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Tuition Fees of Montessori Schools in the Philippines

HuntersWoodsPH Montessori Schools Philippines Tuition Fees 2020

If you’re a parent reading this article, then it’s safe to say that you’re someone who wants to provide your child the best education you can possibly give them. We parents may have different ideas about what a good education means, but many of us believe that it’s one of the most important things our kids can “inherit” from us. And that’s why — even though we know and acknowledge that a large part of our children’s success in school comes from their own drive, discipline, and desire to learn — we consider a good school a worthwhile investment because of the learning environment that they provide. Some of us even set aside our Christmas bonuses (or 13th month pay) for our kids’ tuition fees. And since my son went to a Montessori preschool and now goes to a Montessori elementary school, I know that one of the biggest factors that people consider when deciding whether or not to enroll their kids in a Montessori school is the tuition fee. However, most Montessori schools (and most schools here in the Philippines, really) don’t make this information publicly available in their websites, and so I took it upon myself to compile in this article all the information I could find about the school fees of Montessori schools in the Philippines. I’m hoping that this will help fellow parents out there as they try to make the best educational decisions for their children.

Why Montessori in Particular?

Before we go into the numbers, I know a lot of people will wonder what makes Montessori schools special. Or, you know — are they really all that special in the first place?! In fact, as I was researching this article, I came across a lot of comments that were along the line of: 

  • “Why do you have to spend so much? You’re just paying for the prestige.”
  • “If your child’s a good student, he will be a good student no matter what, so it doesn’t matter what school he goes to.”
  • “Anyway, a lot of kids from public schools pass the entrance exams of Ateneo and UP.”
  • “Some kids from public schools have even topped the board exams.”

 

And I understand those sentiments. My parents studied in public elementary schools and they turned out fine. Both my high school and university were technically public. I know lots of people — cousins, friends, etc. — with a public school background who did very well later on. Conversely, I know of some private schools that sort of specialize in accepting drop-outs with attitude problems from other schools. So I absolutely agree that it’s not a matter of public vs. private. Anyone who thinks that a private school graduate is automatically better than a public school graduate is just plain ignorant. Prestige is also the least of my concerns.

HuntersWoodsPH Montessori Schools Philippines Tuition Fees 2020
Having said that, I think going to a good school does matter: not because of the school itself, or its status, but because of the learning environment that it provides. It’s important to me that a school fosters a lifelong love of learning (for reasons I’ve already expounded here). Because different students have different strengths and weaknesses, and different interests, I prefer a school that makes sure all the basics are covered but lets students learn at their own pace, taking as long as they need or want to with a particular topic, all while maintaining a standard of excellence, so that no student is left behind but neither is any student unnecessarily slowed down. Finally, it’s important to me that a school places importance on character and values and actively promotes respect, understanding, and kindness. A good Montessori school — an authentic Montessori school, mind you — checks all those boxes. (If you don’t know a whole lot about Montessori yet, this article is a pretty good introduction.) Individualized, child-led education (self-pacing) and a lifelong love of learning, in particular, are at the very core of Montessori education, such that checking for them is one of the ways you can tell if a school really adheres to Montessori principles or is Montessori only in name.

Tuition Fees of Montessori Schools in the Philippines

It’s impossible to put together a complete list of Montessori schools in the Philippines and their respective school fees but hopefully the information below will give you some idea about costs. (Four schools have more information available than just their starting annual fees and those four will be discussed in more detail in the following section.) Please take note that some of the information about school fees are from previous years because the latest numbers aren’t publicly available.
SchoolCityFeesRemarks
The Abba's OrchardCagayan de Oro / Baungon (Bukidnon)

87,000

Starting annual fees as of 2019 (Source)
The Abba's OrchardMuntinlupa

150,000

Starting annual fees as of 2017 (Source)
The Abba's OrchardTaguig

140,000

Starting annual fees as of 2018 (Source)
Appleseed MontessoriMakati / Taguig

80,000

Starting annual fees as of 2018 (Source)
Casa Montessori InternationaleMakati

530,000

Starting annual fees as of 2017 (Source)
Children's Paradise Montessori SchoolMandaue (Cebu)

