The Cost of Raising a Child in the Philippines

Last Updated – Apr 22, 2024 @ 8:28 pm

Quick Take

How much does it cost to raise a child in the Philippines?

Parents in the Philippines may find themselves spending a minimum of ₱20,000 monthly or ₱300,000 annually from birth until the child reaches 18 years. This financial commitment suggests that a combined household income of at least ₱150,000 per month is optimal to comfortably cover basic needs, unforeseen emergencies, and long-term investments in the child’s future.
 
It’s worth noting that the costs dramatically increase by 40% to 80% when raising a child with disabilities, according to a UNICEF study. This covers daily living, medical care, and specialized education. 

Wherever you go in the Philippines, parents have a common pursuit – to provide the best for their children.

However, with the ever-rising cost of living, magnified by projected inflation rates of 3.7% for 2024 and 3.2% for 2025 as per the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, many parents find themselves recalibrating their budgets and plans.

These inflationary pressures mean that the cost of necessities today will increase, thus urging parents to be more cautious and adaptable in their budgeting and long-term planning.

While adding a new member to your family is a journey that is filled with joy, raising a child should be seen as a calculated venture.

Practical questions must be answered amidst this happy milestone:

  • How much will it cost to raise a child in the Philippines?
  • What should families anticipate as they navigate the early years of parenthood, schooling, and beyond?
  • How can parents navigate the financial challenges that come with parenthood?

This article will answer these pressing questions and give you a picture of how much it costs to raise a child in the Philippines.

It’s a helpful guide for those who feel the weight of parenthood, guardians looking for updated cost estimates, and everyone in between. 

Basic Needs

Food and Nutrition

Cost: ₱700 to ₱4,000 per month

Feeding a child in the Philippines varies greatly depending on location, access to markets, as well as your family’s lifestyle choices. 

On average, a family can expect to spend approximately ₱200 to ₱300 per day on meals per child. However, this figure adjusts depending on your location and dietary needs. 

Special nutritional needs like infant formula can significantly add to this cost, with monthly expenses ranging from ₱700 to ₱4,000 depending on the brand.

Meanwhile, dietary supplements and vitamins that are essential for a child’s health vary greatly based on what’s prescribed by doctors or preferred by parents.

Comparing Costs: Home-Cooked Meals vs. Pre-Packaged Food

It’s worth noting that home-cooked meals are the traditional backbone of Filipino family dining. It’s not just for being cost-effective but it also promotes bonding and healthier eating habits. 

A home-cooked meal’s cost mostly relies on local ingredient prices, but it generally remains lower than going to restaurants. For instance, a typical home-cooked meal might cost around ₱50 to ₱250 per serving, while a comparable meal from a restaurant could be triple or even quadruple that. 

The conversation around food costs extends beyond the daily expenses. The nutritional quality and the social aspects of eating should also be considered. 

That said, the trade-off is pretty obvious. The rising trend of dual-income families and busy schedules has led to an increased reliance on convenient food options, which may be costlier and less nutritious.

Clothing

Cost: ₱500 to ₱2,000 per month

Clothing expenses for children in the Philippines fluctuate with age. The social activities of kids also play a part in how much it costs. 

For instance, with the rapid growth rates of infants and toddlers, they might require new sets of clothes every few months. 

On average, parents might spend anywhere from ₱500 to ₱2,000 monthly for an infant’s clothing. As children grow and their clothing sizes stabilize, these costs might decrease.

As expected, this will increase again as kids become more socially active and brand-conscious in their teenage years.

Keep in mind that growth spurts can significantly impact clothing expenses. No matter how much parents prepare for this, it may still catch them off guard.

A child may outgrow their wardrobe within months, especially during the early years and pre-adolescence. 

To manage these costs, parents often turn to hand-me-downs and local markets for affordable options. Buying clothes a size larger can also extend usability. 


Healthcare Costs

Cost: ₱1,000 to ₱6,000 per month

Access to quality healthcare is a crucial aspect of raising a child. Regular medical checkups, vaccinations, and dental care are crucial in the early years of your baby’s life. 

A standard check-up at a private clinic can cost anywhere from ₱500 to ₱1,500, but this can increase if your pediatrician’s reputation is topnotch. 

That said, the Philippine government provides free vaccinations (essential vaccines) for children through public health centers.

However, additional vaccines not covered might cost from ₱1,500 to ₱5,000 each. Parents also need to consider the regular cost of dental checkups and other specialist visits as part of ongoing healthcare.

