My girlfriends have been chatting today about the raise in childcare fees of PAP Community Foundation, under PAP, amounting to a bit below $700/month, which could pay for a branded wallet, a short trip to a South East Asian destination, maintaining a car, or a romantic dinner plus hotel stay at a five star hotel.
We were getting a bit hyped up about rising cost of living, children getting more expensive to raise, sandwiched middle class, struggle to juggle work and motherhood.
Someone googled to find out how much the average family spends on childcare, and the median fee is about $900 a month. So parents sending their kids to PCF actually pay less than the average (quality-wise we couldn’t judge as we didn’t really have experience sending kids to PCF).
So what they’re complaining about (or other netizens who don’t even have kids are upset about) is the opportunity cost of the money spent on childcare.
Then the tone changed a bit. Children can’t be brought up for free, unless you’re OK with leaving them with the grandparents without a token angpow to thank your parents for doing your job.
Is it reasonable to charge $900 a month on childcare fees? For ~ 22 days of 12 hours each? That’s like $3.50 an hour.
Not to mention that every Singapore child gets childcare subsidy of $300 a month, which means parents pay an average of $600 a month or $2.27 an hour.
Now everyone was a bit quiet. They were wondering how much the teachers were paid after the centre deducts for rent, operating costs, corporate taxes and such.
One girlfriend reflected on how the principal and teachers felt when one parent in her child’s centre complained about a past fee increase, and demanded an explanation in front of other parents.
We’ll definitely feel the pinch of rising costs, but I think we should take the effort to find out more about why it’s rising and examine our spending habits, instead of having a ‘victim’ attitude about it.