Here in the Philippines, it is an accepted culture and necessity for many to hire yayas.
Working parents hire nannies or yayas and entrust our children under their loving care while we are busy during the day attending to careers and making a living. That is how it’s supposed to be. Yayas should be trustworthy.
Imagine the horror that you will feel if you were the parents of a three-month-old baby and there you see — caught on CCTV — your yaya hurting your precious little one! Violently rocking and spanking your baby, and in another video footage, the yaya strangling the neck of the poor baby!
Hiring the wrong yaya is a nightmare for any parent.
The psychological make-up of a person cannot be easily determined unless you are an expert. Or unless it becomes a lawful requirement that all yayas should undergo psychological exams before being hired.
My good friend, Suzanne Swann Garcia, shares her own tips:
“Find out what her temperament is. Difficult to give her a psych test, but you can ask simple questions on how she might deal with a particular situation. If you’re quick, you might see signs of her being the impatient type. See if the yaya is a natural around children. Know her family background. People who have worked for me who were physically or sexually abused carry too much emotional baggage and can dump it on your helpless children.
“This is difficult to tell. That’s why it’s nice when they’re recommended by someone you know, so that you can ask that person for their background.
“Yayas, who were disciplined by their parents in a very harsh physical manner, tend to physically hurt other people as well. “
John Carandang, a practicing child psychologist, has this advocacy: To equip parent, child care-caregiver, teachers and significant others on how to guide their children in a positive way.
John shares the good qualities that every parent must consider when hiring a yaya:
1. Trustworthy is a very important trait that a parent must consider before hiring a yaya. Parents must leave their child only with people they trust.
2. A yaya must acquire unconditional love for children and even to her job. She must have this quality so that the value of being compassionate, understanding and loving may manifest and transmit to the children.
3. A yaya must have the quality of being a good listener. As a yaya dealing with the children in the manner how the parent sees as the best, therefore, a yaya must be able to listen attentively and follow directions with less supervision and monitoring.
4. A yaya must have good morals and values. The integral parts of every yaya are being a good role model and have a very high moral and values. These qualities can help the children to follow the same qualities.
5. The virtue of patience is also a requirement. We all know that sometimes due to our own weaknesses we lose our temper when we see our children cry and throw a tantrum. But these should not be the reason to lose our patience.
6. A yaya must be proactive and creative, and have an initiative to create activities to ensure the day is productive and will take the full initiative to contribute to the holistic development of the children.
7. A yaya must be hygienic. She will keep your children always clean, their room must be clean, and the clothes must be clean and properly folded and organized without you reminding her.
8. A yaya must possess a very good communication skill. She must offer a clear direction to the child and relay complete details to parents about their children.
9. A yaya must have no criminal record.
When hiring a yaya, always remember the basics:
1. Get NBI, health and medical clearance. Keep file copies of pertinent IDs like SSS, Philhealth, birth certificate.
2. Give them complete medical check-up, especially sputum test and lung X-rays. Not only for yayas but for drivers as well or anyone who comes in contact with your children, especially infants.
3. Must be referred by your trusted friend.
4. Install CCTV.