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Expat Schooling Benefits

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ddarling
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Expat Schooling Benefits

Postby ddarling » Sat, 26 May 2012 4:09 am

I need some help in determining what is the "norm" when it comes to dependent schooling. British expat wants to put their child in school at 3.5 years old. I understand that in the U.K. at this age, there is 15 hours of nursery school provided by the government but not sure this should be something the company needs to pay for, but of course want to be fair. Can you please give me a sense on what your companies are doing for you in this regard? Would it be unresonable to say the company pays for schooling starting the first regular year?

Thanks for your imput.

NorrinRadd
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Postby NorrinRadd » Sat, 26 May 2012 9:21 am

Nothing. Our companies contribute nothing. It's all out of pocket.

Perhaps you mistook this forum for the Rich Expat Forum, or Camelot. It is neither. Although this is a silly place.

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zzm9980
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Re: Expat Schooling Benefits

Postby zzm9980 » Sat, 26 May 2012 10:12 am

ddarling wrote:I need some help in determining what is the "norm" when it comes to dependent schooling. British expat wants to put their child in school at 3.5 years old. I understand that in the U.K. at this age, there is 15 hours of nursery school provided by the government but not sure this should be something the company needs to pay for, but of course want to be fair. Can you please give me a sense on what your companies are doing for you in this regard? Would it be unresonable to say the company pays for schooling starting the first regular year?

Thanks for your imput.


It's all about whatever you (the expat) can negotiate. There is no 'standard'. As alluded to by Norin, the number of expats who negotiate for and receive schooling assistance is dramatically lower than it may have been a few years ago. I know (many) expats making $5-10k/month with no other reimbursements, and I know one friend of a friend who makes $30k/month and has his $14k/month 4-bed penthouse (he's single) off Orchard reimbursed, but complains about how unfair it is he doesn't have a car allowance and needs to take MRT every day from Somerset to Raffle's place.

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Postby scarbowl » Sat, 26 May 2012 11:12 am

NorrinRadd wrote:Nothing. Our companies contribute nothing. It's all out of pocket.

Perhaps you mistook this forum for the Rich Expat Forum, or Camelot. It is neither. Although this is a silly place.
It isn't just "rich expats" who receive schooling benefits. That you don't says something about your company, not the OP.

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Postby movingtospore » Sat, 26 May 2012 12:54 pm

OP, if you are in HR, you should know the answer to this question.

What I would say is, if you want to keep this employee in Singapore for more than a few years you better pay for schools. Otherwise, he or she, like hundreds and thousands of other expats here, will come for a couple of years, get fed up and leave.

The way I look at it is, the Singapore government, along with population growth here, has made it next to impossible for foreigners to enroll in local schools. So, we have no other choice. So if the government isn't going to truly welcome foreigners and make the school system inclusive, then the companies bringing people here should be responsible for schooling costs.

That's not necessarily the reality though.

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Postby movingtospore » Sat, 26 May 2012 12:55 pm

That said would suspect companies that do so would pay from age 5 and up.

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Postby NorrinRadd » Sat, 26 May 2012 1:16 pm

Exactly, and same here.

No one in my rather large MNC gets this allowance, except ED or MD-level transplants from other countries. I know and have known a lot of foreigners over the years of living here, very few of them not at the ED or MD level got subsidised schooling.

I do however know many foreigners paying an unsustainable amount for International School that they really can't afford, or, are now struggling to get their kids into local schools, made more difficult with the new restrictions.

So, people will leave or refuse to come in the in first place.

Anyway, I suspect the OP may not be the enquiry it appears.


movingtospore wrote:OP, if you are in HR, you should know the answer to this question.

What I would say is, if you want to keep this employee in Singapore for more than a few years you better pay for schools. Otherwise, he or she, like hundreds and thousands of other expats here, will come for a couple of years, get fed up and leave.

The way I look at it is, the Singapore government, along with population growth here, has made it next to impossible for foreigners to enroll in local schools. So, we have no other choice. So if the government isn't going to truly welcome foreigners and make the school system inclusive, then the companies bringing people here should be responsible for schooling costs.

That's not necessarily the reality though.


And for those who missed the obscure reference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Npo0cmp-VY

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Postby ddarling » Mon, 28 May 2012 1:30 am

Thanks for the comments. I am actually in HR for a U.S. oilfield services company and as someone mentioned, most expats prefer sending their children to the International School and in the past, we have completely paid for the schooling ages 5 and up to the University level. We now have employees wanting to cover pre-school at ages 2 and 3 because it would be free in their home country. Part of me says no way, the other part says just pay the extra to deep a great employee happy and wanting to stay. It just becomes hard to convince the money guys.

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 28 May 2012 9:38 am

ddarling wrote:. Part of me says no way, the other part says just pay the extra to deep a great employee happy and wanting to stay. It just becomes hard to convince the money guys.


I think you have your answer. Being in HR, I don't have to tell you it would probably be 10x more expensive to have to replace this employee than pay for the pre-school. Tell him you'll pay for NTUC :D

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Postby BigSis » Mon, 28 May 2012 7:42 pm

That one child in nursery often becomes 2 or 3 children in nursery upwards as families expand.

And they always have the local school option - although you still have to pay something for those as an expat. Maybe you could have a local school policy - you will pay the cost of local school and if they choose to send their kids private, they foot the rest of the bill.

Schooling in the home countries is free if it is the equivalent of local school - there is the option of private schools in all of our home countries but there's a reason we don't send our kids there and that's because they are expensive. If they weren't sending their kids private at home, why go private here?

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zzm9980
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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 28 May 2012 9:12 pm

BigSis wrote: If they weren't sending their kids private at home, why go private here?


to deep a great employee happy and wanting to stay.


Don't under-estimate how hard it is to replace a good employee. Especially in Singapore. You'll find yourself having to recruit another expat for twice as much :P

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Postby BigSis » Mon, 28 May 2012 10:16 pm

I'm just playing devil's advocate :twisted:

My kids go private here and wouldn't at home but we're paying for it ourselves.

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Postby movingtospore » Tue, 29 May 2012 11:19 am

BigSis wrote:That one child in nursery often becomes 2 or 3 children in nursery upwards as families expand.

And they always have the local school option - although you still have to pay something for those as an expat. Maybe you could have a local school policy - you will pay the cost of local school and if they choose to send their kids private, they foot the rest of the bill.

Schooling in the home countries is free if it is the equivalent of local school - there is the option of private schools in all of our home countries but there's a reason we don't send our kids there and that's because they are expensive. If they weren't sending their kids private at home, why go private here?


Unfortunately, this just isn't true. As a foreigner just arrived here, you can't get a place in local schools (though probably could in nursery). If you're a PR it is much easier - but - very difficult to get PR if you've just arrived. Or at all these days.

I tried two years in a row at schools across the Island and got a great big CANNOT-lah. My spouse's HR had told us prior to moving here that enrolling in local school would be no problem. It's just not the case, and people moving here need to be fair warned.

Either Singaporeans of influence, in companies, need to force their government to expand the local education system - or - they need to fund placement in private schools.

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Postby NorrinRadd » Tue, 29 May 2012 8:38 pm

Not to defend your HR person but I think 2 years ago it wasn't the issue it is now.

You're actually the prime example of the kind of foreigner Singapore can expect to start leaving in droves, and the time to no longer consider coming here.

How's that face looking with the nose cut off, gahmen?


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