I was a bit worried about the process of certification in Indonesia, especially for teachers, because it seems to me that it would only produce troubles for those who do not have money to support them gaining their professional licenses. Teachers (including those who are still labeled as Guru Bantu or Teachers Help; the translation is a little bit odd, but it is officially used) in the remote area, whose salary are often very low; sometimes it doesn't even comply the minimum wages for blue collar workers. So, the need to gain another certificate of teaching would probably be a heavy task for older teachers who served for years but still in need to take their own children's education as their priorities in financial budgeting.
I've been thinking about writing something on this certification issue, but I do not have enough time to gather more information and compose one article about it. Yet, today I feel the need to mention a bit about it as I saw an article from Yahoo! News "State to mom: Stop baby-sitting neighbors' kids"
AP – Lisa Snyder, left, watches kids play at their bus stop, which is also her driveway, Friday, Sept. 25, …I was really surprised on how that state agency are taking the issue as the need to have licensed day care center. Children are the big issue for mom like me who decided to stay at home. In Indonesia, housewives are still blessed to have helpers at home. But lately it is also difficult to have assistants at home as it was in the old days. Chances to work abroad with much higher salary lured Indonesian women to leave their families for several years in order to gain dollars. As the effect, it is harder to find good assistants these days. So, the salary for "ready to work" home assistants are also progressing up. The other trend is that one person is working for two or three houses, so we hire them as part time helpers (two or three hours a day).
IRVING TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Each day before the school bus comes to pick up the neighborhood's children, Lisa Snyder did a favor for three of her fellow moms, welcoming their children into her home for about an hour before they left for school.
Regulators who oversee child care, however, don't see it as charity. Days after the start of the new school year, Snyder received a letter from the Michigan Department of Human Services warning her that if she continued, she'd be violating a law aimed at the operators of unlicensed day care centers.
"I was freaked out. I was blown away," she said. "I got on the phone immediately, called my husband, then I called all the girls" — that is, the mothers whose kids she watches — "every one of them."
Snyder's predicament has led to a debate in Michigan about whether a law that says no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers needs to be changed. It also has irked parents who say they depend on such friendly offers to help them balance work and family.
On Tuesday, agency Director Ismael Ahmed said good neighbors should be allowed to help each other ensure their children are safe. Gov. Jennifer Granholm instructed Ahmed to work with the state Legislature to change the law, he said.
"Being a good neighbor means helping your neighbors who are in need," Ahmed said in a written statement. "This could be as simple as providing a cup of sugar, monitoring their house while they're on vacation or making sure their children are safe while they wait for the school bus."
Snyder learned that the agency was responding to a neighbor's complaint.
Granholm spokeswoman Liz Boyd said the agency was following standard procedure in its response. "But we feel this (law) really gets in the way of common sense," Boyd said.
"We want to protect kids, but the law needs to be reasonable," she said. "When the governor learned of this, she acted quickly and called the director personally to ask him to intervene."
State Rep. Brian Calley, R-Portland, said he was working to draft legislation that would exempt situations like Snyder's from coverage under Michigan's current day care regulations.
The bill will make it clear that people who aren't in business as day care providers don't need to be licensed, Calley said.
"These are just kids that wait for the bus every morning," he said. "This is not a day care."
Snyder, 35, lives in a rural subdivision in Barry County's Irving Township about 25 miles southeast of Grand Rapids. Her tidy, comfortable three-bedroom home is a designated school bus stop. The three neighbor children she watched — plus Snyder's first-grader, Grace — attend school about six miles away in Middleville.
Snyder said she started watching the other children this school year to help her friends; they often baby-sit for each other during evenings and weekends.
After receiving the state agency's letter, she said she called the agency and tried to explain that she wasn't running a day care center or accepting money from her friends.
Under state law, no one may care for unrelated children in their home for more than four weeks each calendar year unless they are licensed day-care providers. Snyder said she stopped watching the other children immediately after receiving the letter, which was well within the four-week period.
"I've lived in this community for 35 years and everyone I know has done some form of this," said Francie Brummel, 42, who would drop off her second-grade son, Colson, before heading to her job as deputy treasurer of the nearby city of Hastings.
Other moms say they regularly deal with similar situations.
Amy Cowan, 34, of Grosse Pointe Farms, a Detroit suburb, said she often takes turns with her sister, neighbor and friend watching each other's children.
"The worst part of this whole thing, with the state of the economy ... two parents have to work," said Cowan, a corporate sales representative with a 5-year-old son and 11-month-old daughter. "When you throw in the fact that the state is getting involved, it gives women a hard time for going back to work.
"I applaud the lady who takes in her neighbors' kids while they're waiting for the bus. She's enabling her peers to go to work and get a paycheck. The state should be thankful for that."
Amy Maciaszek, 42, of McHenry, Ill., who works in direct sales, said she believes the state agency was "trying to be overprotective."
"I think it does take a village and that's the best way," said Maciaszek, who has a 6-year-old boy and twin 3-year-old daughters. "Unfortunately you do have to be careful about that. These mothers are trying to do the right thing."
Associated Press writers Randi Goldberg Berris and David Runk in Detroit and Kathy Barks Hoffman in Lansing, Mich., contributed to this report.
It is not easy to find our "matching" assistant. I've been without assistants for (almost) one year. Almost.., as I've tried two or three months using a part time assistant within last year Lebaran (Eid ul-Fitr) to this year's Lebaran.
Why did I stop working? The main reason is of course my children's need. But, the other important reason is the fact that Indonesia is also taking steps into the nuclear family system. Traditional Indonesian families used to live in "long houses" or "big houses" (concept of rumah gadang) where the big family lived together, and there were always someone to watch over the children. Now parents should be more independent. It wouldn't be easy for a a working mom if her assistant suddenly ask permission to go back to the village. Mothers who work as helpers are also longing for their children, and would like to live near their children, as the reason they stay in the country is usually their children and family. If they are more prepared to be separated with their children, they would prefer to go abroad.
Being a working mom would be harder if the husband is not yet ready to share household tasks. If both parents are working, and one children is very sick while both parents have very important meeting, who should cancel the meeting? The typical (traditional) Asian husband would ask the wife to cancel it.
A friend of mine was a full time teacher. When her son was sick and she couldn't leave her class for longer days, she asked her neighbours to look after her youngest son while she went to teach. At time when there was nobody at home she would also ask her neighbour's help to look after his son about one or two hours before she got home. It's not a day care service. I don't think that she is paying her neighbour for that service.
We are not yet used to ask neighbours or youngsters in the neighbourhood to help baby sitting for us and pay them in cash. Perhaps we would be sending foods, fruits, or helping them in other occasion...but it is not yet commercialized. I think sooner or later the day care service in the neighbourhood will also spreading in the big cities here. The economic situation would probably forced more women into the working field, and the need for day care will also increased. Yet, if we still have women like Lisa Snyder who helps her neighbours without taking profit, should we ask her to get certification? Actually I would be thankful if I've got a kind neighbour like Lisa Snyder. Considering certification for that seemed as equal as focusing our mind only on the economic aspect of life. Should we need a license to help others?