How do preschoolers in the Philippines differ from kids elsewhere?

Using research from our Little Big Kids study, here are some insights on Filipino kids aged 2 to 5 and their parents:

They have closer relationships with extended family. Like kids everywhere, Filipino preschoolers have a tight bond with their parents – more than 9 out of 10 are close with their moms and dads. In the Philippines, extended family ties are strong. Kids are much more likely to be close with their grandparents (84% Philippines, 78% global) and aunts/uncles/cousins (60% Philippines, 46% global).

They get more help from beyond their core family unit. Compared with global families, Filipino grandparents and other family members participate much more in kids’ day-to-day tasks like getting ready in the morning, preschool drop-off, bath time, and dinner. Neighbors are also closely involved (22% Philippines, 8% global), as well as godparents (29% Philippines, 18% global).

When thinking of their children’s future, Filipino parents’ top concern is money. Close to 6 in 10 parents in the Philippines (58%) reported financial difficulties as their main worry. (Globally, it was the #5 concern, at 38.4%.) They’re also more likely to worry about health problems (55% Philippines, 39% global) and their child not getting a good enough education (47% Philippines, 32% global).

Filipino kids are happiest on day trips with family. Parents in the Philippines report that their kids are happiest on family outings to places like the zoo, theme parks and museums (55%). At the global level, parents say their kids are happiest when playing outdoors (61%).

Parents are comfortable with gendered toys. Close to half of Filipino parents (46%) wouldn’t want their son to play with “girls” toys, considerably above the global average of 27%. About a third (32%) wouldn’t want their daughter playing with “boys” toys (18% global).

Filipino preschoolers are heavy tech users. In the Philippines, 78% of preschoolers use a tablet and 71% use a smartphone – well above the global averages of 65% and 54%, respectively. Compared with their global peers, they are 64% more likely to have their own smartphone and 42% more likely to own a tablet. Tablet users average 9.6 hours per week on the device (6.0 global), while smartphone users average 8.0 hours weekly (5.5 global).

Parents worry about their kids’ device use. There is more concern about the amount of time their children spend on devices (67% Philippines, 52% global), and Filipino parents are more likely than parents elsewhere to try to limit it (86% Philippines, 79% global).

But learning is an important part of kids’ device use – and parents feel it’s helping. Tablets are the main device that preschoolers use for educational content (67% Philippines, 52% global), but many use smartphones for this reason (45% Philippines, 28% global). Filipino parents are more likely to use YouTube to teach their kids new things (74% Philippines, 48% global). And they think that tech is helping their kids get smarter (74% Philippines, 61% global).