Ways to Manage Costs of Raising a Child in Singapore: 8 Subsidies and Schemes to Consider

Ways to Manage Costs of Raising a Child in Singapore: 8 Subsidies and Schemes to Consider

Raising a child in Singapore can be a costly affair due to the rising cost of living. Expenses will keep going up and some parents in Singapore constantly worry if they able to provide for their child and to afford expenses such as education for their precious tots.

Fortunately, there are measures to help defray the cost of raising a child and it exists in the form of grants, subsidies and schemes. As long as your child is a Singapore citizen and fulfil certain eligibility requirements, you can benefit from these subsidies to alleviate your financial commitments.

Here are 8 measures that are available to help parents raise and care for their children in Singapore.

 

1: Baby Bonus Scheme

The Baby Bonus Scheme is designed to help families defray the costs of raising a child in Singapore. It comprises a cash gift, a deposit into the Child Development Account (CDA), and a special co-savings scheme for children.

i) Baby Bonus Cash Gift

The first component of the Baby Bonus Scheme (or the Child Development Co-Savings Scheme), this qualifies every Singaporean child for a cash gift upon birth.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Your child is a Singapore Citizen or becomes one; AND
  • The child’s parents are lawfully married

How Much Can I Get?

Birth OrderCash Gift
(Inclusive of $2,000 Baby Bonus Plus)
1st and 2nd Baby$8,000 each
3rd and 4th baby$10,000 each
5th and more$10,000 each
(Note: Above table is applicable for eligible children born after 24 March 2016.)

 

ii) Baby Bonus First Step Grant

This is the second component of the Baby Bonus Scheme which will provide a deposit into your child’s Child Development Account (CDA).

The funds can be used for preschool fees, medical expenses, MediShield premiums, assistive devices, eye-related products and services, and approved healthcare items at pharmacies.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Your child is born on or after 24 March 2016
  • Your child is a Singapore Citizen or becomes one before 12 years old; AND
  • The child’s parents are lawfully married

How Much Can I Get?

An amount of $3,000 will be deposited into the Child Development Account.

 

iii) Baby Bonus: Dollar-for-Dollar Matching

The third component of the Baby Bonus Scheme where the government will match dollar-for-dollar savings deposited into the Child Development Account.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Your child is born on or after 24 March 2016
  • Your child is a Singapore Citizen or becomes one before 12 years old; AND
  • The child’s parents are lawfully married

How Much Can I Get?

Birth OrderDollar-for-Dollar Matching Cap
1st and 2nd BabyUp to $3,000 each
3rd and 4th babyUp to $9,000 each
5th and moreUp to $15,000 each

DID YOU KNOW?

The CDA is a special savings account which can be used to pay for educational and healthcare expenses of your child at Baby Bonus Approved Institutions such as childcare centres, kindergartens, hospitals, clinics and pharmacies!

 

2: MediSave Grant for Newborns

All Singaporean newborns born on or after 1 January 2015 will qualify for the enhanced MediSave Grant for Newborns worth $4,000. There is no need to apply for this grant, as all eligible newborns will receive the grant automatically, around 2 months after birth registration via the newborn’s new CPF MediSave account. Parents will receive a notification letter after the grant has been credited.

Once received, the grant cannot be withdrawn in cash, but can be used to help parents defray the cost of their child’s healthcare expenses, such as MediShield Life premiums, recommended childhood vaccinations, hospitalisation, and approved outpatient treatments.

 

3: MediShield Life Coverage

MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan, administered by the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Board, which helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer. It is structured so that patients pay less MediSave/cash for large hospital bills.

All Singapore Citizen babies are automatically covered by MediShield Life from birth, including those with congenital and neonatal conditions, for life.

From 1 April 2019, this insurance covers inpatient treatments for serious pregnancy and delivery-related complications, such as eclampsia, cervical incompetency and postpartum haemorrhage, under the existing inpatient claim limits. The list of conditions covered by MediShield can be found HERE.

For families who are needy and are unable to pay their share of premiums even after subsidies, the Government will provide Additional Premium Support, to help them further with the payment of their MediShield Life premiums.

 

4. Subsidies for Centre-Based Infant & Child Care

To make early child care and kindergarten more affordable for parents with Singapore Citizen children, there are various subsidies and schemes available.

i) Basic Child Care Subsidy

This is the most basic subsidy that every Singaporean child is entitled to.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Your child is a Singaporean Citizen
  • Your child is enrolled in an ECDA-licensed child care centre

How Much Can I Get?

