Bringing Up Babies, Toddlers and Children in the Philippines

Everything for parents with young children living in the Philippines: with information on health matters and childcare options...

Child Health

In the Philippines, parents may ask for referrals to, or recommendations for a pediatrician from their GP. Parents can also make an appointment directly with their chosen pediatrician. When choosing a pediatrician, information can be obtained from reception staff at the doctor’s clinic, or the parents may choose to arrange a meeting with the doctor to find out if their methods, practices and schools of thought in relation to children’s healthcare are acceptable to them.

Childcare/nursery Education

Under Philippine law, each barangay (village) in the Philippines must have a day-care center. Day-care programs provide for young children’s learning needs, health and psychosocial needs.

Childcare options may be center-based, home-based, school-based or clinic-based (available through private and public hospitals).

Foreign nationals can choose from a wide range of day-care centers, pre-schools and playgroups. Schools catering to children aged from 2 to 6 years old are available in the Philippines. Many of these are private schools. They are mainly found in the major cities, and generally cater to the higher income groups. Many international schools have kindergartens for children aged three and upwards, check with the relevant school for admission policies and waiting lists. Parents may choose a school depending on its philosophy of education, style of teaching, size of classes, price, location, and facilities.

Pre-schools must follow guidelines set by the Department of Education (DepEd) regarding the establishment and operation of the school.

Formal and Informal Childcare

Other than preschools and day-care centres, another common childcare practice in the Philippines is to hire a nanny – also known as a yaya.

There are several online resource for those looking for au pairs, nannies or baby-sitters. Finding a nanny may also be done through employment agencies.

Hiring a nanny

By hiring through employment agencies, the parents will have access to a pool of potential applicants and the process of application and hiring may be carried out quickly. The agencies also offer provisions for replacement of the nanny during a six-month period from the signing of the agency contract. Most agencies process the necessary documents and other requirements as outlined below.

  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance (criminal record)
  • Health clearance (chest x-ray, blood test, HIV test, past illness)
  • Referrals (ask for at least two written referrals to assess character)
  • Past employee references
  • License/diploma/certificate
  • Additional information such as existence of children, number and nature of dependents

In addition to agency fees there may be other expenses involved when hiring through an agency such as transport costs and interview fees.

Another normal practice for hiring nannies is via personal referrals. This may take longer depending on the availability of potential applicants. There are no placement or service fees required, but all the other requirements and documents must be processed by the employer.

Toddler Groups

Most parents locate a toddler group through word of mouth or online. Most of them are located in the bigger cities with large expat populations. Many international women's associations organize informal playgroups for expat moms and kids living in the Philippines.