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Childcare Options in Singapore and Their Costs

ZUU Online SG logo ZUU Online SG 5 days ago Neha Gupta
a little boy sitting on a bench © ZUUonline SG

Work and Childcare

The increasingly demanding work schedules for Singaporean parents are making childcare options hotly-debated subject at dinner tables. Unfortunately, a majority of couples neglect the discussion for when the maternity leave is about to end that the frustration of getting good preschool dawn on them. For working parents, a good childcare arrangement could be the difference between having a relaxed day at work and spending the rest of the day terrified of what your kid might be going through. The latter case prompts most mothers to leave their jobs and become stay-at-home-mothers, the problem is; not every household in Singapore can afford this plan.  Fortunately, the growing demand for childcare services has prompted the establishment of several childcare options providing parents with an array of choices to consider.

Factors to consider

The varied options present a second problem which is identifying the best possible childcare option that meets the specific needs of your toddler and those of the parent as well. The cheapest alternative to consider is, of course, a caring relative who can render the best care to the child. Most families again do not have this option and are, therefore, forced to consider other options which are most likely to be expensive. As you begin your search for a suitable childcare option for you and your child, a succinct list of your preferences will go a long way in helping you make a fairly informed choice. For most parents, safety comes before anything else. Preschools and other formal and informal childcare options are aware that safety is No.1 priority for any parent the reason most of them are continuously stepping up their safety measures and have even set up a safety protocol in case of unforeseen risks.

The next thing parents always consider is the proximity of the childcare option to their homes or work. Individuals will always settle for a childcare option that they can conveniently pick and drop their kids on their way to and from work. This will help them save a ton amount of time and transportation cost. If you have to settle for a distant option, it is important to ensure that they have a safe transport system for the kids. Another cost that can hardly be ignored is cost. Unless money is not an issue for you, then this is not a matter of concern. For the rest of the parents looking to save a few bucks, it is vital to consider fairly priced options that do not compromise on essential factors like safety.

After you’ve established a safe option for your child, logistic issues checked, and affordability also checked, it is time to screen the staff. You don’t want to leave your kid with a psychopath. Ensure that the staff will attend to your toddler have all the right qualifications. Some institutions accredit nannies and babysitters. Lastly, different childcare alternative has different learning systems. You can pick a childcare option depending on the learning you would want for your child.

Available options

Now let’s consider the available childcare options in Singapore and their respective costs. These are the likely childcare options a working mom in Singapore may have to choose from; infant care for children between the ages of two and eight months, childcare centers for toddlers between 18 months and six years, a babysitter and nanny depending on your preference. There are thousands of other options in the aforementioned categories with varying prices depending on the brands and the kind of service they offer.

Babysitter/Nanny

The most affordable options for a parent would be hiring the services of a babysitter or nanny. The cost of hiring a babysitter in Singapore runs in the brackets of $500 to $900 monthly. A nanny, on the other hand, will cost a slightly higher $750 to $1,500. While there is no distinct difference in the definition of a babysitter and a nanny, one of the commonly presumed difference is that a babysitter will only help with taking care of the baby, often during the day while a nanny can handle other household chores including cooking and cleaning, not only for the baby but for the whole family. The inherent limitation to hiring babysitters and nannies is that there is no guarantee on the quality of service they offer. More often than not, parents rely on word of mouth to pick the most suitable nanny or babysitter for the job. The upside is that they cost relatively cheaper compared to conventional preschools.

Infant/childcare options

If you can’t trust a random stranger recommended to you by a friend to take care of your kid, then you may need to consider an infant/childcare centers. Well established child care centers can get the job done, but they come at a steep cost. The most affordable ones in this category are local preschools which sometimes offer equally competitive service at cheaper prices. Multinational preschools are more expensive, but they truly offer value for your money. Examples of preschools include My First Skool by NTUC which charges between $1364 and $1,705 for infant care and $770 for childcare/kindergarten. Due to its sparkling reputation, it is hard to land a spot here. Sparkletots by PCF will bill you about $1,370 for infants and roughly between $496.60 and $850.50 for kindergarten. It is also challenging to score enrollment.

Church kindergartens also offer premium infant and childcare services at affordable rates of about $850 per month. There are also several upmarket childcare centers that charge the upwards of $2,500 for infant care and roughly $1,500 for childcare services. These preschools include the likes of Montessori and Blue House International and offer sophisticated learning tailored to meet the specific needs of each child. There are several other elite preschools parents can consider. Parents should also explore available infant care subsidies depending on their income level, employment status, and nationality. Singaporeans and enjoy up to $300 in infant care subsidies from the government.

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