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How Much Does It Cost To Raise A Child In Singapore Till Age 18?

At more than $220,000, each child will cost you more than a CPF Full Retirement Sum

By now, most parents should already know that raising a child in Singapore can be very expensive. Despite the government providing an extensive range of child subsidies, totaling more than $150,000 per child, parents should still expect to spend a significant amount of money on their kids.

This article will detail the various costs we can expect to incur as we raise a child in Singapore.

Read Also: How Much The Government Spends On Each Singaporean Child Until They Enter The Working World.

How much we spend to raise a child in Singapore can vary significantly. Similar to the cost of living we incur as an adult, the lifestyle choices and education options that we choose can substantially increase the cost of raising a child in Singapore. For example, if we want to bring our kids on annual holiday trips, take expensive enrichment classes or attend international pre-schools, our costs will increase significantly.

In this article, we strive only to include child-related expenses that are typically deemed necessary or difficult to avoid when we raise a child. The calculations are based on our conservative estimates.

Stage 0: Pregnancy-Related Cost

Before our little one joins us, there are already pregnancy-related costs to bear. Depending on whether we choose to go public or private, we can expect to spend anywhere between $5,000 to $15,000 to deliver our baby. We should also expect to spend on checkups and pregnancy supplements and vitamins.

For example, in KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the typical bill size for Class A ward (Vaginal Delivery) is $5,416. If we deliver in Mount Alvernia at a 1-bedded ward (via Caesarean Delivery), the typical bill is $9,492.

The government provides a baby bonus cash gift that is between $11,000 to $13,000. While this amount is given out over 6.5 years, they do, to some extent, offset pregnancy-related costs that we incur.

You can learn more about the cost of delivering a baby in Singapore here.

Estimated Cost – $5,000 to $15,000

Read Also: [2023 Edition] Complete Guide to Baby Grants in Singapore

Stage 1: Baby To Toddler (Year 0 to 4)

Now that the pregnancy is over, the real ‘fun’ starts. Not only would we suddenly feel that 24 hours a day isn’t enough to care for our baby, get our work done, and still have enough personal time to exercise and rest, but we will quickly realise that budgeting just got much harder.

Consumables: We will regularly spend on diapers, formula milk, baby wipes, baby detergent, baby food, and baby lotions. Depending on how quickly our baby consumes these items, we should expect to spend about $2,000 to $3,000 a year on these items.

Calculation assumes baby is breastfed for first 6 months

Non-Consumables: Besides that, we should also expect to spend on non-consumable items such as prams, baby carriers, cribs, clothes and toys. The cost can vary significantly, depending on whether we buy them brand-new or get hand-me-downs from family and friends. It’s reasonable to budget about $2,000 a year for these items.

In total, we estimate that parents can expect to spend about $5,000 a year on their child for consumables (milk, food, diapers) and non-consumable items (clothes, toys), which works out to about $400 a month.

You can find out more about our calculations here.

Childcare Expenses

At this age, the other big-ticket expense for most working parents will be infant/childcare arrangements. For our calculation, we will assume that both parents are working and will need to engage help to look after their kids instead of relying on grandparents.

Infant Care Option Expected Monthly Cost Cost Per Annum
Domestic Helper About $1,000 per month. Read more here. $12,000
Full-Time Nanny About $1,500 to $1,800 $18,000 (using $1,500 as a benchmark)
Full-Day Childcare Centre $720 (assuming Anchor Operator) $8,640

Assuming that parents choose full-day childcare as an Anchor Operator, the cost will be about $8,640 per year. When you add this to the cost incurred for consumables and non-consumables, parents can expect to spend about $13,640 per year for their child in their first 4 years.

Estimated Cost (Year 0 to Year 4) – About $13,640 per year

Stage 2: Kindergarten (Year 5 to Year 6)

While compulsory education only starts from Primary 1 onwards (age 7), it’s advisable for kids to attend kindergarten. If we opt for an Anchor Operator, monthly fees will be capped at $160.

Assuming 1-2 additional classes such as arts, sports, languages or music classes, it’s reasonable to set aside a budget of about $200-$300 for our child at this age. We can expect to spend about $250 monthly on education-related classes or about $3,000 yearly.

Our kids won’t be in diapers at this age, but we will still need to spend money on food, books, toys, and clothes for them. For this, we continue to assume a conservative monthly expense of $300, or about $3,600 a year.

Parents can expect to spend about $6,600 a year on their child from age 5 to 6. This also assumes you no longer need a domestic helper or someone to take care of your child, as they will be in a full-day kindergarten during your work hours.

Estimated Cost (Year 5 to Year 6) – About $6,600 a year

Stage 3: Primary, Secondary School, Junior College (Year 7 to Year 18)

The good news is that primary school fees are free for Singaporeans. For those in secondary school and Junior College, they are nominal, at $5 and $6 per month. This means parents do not have to worry about school fees during this period, unlike childcare and preschool education. Of course, we will still need to buy textbooks, exercise books, uniforms, bags, and stationery.

At this age, our (growing) child will continue to require clothes and food and start paying for transport and even electronic gadgets. Similar to their younger days, budgeting at least $400 a month for these expenses will be prudent. We will likely give them an allowance as well. Assuming a weekly allowance of $25, this will add up to $100 a month.

Enrichment lessons or tuition may also be required as they become older. Assuming group classes, it might be advisable to set aside a budget of about $250 a month for these classes.

We can easily expect to spend about $750 a month per child at this age. Adding an extra $500 a year for school items such as books, bags, and other materials will cost about $9,500 each year.

Estimated Cost (Year 7 to Year 18): About $9,500 per year per child

Total Cost Of Raising A Child In Singapore (From Age 0 to 18)

From the numbers illustrated above, here’s how much we can expect to spend to raise a child from birth to age 18.

Life Stage Estimated Annual Cost Estimated Total Cost
Pregnancy-Related Cost $5,000 to $15,000 About $10,000
Baby To Toddler (Year 0 to 4) $13,640/Year $54,560
Kindergarten (Year 5 to 6) $6,600/Year $13,200
Primary, Secondary School, Junior College (Year 7 to 10) $9,500 $114,400
Total Cost $191,760

If the number to raise a child doesn’t seem too high, do note we have not included additional expenses such as insurance premiums and tertiary-related school fees that we will incur if our child goes to a Polytechnic or the Institute of Technical Education (ITE). Also, if they pursue their degree, whether in Singapore or overseas, this will also be a high cost.

Read Also: Cost Guide: Singapore Universities’ Tuition Fee Comparison

Our calculation above is a conservative estimate that does not include additional child-related expenses we will likely incur when we raise a child, such as bringing our kids out for leisure activities, overseas holidays, pursuing their hobbies, or taking private tuition or enrichment classes. It also assumes that we do not engage external help, such as hiring a foreign domestic worker once our kids start full-day kindergarten. Medical fees are also excluded from the calculation.

We can all likely expect to spend about $1,000 a year on insurance premiums, $1,000 (per child) for a simple overseas trip, $500 a year on leisure activities within Singapore, and $500 on celebrations and presents for your child. This adds up to an additional $3,000 yearly, or $36,000 over 18 years. So, our total cost to raise a child will likely be about $227,760 (per child) till age 18.

Read Also: Guide To How You Can Contribute To Your Child’s CPF Accounts

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