51,100

Annual fees as of 2020 adjusted for COVID home learning set-up (See below)
DML Montessori School Quezon City

69,700

Starting annual fees as of 2018 (Source)
Family Montessori Preschool of LoyolaQuezon City / Marikina

125,000

Starting annual fees as of 2019 (Source)
I.D.E.A.S. MontessoriQuezon City

130,000

Starting annual fees as of 2019 (Source)
Integrated Montessori CenterTaguig

70,500

Annual fees as of 2020 adjusted for COVID home learning set-up (Source)
Josemaria MontessoriLas Piñas

65,000

Starting annual fees as of 2019 (Source)
Learning Garden Montessori SchoolParañaque

81,500

Annual fees as of 2020 adjusted for COVID home learning set-up (Source)
Maria Montessori Foundation (Ayala Alabang)Muntinlupa

178,730

Starting annual fees as of 2015 (Source)
Maria Montessori International SchoolCebu

55,045

Annual fees as of 2020 adjusted for COVID home learning set-up (Source)
Montessori De Manila (MDM)Las Piñas

78,005

Starting annual fees as of 2016 (Source)
Mother Goose PlayskoolMakati

89,000

Starting annual fees as of 2017 (Source); mix of Montessori, Piagetian and Open Classroom
OB MontessoriSan Juan

160,000

Starting annual fees as of 2017 (Source)
Philippine Montessori CenterQuezon City

140,000

Starting annual fees as of 2017 (Source)
Saint Paul’s MontessoriMarikina

35,000

Starting annual fees as of 2019 (Source)
St. Dominic Montessori de ManilaManila

38,000

Starting annual fees as of 2015 (Source)
University of San Carlos BED Montessori AcademyCebu

56,530

Starting annual fees as of 2015 (See below)
It’s worth noting that a school that has “Montessori” in its name does not necessarily adhere strictly to Montessori principles so it would really be worth your while to read up on the Montessori methods and ask the school relevant questions before you decide to enroll. Do students listen to lectures for most of the day? Do they follow the same schedule and study the same lessons at any given point in the school year? So…is it really child-led education? These are important questions to ask because it’s the “high fidelity classic Montessori programs” that have been found to give their students an advantage in executive function, reading, math, vocabulary, and social problem-solving over both conventional and lower fidelity Montessori programs. (Lillard, 2012; see also Marshall, 2017) Also, another thing that you have to clarify with the Montessori school you’re interested in is: what other fees are you expected to pay over the course of the school year? For example, aside from tuition and miscellaneous fees, your child might have to pay for extra things like snacks, sports, music, and language lessons, as well as other expenses, and those might actually be mandatory, so extra fees are definitely something you should be aware of.
HuntersWoodsPH Montessori Schools Philippines Tuition Fees 2020

School Fees of Abba’s Orchard, CPMS, MMIS, and USC Montessori: The Details

Thanks to the industry and generosity of a couple of parents, we have a bit more detailed information about the tuition and other fees of the following Montessori schools in the Philippines:

  • The Abba’s Orchard (Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro)
  • Children’s Paradise Montessori School (Cebu)
  • Maria Montessori International School (Cebu)
  • University of San Carlos Montessori Academy (Cebu)

Tuition fees and other school fees of The Abba’s Orchard – Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon (2019)

The Abba’s Orchard actually has a lot of campuses in the Philippines, and in 2019, a mom documented her child’s free three-day immersion at The Abba’s Orchard campus in Cagayan de Oro City. The application form that she was given detailed the school fees at Abba’s Orchard, and although the photo that she uploaded wasn’t very clear, it appears that the whole-year fees — which included locker fees, classroom/farm consumables, science and geo lab fees, computer fees — were approximately:

  • Infant Community – 87,000+
  • Casa 1 – 89,000+
  • Casa 2 – 90,000+
  • Casa Whole Day – 94,000+
  • Level 1 – 97,000+
  • Level 2 – 103,000+
  • Level 3 – 104,000+
  • Level 4 – 106,000+

 

Additional fees include:

  • Chinese language – 900-1000/month
  • Painting – 850/month
  • Swimming safety program – 4500/semester
  • Swimming training – 3000/month
  • Soccer training – 500/month
  • After school care – 800/month
  • Shuttle fees – variable

 

The Abba’s Orchard website specifically notes that school fees may vary and that inquiries should be directed towards the campus that the parent/child is interested in. However, these fees generally seem in line with the P140,000 and P150,000 yearly school fees that were reported for Ft. Bonifacio (Taguig) and Alabang (Muntinlupa), respectively.

