Should you send your kids to a government or private childcare? Keep reading to find out more about the huge difference in childcare fees...
Fretting about enrolling your child in infantcare before he or she is born? Raising a child in Singapore is somewhat like a marathon in which you have to adopt the mindset of a sprinter. It starts with registering your unborn child for infant or childcare, sometimes queuing overnight for a place at the centre near to your home. Then it proceeds on to the hula hoops you have to jump through to register your child at a primary school of your choice.
Besides the efforts expended in securing a place, parents also have to contend with the costs of childcare, which caters to children from as young as 18 months, up to 6 years old when they enroll for primary school. The fees for childcare centres can cost up to $2,000+ per month depending on whether:
- Half or full day care is required,
- You decide to enroll your child in a government or private centres,
- You qualify for government subsidies and
- You choose to add on enrichment options.
Average full-day fees cost north of $900 a month and is the option that the vast majority of parents sign their precious tots for. One can imagine that for families with 2-3 young children, the costs can stack up pretty steeply.
Here are some factors to consider in weighing your different options:
1. Is it really worth it to send your child to private childcare centres that cost more than $2,000 per month?
What if you knew that saving the difference of $1,000 per month over a 3-year period (for instance when your child is 3-6 years old) and compounding these savings over time at a modest rate of 2.5% p.a. would pay for your child’s entire university fees?
Wait, how can this be?
Currently, tuition fees for the vast majority of university courses at NUS costs under $9,000 per annum (yes, lower than childcare fees). Factoring in an inflation rate of 2% p.a., and assuming a 4-year course, your 3-year old child’s university tuition fees would cost $49,420 in 16 years’ time.
Savings of $1,000 per month over 3 years compounded at 2.5% p.a. amount to $37,405. This principal amount, without adding a single cent to it, will snowball to a tidy sum of $51,563 over 13 years when compounded at 2.5% p.a.
So, it's true that going for an average-cost full-day childcare service of $900+ per month and saving the $1,000+ every month on fancy private childcare will literally pay for your child’s future university education.
More details on the differences between government and private childcare in Singapore - next page please...