It’s worth noting that children in the Philippines are in danger of facing illnesses such as dengue, measles, and various respiratory infections, and the cost of treating these can vary significantly based on the severity and treatment required. 

For example, treating a typical case of the flu might only require over-the-counter medication and rest, costing a few hundred pesos, but hospitalization for more severe illnesses like dengue can quickly escalate to tens of thousands of pesos.

Preventative care, including clean living environments and proper nutrition, plays a crucial role in managing these potential costs.

Health Insurance Options and Expenses

Cost: ₱400 to ₱4,200 per month

Health insurance is an essential consideration for many Filipino families, especially because healthcare expenses can be extremely unpredictable.

Public health insurance through PhilHealth offers basic coverage, which significantly reduces various medical expenses, including hospitalizations and some outpatient treatments. 

However, many parents opt for additional private health insurance for broader coverage and to fill the gaps of PhilHealth.

This can range from ₱7,000 to ₱50,000 annually depending on the plan and number of dependents covered. 


Education Expenses

Cost: ₱8,000 to ₱20,000 per month (Private schools)

Filipinos place a high value on academic achievement. There is an expectation for children to pursue higher education to improve their employment prospects.

The Philippine education system is divided into kindergarten, elementary (primary education), junior high (lower secondary), and senior high (upper secondary). Lastly, there is college or university education.

Related: College Courses in the Philippines

Public education is nominally free or very affordable at the elementary and high school levels, but various additional costs can still accumulate.

Private education offers an alternative, often with different curricula and facilities, at a premium. As expected, the choice between public and private education greatly affects household budgets.

Public schools do not charge tuition fees, but incidental costs such as uniforms, books, and school supplies can amount to several thousand pesos annually. Private schooling costs vary widely but can range from ₱50,000 to over ₱200,000 per year for tuition alone, with top schools charging much more.

Related: Tuition Fees in the Philippines

These schools are known for smaller class sizes, better facilities, and sometimes more advanced curricula. To cover this, parents may need to make sacrifices to afford it, including working extra jobs, cutting back on other expenses, or relying on extended family support.

When it comes to the cost of studies, pre-elementary and elementary education in private institutions typically sit at the lower end of this range, with costs increasing for secondary education and peaking for college.

Uniforms, books, and school supplies are necessary expenses for all students. A set of uniforms can cost ₱1,000 to ₱10,000 per year, and books and supplies can add another ₱2,000 to ₱10,000 annually. Meanwhile, transportation or school bus fees can also be significant. 

Extra-curricular activities, whether sports, arts, or academic clubs, also add to the expense, ranging from ₱2,000 to ₱10,000 or more per year depending on the activity and level of involvement. These costs require careful consideration, particularly for families with multiple children.


Housing and Utilities

Cost: ₱12,000 to ₱40,000 per month

The arrival of a child often inspires families in the Philippines to change or reconsider their living arrangements. A larger space or a more child-friendly environment becomes a priority. Moving from a one-bedroom to a two-bedroom home can increase rent or housing costs significantly, especially in urban areas. 

For instance, while a one-bedroom unit might cost around ₱10,000 ₱15,000 per month in a city like Manila, a two-bedroom can jump to ₱15,000 to ₱25,000 or more. Buying a larger home also involves a substantial increase in investment, with prices varying widely by location and type of housing.

Beyond the basic need for more space, parents must also create a safe and stimulating environment for their children. Plan for safety modifications like securing furniture and electrical outlets, creating dedicated play and study areas, and ensuring the home is conducive to a child’s health and well-being. All these add to living expenses. 

Furthermore, the addition of a child causes utility costs to naturally increase. Electricity costs for additional appliances, like baby monitors or air conditioning in the child’s room, and increased water usage for laundry and bathing can add approximately 10% to 20% to the utility bills.

This can mean an additional ₱500 to ₱2,000 per month, depending on the existing usage patterns and the specific needs of the family.


Childcare and Extra Supervision

Cost: ₱4,000 to ₱10,000 per month

For working parents, daycare or babysitting becomes an essential service. Monthly daycare costs in the Philippines can range from ₱3,000 to ₱10,000 or more, depending on the facility’s quality and location.

Babysitting fees vary, but on average, they might cost anywhere from ₱300 to ₱600 per day for a full-time or part-time nanny. To save money, parents can rely on their relatives.  

