As an early childhood teacher from an internationally acclaimed school, I am exposed to the childcare industry. My mere exposure made me wonder why childcare is so expensive! For starters, the issue made the headlines last year due to the huge price gap between the different childcare services across Singapore.
The average price was S$1,004 and the median was S$856. This means that there are centers that charge more than S$2,000. It is ridiculous how this amount is near to the country’s minimum wage. With these overwhelming prices, here are some factors that you must consider before paying for childcare services:
1. VISIT YOUR OPTIONS
Ask credible resources about the available childcare services in your area. For instance, an affordable option is NTUC First Campus (NFC). NFC is dedicated to provide quality and affordable education services for working parents. The institution’s fees range from about S$1,300 to S$1,900.
On the other hand, premium childcare centers endorse specific methodologies such as Montessori. Research on these methods to determine whether they are in lined with your beliefs. Another option is hiring a live-in nanny. A nanny can help you out with other tasks such as cleaning the room and cooking dinner. Save money by hiring a caregiver nearby.
2. COMPARE THE COSTS
As with everything else, you should shop around. Compare the costs of hiring a nanny and enrolling in a daycare center. Have a sense of the monthly fees and requirements. Also, remember to include any government fees and childcare benefits from your company.
3. UNDERSTAND YOUR ECONOMIC SITUATION
Look at your budget and focus on two things. Firstly, figure out your current spending habits. Lastly, eliminate the unnecessary expenses. Are you ready?
Start by creating a list of the things that you spend on. A free software like Mint can help you with the compilation of information. Afterwards, you must go through your non-essential spending. Eliminate or minimize your coffee runs, restaurant visits, shopping sprees, and petrol costs.
Alter your budget according to your predicted childcare spending according to your careful examination.