The amount of money parents spend on their kids differs in Russia depending on salaries and number of other factors. Some prefer to invest in education, while others try to raise sports champions. In Russia, there’s no official research on parents’ spending on kids, but according to some polls families are most likely to fork out on educating their children as opposed holidays. So how much does it cost to raise kids in Russia?
Newborns and new expenditures
Newborn in Murmansk.
Pavel Lvov/Sputnik Parents witness a baby-sized hole in their wallets right after the child is born: A baby carriage, clothes, cosmetics for bathing and hygiene, and more are needed. The price for such things depends on the brand and the size of one’s bank account. For example, a baby carriage usually costs anywhere from 10,000 rubles ($170) but many people buy second-hand baby equipment to save money. In Moscow, mothers are given free clothes, cosmetics, bed linen, and a thermometer for their baby.
All Russians, including children, have an obligatory medical insurance policy so they can get medical assistance for free or at reduced rates. But as kids often fall ill, parents need to spend money on medicine. For example, when a kid catches a cold one visit to a pharmacy costs on average about 1,000 rubles ($17). Some parents use private healthcare assistance and the price depends on the company.
Kindergartens and schools
A girl at Kindergarten No. 406, Moscow.
Vladimir Astapkovich/Sputnik Parents can take their kid to a state kindergarten from the age of three, but they normally have to wait in a queue for a long time when they sign up. The payment for kindergarten depends on the region. Mother of two Tatyana Rusakova from the Moscow Region says she pays 3,000 rubles ($50) on school fees for her toddler every month.
Maria Zagryadskaya, a mother of two small daughters, says she pays about 2,400 rubles for a state kindergarten in Moscow, but some lessons are not included. For example, drawing classes cost 1,500 rubles ($25) a month. Moreover, she pays “donations” to the kindergarten – about 9,000 rubles ($155) every year. Tatyana pays about 4,000 rubles ($70) as a donation each year.
If parents cannot wait or would like their child to start kindergarten earlier, they can choose a private one. The average price starts from 25,000 rubles ($430) a month in Moscow. Another option is to hire a nanny – from 300 rubles ($5) per hour in Moscow and from 150 ($2.5) rubles per hour in other regions. According to ROMIR (March 2018), only one percent of Russian families employ a nanny, while 10 to 15 percent ask grandparents to babysit.
The Russian Constitution guarantees free secondary education for children, so the vast majority of kids study in free state schools. Only 0.7 percent of children visit private schools and the same quantity is homeschooled. But still, schools can drain a family’s budget. According to a poll conducted by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center in 2017, the average Russian family spends 12,745 rubles ($220) just to prepare a child for school. Half of this sum is spent on clothing and shoes, 1,700 rubles ($30) – for bags, the same for writing goods, 1,200 rubles ($20) for study books, 1,000 rubles ($17) towards school fees, and about 600 rubles ($10) for teachers’ gifts (in Russia, kids usually present flowers on Sept. 1). Many Russian families pay school donations, the so-called “sum for curtains” amounting to several thousands of rubles a year.