Expenses Related to After-School Care or Activities

After-school care is another expense, especially for older children involved in extracurricular activities. Costs can vary significantly based on the type of activity and frequency.

For example, tutoring might cost ₱300 to ₱700 per session, while ongoing classes or sports activities might add ₱2,000 to ₱5,000 per month to the family budget.


Leisure and Miscellaneous Expenses

Cost: ₱2,600 to ₱17,600 per month

While toys and games are integral to childhood, their costs can accumulate. A modest monthly budget for toys might be around ₱1,000 to ₱3,000. Digital entertainment, such as educational apps or streaming services, adds more, potentially another ₱200 to ₱500 monthly.

Meanwhile, outings and vacations are important for family bonding. A simple day trip might cost a few thousand pesos, while a more extended family vacation can easily reach tens of thousands.

Budgeting for these experiences is important for many families, who might set aside ₱5,000 to ₱50,000 annually for special trips.

Birthdays, religious celebrations, and other special occasions are typically celebrated with gatherings and gifts.

Families might spend ₱1,000 to ₱10,000 on a child’s birthday party, while costs for participating in or hosting holiday events can vary widely based on traditions and expectations.


Quick Tips to Help you Prepare

Education is highly valued, and saving for college is a significant concern of parents. The cost of higher education varies widely, but parents might aim to save several hundred thousand pesos to cover tuition and related expenses throughout their child’s degree.

Starting a savings plan early, such as through educational plans or mutual funds, can help manage this substantial future expense.

Considering the long-term health and well-being of a child, many parents invest in healthcare (HMO) or life insurance plans. These might cost high but it provides significant peace of mind and financial security against unforeseen health issues or accidents.

Moreover, an emergency fund is crucial for sudden expenses, such as unexpected medical emergencies or natural disasters common in the Philippines.

Parents are advised to maintain a fund equivalent to three to six months of expenses, which could be anywhere from ₱50,000 to ₱500,000 or more, depending on the family’s living costs and income.

This acts as a safety net that helps families maintain stability through unexpected challenges.

Here are a few quick tips to help you prepare:

1. Create a Budget and Start Saving

Assess your current financial situation and create a budget that accounts for the added expenses of a child.

Start saving as early as possible to build a financial cushion.

2. Reduce Debt

Work towards paying off or reducing high-interest debts like credit card balances or personal loans.

Consider debt consolidation or refinancing options to lower interest rates.

3. Emergency Fund

Aim to have an emergency fund that covers 3-6 months of living expenses.

This fund can be a lifesaver for unexpected expenses or income disruptions.

4. Understand and Plan for Childcare Costs

Research childcare options and their costs in your area.

Consider how childcare will fit into your budget and if/how it will affect your employment.

5. Health Insurance

Ensure you have a health insurance plan that adequately covers pregnancy, birth, and pediatric care.

Familiarize yourself with the terms of your insurance and any out-of-pocket costs you might expect.

6. Plan for Education Expenses

Consider the costs of education, from daycare to higher education.

Explore saving options like education savings accounts or 529 plans.

7. Life Insurance and Will

Look into life insurance policies to provide financial security for your family in case of any unforeseen events.

Draft a will to protect your child’s future, including guardianship considerations.

8. Maternity/Paternity Leave

Understand your employer’s maternity/paternity leave policies and how they might affect your income.

Plan and save for any unpaid portion of your leave.

9. Government Benefits and Tax Breaks

Research any government benefits, tax credits, or deductions you may be eligible for as parents.

These can include child tax credits, childcare subsidies, or family-related social welfare programs.

10. Long-Term Financial Planning

Review and adjust your long-term financial goals, including savings, investments, retirement plans, and education funds.

11. Lifestyle Adjustments

Be prepared to adjust your lifestyle to align with your new budget, which may mean cutting back on discretionary spending.

Remember, while the financial aspect is important, being emotionally and physically prepared is equally crucial for starting a family.

Consider seeking advice from financial advisors, and always keep an open line of communication with your partner about financial expectations and planning.


9 Things to Consider Before Starting a Family in the Philippines

Deciding to start a family is one of the most significant and life-altering choices a couple can make. As the excitement of bringing a new life into the world grows, so does the importance of being thoroughly prepared. 

1. Financial Considerations

Assessing Financial Stability: Income, Savings, Debts

Before welcoming a new member into your family, it’s imperative to assess your financial landscape. This includes a thorough review of your income, savings, and any outstanding debts.

