Caring babysitters for your kids

The History of a Nanny in Bali

Thursday, July 28, 2011 @ 04:07 AM
posted by Made

It may be the case that Indonesians really do have a special talent for child care due to their long history of producing great nannies.

There can be some confusion over exactly what a nanny is: a nanny is a person that cares for children in the children’s family home and can also be described as a child minder or child care giver.

A traditional nanny would act like a servant and be a full time member of the family home. Nannies where originally known as ‘nurse’ back in the 19th and early 20th century Europe and were without doubt a vital member of the household. The nurse would run a nursery along with a helper called ‘nursemaid’. The nurse was a special member of the household and a crucial part of each family member’s childhood. The nurse needed to have a keen understanding of child development to produce productive members of the house. Often the nurse would raise two or three generations of the household giving her a privileged position to the other servants. Humans desire intimacy and that was probably lacking in the 19th century so the nanny would have had a special place in the hearts of those she cared for.

History shows that colonialism is responsible for taking this idea of a nanny to many places around the world. No more so than in Indonesia, the Dutch had no problem using the local Indonesian women as nannies, back then they were known as baboe. Below you can see a baboe with the children she cared for, the photo was taken in the early 20th century.

Bali nanny (baboe) with children in the early 20th century

Bali nanny (baboe) with children in the early 20th century

The Dutch families would often take their nanny with them wherever they went as they formed such an important part of the household. We find today that travelers coming to Indonesia and especially Bali are keen and ready to hand over their children to a nanny. The natural instincts and hands on approach to child care that Indonesians have are respected by people all over the world. We find as a nanny agency that our customers are always so pleasantly surprised to see how good Balinese women are with children. In Bali child care is a joy and not a chore, seeing it as a chore is something we may be guilty of in the western world.

Today a nanny can choose to live in or live out depending on her/his situation. The nanny is not a servant of the house, a nanny is a paid employee with workers rights. A nanny has the duty to assist the parents in looking after the children and in early childhood development.

Any parents out there who are looking for a holiday destination that provides the classic tropical get away with quality child care then Bali has to be the number one choice.

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