childcare singapore

A Parent’s Guide to the Cost of Childcare in Singapore

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For most parents, one of the top considerations when looking for childcare in Singapore is the overall costs. How much do you have to spend to have someone care for your child while you’re at work?

This is where it can get quite tricky as childcare Singapore can be a little expensive. Of course, you only want the best for your child, but you also don’t want to overspend and go beyond your budget.

To help you in your decision-making, we’ve made a short yet comprehensive guide to the costs of childcare in Singapore!

How much does childcare cost in Singapore?

The costs of childcare in Singapore differ depending on who you want to look after your child, what type of childcare centre you prefer, or the current work arrangement you have.

Whether you’re hiring a babysitter or opting for childcare centres, though, the average costs usually don’t go below $3,000.

Let’s dig deeper into the costs of babysitters and childcare centres in Singapore!

Part-time or full-time babysitters

If you don’t mind having a live-in help around, then hiring a babysitter is a good option!

The great thing about babysitters is that they come in all ages and experience levels, from students looking for part-time work to actual professionals. A wide pool of babysitters means that the rates are highly variable depending on your location and their experience.

Generally, parents usually spend around $20 to $60 per hour for a babysitter in Singapore. This means an average monthly cost of $600 for a part-time and $1,500 for a full-time babysitter.

Here are some tips: you may be able to negotiate a lower rate if you hire the babysitter directly instead of going through an agency. It’s also generally more expensive to have the babysitter come to your place.

Just a friendly reminder that these are just rough estimates, so make sure to do your research on each babysitting service.

Childcare centres

Childcare centres are places where children can develop physically, socially, and emotionally under the guidance of qualified early childhood educators.

There are three types of childcare centres in Singapore, each with its own rates: private, anchor operators, and partner operators.

Privately owned centres have a special curriculum built around a certain teaching philosophy, often focusing on arts, speech, drama lessons, or bilingual classes. The programmes at these centres come at a premium price of $1,000 to $2,500 per month.

Meanwhile, anchor operators are privately run centres that receive funding from the Anchor Operators Schemes. This keeps their monthly fees capped at $680 for full-day childcare programmes.

Similar to anchor operators, partner operators receive funding directly from the government to keep their services affordable and accessible to most families. The average monthly costs for their full-day childcare programmes are capped at $720.

Subsidies for childcare in Singapore

Luckily, there are government subsidies for childcare in Singapore to help parents defray its often hefty costs.

There’s a basic childcare subsidy that qualifies children who are Singaporean citizens and are enrolled in ECDA-licensed centres, regardless of their parents’ income level.

However, the amount given will depend on the mother’s working status. Working mothers are given a higher subsidy of $600 for full-day childcare while non-working mothers will be given only $150.

Apart from the basic subsidy, eligible families may apply for an additional subsidy. To qualify, a family must have a gross monthly household income of $12,000 and below or a gross monthly per capita income of $3,000 and below for larger families with at least three dependents.

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