Furthermore, ask yourself: Is your career stable? Do you have enough saved for emergencies?

Understand your monthly budget, and consider how a child will fit into this scenario. It’s not just about affording the initial years but looking forward to the long-term financial implications, including education, healthcare, and general living expenses. 

Estimating the Cost of Raising a Child

The cost of raising a child covers various aspects, from healthcare and education to daily living expenses like food, clothing, and shelter.

Research and calculate estimated costs in your specific region of the Philippines and most importantly, take into consideration the lifestyle you wish to provide to your family.

Remember, these costs will escalate as the child grows, with different phases of life bringing in new types of expenses.

Planning for Long-Term Financial Commitments

Set aside savings for your child’s education. This can be sizeable, especially if you’re considering private schooling or university education, or if you plan on covering their master’s education.

Look into education funds or saving plans that benefit from compounding over time.

Health insurance is another critical aspect, ensuring that your child’s medical needs can be covered without causing financial distress.


2. Cost of Giving Birth in the Philippines

The actual act of bringing your child into the world comes with its own set of costs. Hospital bills for delivery vary widely between public and private hospitals and can be influenced by the type of delivery (natural vs. cesarean) and any unexpected complications.

Birth and delivery in the hospital can range from ₱15,000 to ₱100,000 without insurance, while cesarean section in the hospital can go up to ₱170,000. 

Apart from the delivery costs, here is a comprehensive checklist of items that Filipino parents should prepare for the arrival of their newborn.

Infant Clothing:

  • Onesies or bodysuits
  • Sleepsuits and pajamas
  • Swaddles or receiving blankets
  • Caps and mittens
  • Socks 

Feeding Supplies:

  • Breastfeeding equipment (breast pump, storage bags, nursing bras)
  • Bottles if bottle-feeding
  • Formula, if not exclusively breastfeeding
  • Burp cloths
  • Bibs 

Nursery Essentials:

  • Crib, bassinet, or co-sleeper
  • Firm mattress and waterproof covers
  • Fitted crib sheets
  • Lightweight blankets
  • Baby monitor 

Diapering:

  • Newborn diapers
  • Wipes and soft cloths
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Changing pad or table 

Bathing and Grooming:

  • Baby bathtub
  • Gentle baby soap and shampoo
  • Soft towels or hooded bathrobes
  • Baby lotion
  • Soft hairbrush or comb
  • Nail clippers or scissors 

Healthcare:

  • Digital thermometer
  • Nasal aspirator
  • Medicine dropper or spoon
  • First-aid kit
  • Pediatrician-recommended medications

Travel Gear:

  • Infant car seat
  • Stroller or baby carrier 

Others:

  • Pacifiers
  • Teething toys
  • Soft, washable toys for stimulation
  • Baby book or journal

Ensuring you have these items ready before the baby arrives can help alleviate some of the stress of those first few weeks.

While this list covers the essentials, it’s also wise to consider your own lifestyle, space, budget, and the climate in your part of the Philippines when choosing products.

Additionally, speaking to other parents and consulting with pediatricians can provide personalized recommendations and advice tailored to your baby’s specific needs.


3. Emotional and Relationship Readiness

Evaluating the Strength and Stability of the Relationship

A strong, stable relationship provides the best environment for children. Evaluate the strength and resilience of your partnership.

Are you both ready to face the sleepless nights, the stress, and the joys that come with a new child?

It’s not just about being ready for the good times but also for the challenging moments that test relationships.

Understanding the Emotional Impact and Responsibilities 

Parenthood is emotionally rewarding and demanding. Understanding and preparing for the shift in lifestyle, priorities, and personal time is essential.

Parenthood involves a perpetual state of worry, happiness, and responsibility that you’ve never experienced before. Both partners must be mentally and emotionally prepared for this change.

Discussing Parenting Styles and Values Alignment

Discuss and align parenting styles and values with your partner before having a child.

How will you discipline your baby? What values do you want to instill? How will you handle education, religion, and cultural teachings?

These are hard topics to discuss but going through them one by one can prevent conflicts and ensure a cohesive approach to raising your child.


4. Career and Lifestyle Implications

Balancing Career Goals with Parenting Responsibilities

Whether you like it or not, your career will be affected by having a child. Discuss maternity and paternity leave options and any potential career breaks or part-time work considerations.

Understand your employer’s stance on parenting responsibilities and any support they offer, such as flexible working arrangements.

