Maid Nationality : This is the first question comes in your mind when deciding about the FDW in Singapore. I would suggest to go for Philippino, as we have experienced their work and they are good. If you are planning to bring maid from your own country like India or Malaysia, agents help in that too. I would still prefer getting a FDW who is already in Singapore as it helps a lot as they are aware of surroundings and culture.
Salary : Monthly salary is $340 or more depending on experience and maids nationality. You need to work out with the maid and agency to agree upon mutually.
FDW Levy : Please refer to this "Work Permit Information(FDW)" by MOM. It is very good source of information. A Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW) levy of $265 (normal) or $170 (concession) is payable every month.
Agency Fee : Agencies will charge somewhere between $300-600 for getting you the FDW. It is negotiable as they try to adjust that with maid's salary too sometimes.
Agency Loan : When the FDW is directly coming from their home country. A loan is generally there of about $2000-2500 which maid generally clears using her salary. You can mutually decide how the maid and agency would recover this from their salary.
Things to get for maid before getting her home : This is an important task. You need to make sure that the maid is comfortable at your house, as she will be working for you. These are the following things we bought/arranged for her :
- New Mattress - $50
- A separate room for her to sleep- as we had 4 room flat.
- Basic Toiletries
- A small cub-board to keep her belongings.
Indian Cooking : This was the huge surprise for us!. Our maid learned the Indian Cooking in just few weeks and she was able to cook most of the dishes. You need to give them in writing the ingredients once and show few basic things. They generally are good cook and learn quickly.
It is important to understand that maid is away from family(from wherever they come from) and it takes some time for them to get adjusted to new environment. As I have spoken to many friends, mostly all of them have good experience about maid in Singapore. Make sure that you get a maid from a agency which is known to you or your friend that way you can trust them well. Agencies also help you to resolve some conflicts in case you have with maid and helps you get a replacement if the maid decides to leave for some reason.
You need to make them understand your rules at home and they generally follow that strictly. If you have kids, you need to be careful and make sure that you have make them understand about all things you want them to take care about kids. Keep all your valuables safely and never assume everything is going to be 100% perfect. As the laws in Singapore are very much followed, maids are aware that they need to be lawful and within MOM guidelines.
Disclaimer : All above is based on my own experience and you need to apply your own judgement before employing maid. Also refer to Ministry of Manpower for any queries you would have.