The amount you are eligible for is dependent on the working status of the applicant, family’s gross monthly income, and the programme type enrolled.

Applicant StatusMaximum Subsidy
Working ApplicantUp to $600 for infant care or $300 for child care
Non-Working ApplicantUp to $150 for infant or child care

 

ii) Additional Child Care Subsidy

This is provided on top of the Basic Child Care subsidy to provide more relief to eligible lower income families.

Eligibility Criteria:

• Your child is a Singaporean Citizen
• Your child is enrolled in an ECDA-licensed child care centre
• A mother or single father who works at least 56 hours a month
• Your gross monthly household income earned by you and spouse does not exceed $7,500*; OR
• Your Per Capita Income is not more than $1,875* per month
*Income before CPF deduction and includes bonuses, commissions, overtime pay and allowance

How Much Can I Get?

Applicant StatusMaximum Subsidy
Working ApplicantUp to $540 for infant care or $440 for child care
Non-Working ApplicantNot Applicable

To better illustrate the information above, here are two tables that shows the subsidy entitlement based on gross monthly household income.

CURRENT SUBSIDIES (Until 31 December 2019):

FULL-DAY Child Care Programmes
(For Singaporean children aged above 18 months to below 7 years old)
Working Mother
Status
Gross Monthly
Household Income
Gross Monthly
Per Capita Income
Basic
Subsidy
Additional
Subsidy
Max Total
Subsidy
Working Mothers$2,500 and below$625 and below$300$440$740
$2,501 - $3,000$626 - $750$400$700
$3,001 - $3,500$751 - $875$370$670
$3,501 - $4,000$876 - $1,000$310$610
$4,001 - $4,500$1,001 - $1,125$220$520
$4,501 - $7,500$1,126 - $1,875$100$400
$7,501 and above$1,876 and above$0$300
Non-Working Mothers$150Not Applicable$150
FULL-DAY Infant Care Programmes
(For Singaporean infants aged 2 to 18 months)
Working Mother
Status
Gross Monthly
Household Income
Gross Monthly
Per Capita Income
Basic
Subsidy
Additional
Subsidy
Max Total
Subsidy
Working Mothers$2,500 and below$625 and below$600$540$1,140
$2,501 - $3,000$626 - $750$500$1,100
$3,001 - $3,500$751 - $875$470$1,070
$3,501 - $4,000$876 - $1,000$410$1,010
$4,001 - $4,500$1,001 - $1,125$320$920
$4,501 - $7,500$1,126 - $1,875$200$800
$7,501 and above$1,876 and above$0$600
Non-Working Mothers$150Not Applicable$150

 

DID YOU KNOW?

As PM Lee announced in August 2019, starting from January 2020, the Government will raise the gross monthly household income ceiling for Additional Subsidy to $12,000, and also the corresponding subsidy amounts, so that more families will benefit.

 

The details of the enhancements are shown in the following tables below:

ENHANCED SUBSIDIES (Effective from January 2020):

FULL-DAY Child Care Programmes
(For Singaporean children aged above 18 months to below 7 years old)
Working Mother
Status
Gross Monthly
Household Income
Gross Monthly
Per Capita Income
Basic
Subsidy
Additional
Subsidy
Max Total
Subsidy
Working Mothers$3,000 and below$750 and below$300$467$767
$3,001 - $4,500$751 - $1,125$440$740
$4,501 - $6,000$1,126 - $1,500$340$640
$6,001 - $7,500$1,501 - $1,875$260$560
$7,501 - $9,000$1,876 - $2,250$190$490
$9,001 - $10,500$2,251 - $2,625$130$430
$10,501 - $12,000$2,626 - $3,000$80$380
$12,001 and above$3,001 and above$0$300
Non-Working Mothers$150Not Applicable$150
FULL-DAY Infant Care Programmes
(For Singaporean infants aged 2 to 18 months)
Working Mother
Status
Gross Monthly
Household Income
Gross Monthly
Per Capita Income
Basic
Subsidy
Additional
Subsidy
Max Total
Subsidy
Working Mothers$3,000 and below$750 and below$600$710$1,310
$3,001 - $4,500$751 - $1,125$640$1,240
$4,501 - $6,000$1,126 - $1,500$500$1,100
$6,001 - $7,500$1,501 - $1,875$380$980
$7,501 - $9,000$1,876 - $2,250$240$840
$9,001 - $10,500$2,251 - $2,625$100$700
$10,501 - $12,000$2,626 - $3,000$40$640
$12,001 and above$3,001 and above$0$600
Non-Working Mothers$150Not Applicable$150

 

iii) Start Up Grant (SUG)

These grants are available for lower income families to pay for assorted costs such as uniforms, school supplies, registration fees and insurance.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Your gross monthly household income is $1,900 and below; OR
  • Per Capita Income is $650 and below

How Much Can I Get?

