Choo Choo Train

Stories from Parents: Starting Childcare for My Son During Pandemic

We were first-time parents. My husband and I visited Choo Choo Train Child Care Centre back when I was just three months pregnant. We loved the atmosphere so we decided to register our baby, and were set to start when I finish my maternity leave which is when he would be three months old. Our son was born in March 2021. Malaysia was still battling the pandemic. My husband and I were working from home, so we thought we would take care of our son at home until the situation improves.

At first, it was manageable. He napped a lot so we could work almost smoothly. I only needed to nurse him every two to three hours while my husband was on diaper duty. After some time, it got      harder. He was awake more and wanted us to play with him almost all the time. My husband and I started to come to terms that we needed help and our son definitely needed the proper attention that we could not give while we work.

We contacted Choo Choo Train to ask if they were open. Luckily, they were. They had reopened and there was a spot in their infant classroom. After going through their additional standard operating procedures (SOP) during pandemic, we were ready to send our son. Nevertheless, we did have a worry. He has never met anyone else but us. Being left with anyone other than his parents would be a totally foreign experience. What if he doesn’t stop crying?

Although we were concerned, we had to have faith and take the leap. On his first day, our son didn’t cry when we dropped him off. We felt relieved. Later in the day, we received a bunch of photos and a video of him looking happy in his classroom. We were told that he only cried when he didn’t see his teacher. Just like at home, haha. We were happy to learn that he was accepting his teacher well. It was so much better than we expected.

Our son is 1 year old now. He’s eating full meals, taking naps in the crib, and interacting with the other toddlers. He’s started to walk, he’s said his first word – dada, and he’s gotten to explore so many things that are so fun – finger painting, tunnel play, sticky paper peel, etc. We get to see all his activities from the school app.

Friends and family members asked if we weren’t afraid of the high number of cases. We did but we were also comfortable knowing that the centre did a good job to enforce health and safety protocols. Plus, seeing how happy our son was when we drop him off in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon, it somewhat restored a sense of normalcy for us. At least our child was getting extra loving care and education amidst the tough time!