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Ultimate Guide To Childcare: Your Options & How Much

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When it comes to our children, we want only the best. But what happens when work calls and we’re unable to take care of our children personally, as much as we would like to?

It’s a tough situation that many young, new parents find themselves in, especially so when both are working adults. No doubt, there are solutions available such as getting assistance from your parents, sending your child to childcare centres, hiring maids or part time baby sitters.

But really, how much will these solutions realistically cost you?

Let’s break it down.

TL;DR: Costs of different child care services

From government funded to privately hired, there are a range of services that parents can look at it.

  • For ad-hoc assistance, baby sitters/nannies are perfect (Age 1 onwards)
  • For immediate-after-delivery assistance, confinement ladies are optimal (Age 0 to 4 months)
  • For full-time assistance, maids are a good alternative (Age 0 onwards)
  • For affordable assistance, childcare centres are a viable option (Age 2 onwards)

Costs of Nanny/BabySitter Providers

With the conveniences of ad-hoc baby sitters, there really isn’t a need to panic about last minute circumstances. Simply, log on, fill up the required application forms & viola, you’ve got yourself an instant helping hand.

That said, it is important to highlight your specific needs in order to get the required help that you need. Children with specific needs or dietary requirements are especially important to notify in advance.

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1. NannySOS

Type Rate Remarks
Daytime (8am – 6pm) $25 / hr 1 Child
Price excludes transportation fee after 10pm
Night (6pm – 12am) $25 / hr
Weekend/Holiday (8am – 12am) $25 / hr
Outdoor (8am – 12am) $35 / hr
Long term
Weekday Daytime (10 – 12 hours) $800 – $1,200 / mth 1 Child (Nanny’s House)
Weekday Overnight $1,200 – $1,500 / mth
Weekday Daytime (10 – 12 hours) $2,500 – $3,950 / mth 1 Child (Baby’s House)

The essentials:

  • Website based
  • Additional charges maybe incurred for preparation/cooking of meals
  • Additional top-up maybe required if children need to be taken out (Clinic/Enrichment Classes etc.)
  • Overtime/Weekend surcharges apply
  • Make sure to state how old and how many children will be under care
  • Contact: 6817 2479

2. The Roaming Baby Sitter

Type Rate Remarks
Ad Hoc, Hourly $15 / hr Min 2 hours

Selected East Areas

+$20 for inaccessible areas by public transport or for late night sessions

1 child

Ad Hoc, Hourly $15 / hr Min 4 hours

Other areas

+$20 for inaccessible areas by public transport or for late night sessions

1 child

Ad Hoc, Hourly $20 / hr Min 2 hours (Selected East Areas)

Min 4 hours (other areas)

2 Child

+$20 for inaccessbile areas by public transport or for late night sessions

The essentials:

  • Website based
  • Muslim Baby Sitter
  • Confirm schedule at least 1 -2 months in advance. Last minute services dependent on availability
  • Strictly no overnight services
  • Light cooking included
  • Pets (Dogs) should be highlighted before booking is made
  • Email: [email protected]

3. HelperGO (Agent Bong)

Type Rate Remarks
Ad Hoc Basis ~$24 / hr Starred Helper – +$2 / hr

Travel Allowance – +10 / hr

Min 3 hours

Regular Basis ~$21 / hr Starred Helper – +$2 / hr

Travel Allowance – +10 / hr

Min 3 hours

The essentials:

  • Website/Mobile App based
  • Booking and securing of nanny within a day’s time
  • Specifically list additional requirements in application form so ideal match can be attained
  • Contact: 9426 8219

Costs of Confinement Lady

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The period after giving birth is absolutely crucial. Between the full-time caring of your child, most mothers would also have to maintain a delicate balance between recuperating their worn out bodies. This is where the conveniences of a confinement lady comes into play.

Besides cooking and cleaning after your child, hiring a confinement lady also has the added benefit of getting postpartum advice on a full recovery both physically and mentally.

Normally, hiring of confinement ladies would be done through word-of-mouth recommendations. However, if you’re out of luck, here are a 3 alternatives you can look at!

