Child Care Options in Thailand

Understand the different childcare options available to parents of toddlers in Thailand...

There is no formal pre-school system in Thailand and pre-school education is not mandatory. There are some public schools that offer kindergarten programmes for families, but parents must pay for expenses such as uniforms, books, lunches and a small administration fee. There are also many commercial kindergartens that charge only a relatively small fee.

Nurseries, day care centres or playgroups

Although pre-school education is not mandatory in Thailand there is a high demand for child care centres and kindergartens in urban areas and many commercial nurseries and day care centres are now available to assist parents. Playgroups are often organised by the parents to involve the children in social interaction with each other. Prices are generally reasonable, ranging from volunteer parent-run playgroups to the most expensive and most selective private international schools.

Teachers should be professionally trained to work with children from six weeks to five years old but it is best to check with the individual school to confirm this. Games, music, arts and snacks are provided. Typical hours can be as much as from 08:00-16:00 but all schools will be flexible in the number of hours children can attend.

  • For a list of British and American international schools for children between six weeks and five years of age: Click here

Nannies and au pairs

The terms "nanny" and "au pair" are often used interchangeably. Nannies are used more often than au pairs. Typically, nannies are certified childcare givers and some countries even require CPR training. However, Thailand currently has no regulations for nannies.

Thailand has many nannies seeking employment from English-speaking families and most are listed with an agency or find employment through word of mouth.

Private babysitters

These may be useful for evenings and shorter periods of time on an ad-hoc basis. Local media or some of the local expatriate websites post small ads with names of students offering babysitting services. Check with local schools or neighbours for recommendations. Many Thai teenagers wish to improve their English speaking skills and so are keen to undertake babysitting services. Hourly rates vary and more is usually paid after midnight.