Tuition fees and other school fees of University of San Carlos BED Montessori Academy – Cebu City (2015)

A photo uploaded to a community forum reported that University of San Carlos Basic Education Department (BED) Montessori Academy’s school fees way back academic year 2015-2016 were as follows:

  • Preschool level
    • PHP 56,530.42 (regular)
    • PHP 64,905.75 (with need)
  • Lower elementary level
    • PHP 61,927.58 (regular)
    • PHP 76,921.83 (with need)
  • Upper elementary level and lower erdkinder level
    • PHP 65,866.98 (regular)
    • PHP 81,534.29 (with need)

 

Since these rates were from five years ago, they might have substantially changed, since schools generally increase their rates gradually. Then again, some schools have adjusted for the extraordinary situation brought about by movement restrictions due to COVID-19 pandemic, and these adjustments may have attenuated the effects of tuition fee increases.

Tuition fees and other school fees of Maria Montessori International School (MMIS) – Cebu City (2020)

Maria Montessori International School (MMIS) was one of the Montessori schools in the Philippines that adjusted their rates due to the ongoing pandemic. They’re actually the only school in this article whose rates were publicly available on their website; it took only a bit of digging to uncover it in the forms in their Admission page

 

The MMIS adjusted total annual fees for the academic year 2020-2021 are as follows:

  • Preschool
    • Play group, nursery and pre-kindergarten – Php 55,045
    • Kindergarten – Php 57,045
  • Elementary
    • Grades 1 to 5 – Php 61,525
    • Grade 6 – Php 64,025
  • Junior high school
    • Grades 7 to 9 – Php 64,825
    • Grade 10 – Php 66,225
  • Senior high school
    • Grade 11 – Php 69,125
    • Grade 12 – Php 73,780
HuntersWoodsPH Montessori Schools Philippines Tuition Fees 2020

Tuition fees and other school fees of Children’s Paradise Montessori School (CPMS) – Mandaue City, Cebu (2020)

Children’s Paradise Montessori School also adjusted their rates in light of the difficulties being faced by practically everyone due to the pandemic, but unlike some other Montessori schools, they offered their students two options: Option A – Virtual Classroom (basically, online sessions supervised by CPMS teachers) and Option B – Modular (parent-supervised). I couldn’t find their rates for students with special needs but they will obviously be higher compared to those of “regular” students as detailed below.

 

The CPMS adjusted total school fees for the academic year 2020-2021 are as follows:

  • Option A (Individualized Home Program with Virtual Classroom)
    • Toddler – Php 67,900
    • Pre-school – Php 70,600
    • Lower elementary – Php 96,000
    • Upper elementary – Php 103,000
  • Option B (Modular Individualized Home Program)
    • Toddler – Php 51,100
    • Pre-school – Php 52,900
    • Lower elementary – Php 70,900
    • Upper elementary – Php 79,500

Other Factors to Consider

When choosing a school for your child, price is a big consideration but not the only consideration. Traffic, for example! It didn’t use to be such a big problem if a school you were interested in is in the other side of town, but nowadays — pre-COVID, anyway — that’s become a really big factor, especially if your kids are still really young and there’s just no way you can justify waking them up at 5 AM so they won’t be late for their class at 8:30 AM. Obviously, it also really matters what your own values and goals are: what you expect your child to get out of their school in addition to learning their letters and numbers. If you want them to form connections that could prove useful to them as adults, for example, that’s going to be something that will matter when you choose a school for them. Also, if your kids are old enough, what they actually want! And then there’s big school vs. small school, traditional vs. progressive, etc. 

 

As for me, I’m really happy with where my son is right now, and I would say that his incredible self-motivation and his attitude towards learning, as well as his actual skills and knowledge, are truly worth our investment in an authentic Montessori education.

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