1. PEM Confinement

Service (28 Days) Cost
Deposit $950
Balance $2,150
Government Levy $60 / Month
Work Permit Application Fee $35
2x Ang Pao ~$30

The essentials:

  • Booking 6 – 7 months in advance required
  • $200 additional top-up for multi-storey houses
  • Free insurance coverage provided for nanny
  • Red Packets to be given to nannies have no minimum amount but are encouraged to range from $30 onwards
  • Contact: 6293 9249

2. Thomson Medical

Service Cost
14 Day Stay In $2,188
14 Day Stay Out (9am to 6pm) $1,738
14 Day Night Duty (9pm to 8am) $1,984

Service Cost
28 Day Stay In $3,905.50
28 Day Stay Out (9am to 6pm) $3,103
28 Day Night Duty (9pm to 8am) $3,400

Service Cost
Ad Hoc Day (9am to 6pm) $168.53
Ad Hoc Night (9pm to 8am) $252.79
Ad Hoc Day/Night (24 hr) $337.05

The essentials:

  • Booking 6 – 7 months in advance required
  • Additional charges included but not limited to are cancellation or nanny interviews
  • Red Packets to be given to nannies have no minimum amount
  • Contact: 6350 8848

3. JIA Confinement Singapore

Service (28 Days) Cost
Deposit $300
Balance $2,300
Government Levy $60 / Month
Work Permit Application Fee $35
2x Ang Pao Dependent

The essentials:

  • Booking 6 -7 months in advance required
  • $100 additional top-up for multi-storey houses
  • Red Packets to be given to nannies have no minimum amount
  • Contact: 9459 9830

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Hiring maids is an all-in-one excellent alternative to providing full time care for your child(s). However, this option does come with its own caveats.

Firstly, before hiring maids, one is required to pay a variety of fees. They range from:

  • Agency Fees – From $100
  • Work Permit Application & Issuance – $60
  • Foreign Domestic Worker Levy (With concession) – $60/mth
  • Security Bond – Up to $5,000
  • Medical Insurance Coverage – From $15,000/yr
  • Personal Accident Insurance – From $60,000/yr
  • Settling In Programme (For 1st Time in SG workers) – $75

Let’s not forget, you’ve still got to pay for your helper’s monthly salary. They average at approximately $462.50.

Costs of Childcare Centres

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Instead, what I’ll do is cover some of the government subsidies that you’re entitled to and should not miss out on!

The essentials:

  • Basic Subsidy = $110, $150, $220, $300
  • If gross Family Household Income (HHI) = $7,500 or Per Capital Income (PCI) ≤ $1,875/mth & you’re a mother working ≥ 56 hours per month, you’re entitled to additional subsidies
  • To qualify for infant care subsidy, child (Singapore Citizen) must be aged 2 to 18 months old
  • To qualify for child care subsidy, child (Singapore Citizen) must be aged above 18 months and below 7 years old
  • Subsidy is ONLY for childcare centres under ECDA

Generally, popular places such as (below) are ECDA certified. For a complete list, you can find them here.

  • PCF Sparkletots Preschool
  • My First Skool
  • My World Preschool
  • Skool4kidz
  • E-Bridge Preschool
  • Bright Kids
  • Busy bees Singapore
  • Just Kids
  • Sunflower Childcare Group

1. Full Day/ Flexi Care Child Care Programmes

HHI PCI Basic Subsidy Max Additional Subsidy
≤ $2,500 ≤ $625 $300 $440
$2,501 – $3,000 $626 – $750 $400
$3,001 – $3,500 $751 – $875 $370
$3,501 – $4,000 $876 – $1,000 $310
$4,001 – $4,500 $1,001 – $1,125 $220
$4,501 – $7,500 $1,126 – $1,875 $100
> $7,500 > $1,875 $0

2. Half Day Child Care Programmes

HHI PCI Basic Subsidy Max Additional Subsidy
≤ $2,500 ≤ $625 $150 $220
$2,501 – $3,000 $626 – $750 $200
$3,001 – $3,500 $751 – $875 $185
$3,501 – $4,000 $876 – $1,000 $155
$4,001 – $4,500 $1,001 – $1,125 $110
$4,501 – $7,500 $1,126 – $1,875 $50
> $7,500 > $1,875 $0

For a full break down of all child care programmes and the corresponding subsidies you may be entitled to, click here for more details.

Interested in finding out which childcare centres are ECDA certified? Click here to browse.

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