their offices to their home helps the couple reach their children easily, in case of an emergency.
“My husband works in Tecom Dubai, so if anything happens he can come over. If they are left alone, they don’t feel like they are away from us, as both of us are in the area. If you’re leaving your kids alone in this age, make sure your house is accessible to you.”