Let’s face it. You’re the best yaya for your child. You know what she’s supposed to eat, when her next pedia appointment is, whom to trust to be with her, how to prepare her clothes and other equipment, where to go during an emergency, and why she behaves in a certain manner. That’s why you’re the parent. Parenting is your job. You got this.
But then, reality sinks in, and there’s no escaping it: you realize you’re not Super Mom after all, and dad is no caped crusader who can be both yaya and a professional at the same time. Your child benefits a lot from the work you do 9 to 5, and the inescapable truth is that you can’t quit your job to spend time to
care for your kids. The fact that you’re working actually is caring for your child, no matter how much you beat yourself up for not spending enough time with her. It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed, employed, or unemployed. You’re always employed if you’re a parent because being one is white- and blue-collar work all rolled into one.
The truth is: Parents need help.
Lolo or Lola cannot be Yaya
If living with or near your child’s grandparents, they’re usually the first ones you run to for help with your child. But truth be told, there’s nothing physically “grand” about being a senior citizen. It takes a lot of energy to babysit, and your parents aren’t getting any younger. Also, employing the grandma-grandpa card might start a parenting philosophy clash like this:
“Mom, I told you not to use that soap on Sarah.”
“But that’s the same soap I used when you were growing up!”
So, it’s time to get a yaya. Where do you get her?
The easiest way to get one might not be the most rewarding in the long run, and that path is through an employment agency. Here’s the long and short of it: Is it safe? Don’t bet your left hand on it. Are agencies trustworthy? Only if you personally know who runs it. Are they more expensive? Obviously, it’s more expensive than referrals because you make payments to both the agency and the yaya.
Trust is the major issue here, and all else aside, if you don’t have that, make it your last resort. You’re better off arguing about soap with grandma. Basically, here’s what happens when you hire a yaya from an agency: The nanny you chose or that was chosen for you, will be at your doorstep even before you say, “yaya.”
You’ll pay the agency its hiring fees and pre-employment costs (e.g. transportation). If you require that yaya presents a medical certificate, NBI clearance, birth certificate, or any other personal documents, you’ll be accountable for these expenses as well.
Based on interviews with parents who braved hiring an agency maid, horror stories begin when yaya slacks off from work, doesn’t accomplish what you agreed upon, gets “sick” often, or tells you she’ll be quitting the next day. There may be several reasons as to why yaya may misbehave, but the real deal is she isn’t happy with her work. That’s not your fault; you’re not in charge of her happiness.
Through parent interviews, some pointed out a comparison between agency maids and referral maids, saying that agency maids tend to be more particular about workload, services rendered, work hours, benefits, and salary increases. According to the Kasambahay Law, the agency is supposed to replace an unwanted yaya or a yaya who disappears within 30 days of being employed.
What happens is that usually this replacement doesn’t come at the time you need her most—she arrives late, unexpectedly, or doesn’t at all.
During an interview, a mother sadly recalled a time when there were countless “recycled” nannies knocking at her doorstep within a span of a month!
If yaya is never replaced, the agency is supposed to shoulder 75% of what was already paid. Transportation may be reimbursed if yaya leaves without justifiable reason within 6 months from employment.
Roll of the ‘Days
In the end, hiring an agency yaya is a hit or miss process. At the end of the day, what matters the most is the trust and relationship a parent can foster with yaya. If you feel that you’ve already established that connection with a potential yaya and that they work efficiently, then be ready with your stamp of approval. No matter where you get your yaya, be it the agency or somewhere else, what matters most is the strong partnership you two will share that will hopefully benefit your child.
Also read: 5 Steps to Finding and Keeping the Right Yaya