The amount will be calculated based on your income. You can get up to $240 to pay for the aforementioned assorted costs.

 

5: Tax Reliefs and Rebates for Parents

To encourage Singaporean parents to have more children and to ease the commitment of doing so, there are various rebates and tax reliefs available for parents.

Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR)For children born on 2008 onwards, parents can claim a rebate of $5,000 for their first child, $10,000 for the second child and $20,000 for the third and each subsequent child.
Qualifying Child Relief (QCR)For eligible child, parents can claim a tax relief of $4,000 per child.
Handicapped Child Relief (HCR)For eligible child that is handicapped, parents can claim a tax relief of $7,500 per child.
Working Mother’s Child Relief (WMCR)For eligible working mothers, this is claimable at 15% of earned income for the first child, 20% for the second child and 25% for the third and subsequent child onward.
Grandparent Caregiver Relief (GCR)For a working mother whose parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandparent-in-law looks after any of their Singapore Citizen children aged 12 years and below, they are eligible to claim the Grandparent Caregiver Relief (GCR) of $3,000 if certain requirements are met.

You may check your eligibility for PTR using this tool: PTR Eligibility Tool

However, do note that the total amount of QCR/HCR and WMCR claimable for each child is capped at $50,000, with the overall maximum amount of personal income tax reliefs claimable by an individual capped at $80,000.

 

6. Passport Application Fee Waiver

From 1 Jan 2020, eligible Singaporean newborns will enjoy a passport application fee waiver for the child’s first passport. This basically means that parents need not pay the $70 fee and their child will get their first passport for free. This will be extremely useful given the rising trend of families going on overseas holidays with their young babies!

 

7. Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession

From 1 May 2015, for households who hire a foreign domestic worker to help out with household needs, you can be eligible for a concession of $205 off their monthly levy if any of the following conditions apply:

  • You have a Singapore Citizen child aged below 16 years staying in the same household; OR
  • You or your spouse who is staying in the same household is a Singapore Citizen aged 65 years or above; OR
  • You have a Singapore Citizen parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandparent-in-law aged 65 years old or above staying in the same household; OR
  • You have a disability, or have family members with disabilities staying in the same household, and require a full-time caregiver’s assistance in daily activities.

 

8. Subsidies for Recommended Childhood Vaccinations and Developmental Screenings

Currently, parents can protect their babies against childhood diseases by ensuring that they receive the recommended vaccinations under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS). The programme protects against tuberculosis, hepatitis B, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio, haemophilus influenza Type B, measles, mumps, rubella, pneumococcal infections, and HPV. The following enhancements will be introduced by the Government by latest end 2020, and they are worth looking forward to!

  • Subsidies for all childhood vaccinations as recommended under the NCIS will be available at polyclinics and the over 1,000 GPs under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).
  • Subsidies for childhood developmental screenings will be available at polyclinics and the over 1,000 GPs under the CHAS.

 

There you have it, 8 available subsidies, rebates and schemes to help you defray the costs of raising a child in Singapore. We hope that these will help alleviate your financial commitments, especially when it comes to the options of providing your child with the opportunity to build a sound foundation in their educational journey.

If you are looking for a preschool that provides children with a solid early education foundation, Mulberry Learning promises a fun bilingual learning experience through a comprehensive and holistic education that instils core skills, knowledge and intelligent thinking habits needed to excel in the future world.

Get in touch with us now to find out more about a pedagogy that incorporates the Reggio Emilia approach, Habits of Mind™ framework and Multiple Intelligences to provide your precious tot with a wonderful learning journey.

About Mulberry Learning

At Mulberry Learning, no effort was spared in crafting a truly unique preschool programme that incorporates the Reggio Emilia methodology, Habits of Mind™ framework and Multiple Intelligences.

Voted Singapore’s “Best Holistic Learning Programme” and recently featured by the Straits Times, Business Times, CNA and The Smart Local, Mulberry Learning is the only preschool in Singapore and the world to be certified by the USA for the “Habits of Mind”, the same intelligent thinking framework used by M.O.E. to groom the brightest Primary School students in the Gifted Education Programme!

Schedule a personalized tour with us to discover how Mulberry Learning helps your child become a confident communicator, independent thinker and a passionate lifelong learner.

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