What does it really cost with kids in Singapore as a foreigner?

This is one of the questions that I have searched in Google many times, almost every week! Singapore is expensive and I often wonder how people enjoy quality of life with all of what the country offers for kids. It could also be that I am still trying to get used to the lifestyle here. The irony of it all is now that I have the time to enjoy all the fun activities with my daughter, I don’t actually have the money to be able to do it all.

This post is specifically about the various costs to look out for when you have young kids that you need to entertain and provide the best all-round development for.

Domestic Help

There are a few options here, the most popular being hiring of a helper (also known as a maid or domestic nanny). Depending on your needs, you may want to go with enlisting the services of a part-time maid rather or, if you prefer, enroll your child/children in a childcare.

There are pros and cons to all of these but that is not what I will go into here. This is more about the costs:

  • Helper:
    • Monthly salary range: SGD 500 to SGD 900 (This depends on experience and what your requirements are. For example, an inexperienced helper that has never worked in Singapore will command a lower salary while someone with say 4 to 5 years’ experience working with young children and looking after a family of 4 will command ~SGD 700)
    • Government levy as of April 2018: SGD 265
    • Optional extras: Some families may feel more comfortable in providing additional money for food and other expenses like a mobile phone plan. A typical food allowance would be SGD 100 to SGD 200 depending on whether you expect the helper to eat some of the same food as you. A mobile plan could cost you SGD 20 to SGD 30 per month.
    • Total (without extras): SGD 765 to SGD 1165
    • Total (with optional extras): SGD 885 to SGD 1395
  • Part-time Help (cleaning, ironing but not a nanny):
    • Hourly charge: SGD 25 to SGD 40
  • Childcare:
    • There are different options where you can enroll for half a day, three quarters of a day or a full day depending on the centre you choose. I have pulled estimates for full day programmes for infant care. I am not the expert here so here’s a link with more information: Click here
    • Monthly charge for full day – standard (non-premium): SGD 600 to SGD 1,500
    • Monthly charge for full day – premium: SGD 1,000 to SGD 3,333


To come


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