Adjustments in Daily Routines and Lifestyle Changes

A child changes daily routines significantly. Leisure time, socializing, and even simple activities like shopping become more complicated.

Discuss how you’ll manage these changes and share responsibilities. Consider the impact on your hobbies, travel plans, and personal goals.


5. Health Considerations

Preconception Health

Both partners should be in good health before pregnancy. This includes managing any chronic conditions, ensuring a healthy diet, and possibly undergoing genetic screening.

Mental health is just as important, especially because stress and anxiety can affect both conception and the health of the pregnancy.

Understanding Genetic Health and Family History

A thorough understanding of both partners’ family medical histories can prepare you for potential health issues in your child.

Certain conditions are hereditary, and knowing these can guide medical decisions and preparedness.

Access to and Quality of Healthcare Services

Consider the accessibility and quality of healthcare services in your area.

Are there reputable hospitals and pediatricians nearby?

How will healthcare costs be covered?

In case of emergencies, how quickly can you access the necessary services?


6. Support System

Assessing the Availability of a Support Network

A strong support network of family and friends can be invaluable for new parents. They provide emotional support, practical help, and sometimes even financial assistance.

Evaluate the strength of your current network and how they might be involved in your child’s life. 

Options for Childcare Support

For many parents, returning to work requires finding reliable childcare support.

Does your network involve your immediate family, distant relatives, friends, a private nanny, a daycare center, or a mixture of all these?

Weight the pros and cons of each option, including costs, reliability, and the potential impact on the child’s development and well-being.


7. Living Situation

Evaluating the Adequacy of Current Living Space

Consider whether your current living situation is suitable for a child. Do you have enough space, or is moving necessary?

Is the environment safe and conducive to raising a child? These questions might lead to decisions about relocating or renovating. 


8. Long-term Planning

Discussing and Aligning Future Goals and Aspirations

Where do you see your family in 5, 10, or 20 years?

Discussing these long-term visions and ensuring alignment is needed. This involves not only financial planning but also envisioning the type of lifestyle, education, and values they want for their children.

Questions such as the desired level of education, the type of neighborhood they want to live in, or the cultural and spiritual upbringing of the children should be.

This conversation should also extend to career aspirations and how they align with family goals.

For instance, if one parent wishes to pursue further education or a career opportunity abroad, how does this impact the family dynamics?

Finding a balance between individual aspirations and collective family needs is tricky, but possible. The key is to ensure decisions are made that support the overall well-being and happiness of all family members.

Considering the Impact on Retirement and Long-Term Financial Planning

A child will affect your financial planning, including retirement.

Adjust your saving strategies accordingly. It’s never too early to start thinking about how adding a family member will change your financial needs in the long term.


9. Legal and Administrative Preparations

Understanding Parental Rights and Responsibilities

In the Philippines, parental rights encompass the legal authority to make decisions regarding a child’s welfare, education, and health.

Parents have the right to custody, which includes the care and control over the child. They are also entitled to make decisions about the child’s education, religious upbringing, and health care.

These rights are recognized to ensure that the child’s best interests are always the primary consideration.

However, these rights come with the understanding that parents will act in the best interest of their child, providing the necessary support, protection, and guidance.

The law also provides for situations where parental rights can be relinquished or terminated in cases of abuse, neglect, or incapacity.

Preparing Necessary Legal Documentation

There are several legal documents and preparations to consider when having a child.

This includes registering the birth, updating wills and insurance policies, and considering guardianship if something were to happen to you. Preparing these in advance can avoid complications later on.


Starting a family is a beautiful and complex journey with many factors to consider. While it’s impossible to be completely prepared for every scenario, addressing the considerations listed above can provide a strong foundation for your expanding family. 

Whether it’s financial readiness, understanding the emotional and physical demands, or just ensuring you have a strong support system, prioritize these building blocks for a happy and healthy family life.

About MJ de Castro

MJ de Castro is the lead personal finance columnist at Grit PH.

MJ started her career as a writer for her local government’s City Information Office. Later on, she became a news anchor on PTV Davao del Norte.

Wanting to break free from the shackles of her 9-to-5 career to live by the beach, she pursued remote work. Over the years, she has developed a wide specialization on health, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, branding, and travel.

Now, she juggles writing professionally, her business centering on women’s menstrual health, and surfing.

Education: Ateneo de Davao University (AB Mass Communication)
Focus: Personal Finance, Personal Development, Entrepreneurship, & Marketing

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