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Child Care Subsidies For Young Singapore Parents

Having a child is expensive. Many financial obligations need to be fulfilled so the child can have a bright future. Every year this expense keeps on increasing and puts a strain on the parents.

However, alongside the increase in these fees, the government is also taking steps to ensure that parents are not over-burdened. They do this by introducing subsidies so that childcare is more affordable.

The biggest expense is education and this is why the subsidies are focused towards this service. They announced in 2019 and introduced in 2020.

Here are the different child care subsidies for young Singapore parents:


Childcare And Infant Care Subsidy

As the name suggests the subsidy is introduced for mothers who need daycare services for their child. The benefit that one gets is dependent on the type of care and if you are a working mother or not.

There are three types of subsidies in this:

  1. Basic Childcare Subsidy
  2. Additional Childcare Subsidy
  3. Child Care Financial Assistance and Start-Up Grant


Basic Childcare Subsidy

For you to be an eligible applicant for the Basic Childcare Subsidy your child must be enrolled in ECDA-licensed childcare centre. The benefits given in this subsidy include $600 for a full-day of infant care. The age for this is between 2 months to 18 months.

It also includes a $300 for childcare. Both of these are subsidies for mothers who are working somewhere. If you are a non-working mother and want to avail this infant or childcare then you can get a subsidy of up to $150.

Parents who are citizens of Singapore are entitled to this subsidy. Do remember that the level of income is not a factor for subsidy calculation here. This depends on the working status of the mother.


Additional Childcare Subsidy

This subsidy is also for both infant care and childcare. It can provide up to $710 for infant care and $467 for childcare. This is dependent on the income level of the household and the work hours of the single parents.

This means that to be eligible for this subsidy the parents seeking it should have a monthly gross household income of $12,000 or lower than that.

Either this or they should have a monthly gross per capita income of $3000 or lower. The latter is for big families where there are at least three dependent people who don’t have an income.

Apart from that, the other criterion for this is that single fathers or mothers in the family should be working at least a minimum of fifty-six hours per month.

This can include any type of work, not just salaried. So parents having part-time work, self-employed, and freelance work all come under this. They just have to fulfil the hour requirements to be eligible.


Child Care Financial Assistance And Start-Up Grant

This one is for parents who are struggling even after receiving the above subsidies. They can also apply for the Start-Up Grant to pay for the initial expenses of enrolling their kid into either childcare or infant care.

The process is simple. All the parents have to do is go to one of the centres to get started with their application. You have to be a Singapore Citizen and your child must be enrolled in an affordable centre for you to be eligible for this.

Apart from that, as a parent, you need to be working at least fifty-six hours in a month. If you are not working then you will have to provide a valid reason for this so you can be eligible for this assistance and grant.

Do remember, that for all these subsidies you will have to present proper documentation so you can receive it from the government.


Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)

To be eligible for this subsidy your child has to be a citizen of Singapore and should be rolled in a kindergarten program that is either operated by the Ministry of Education (MOE) or Anchor Operator (AOP).

This subsidy was introduced so that families who belong to the low income or middle-class group can provide their child early education. The benefit can be from anywhere between $21 to $170 and with a minimum co-pay of $1.

The eligibility for this subsidy depends upon the income level of the household members. It will be given to families that have a gross monthly household income of at least $12,000 and below.

It can also be calculated per capita. This means that big families with three or more dependents who are not earning should have a gross monthly per capita income of $3000 or below to be eligible for this subsidy.

This subsidy is also beneficial for caregivers. This means that caregivers who are not parents such as legal guardians, grandparents, or foster parents can also apply for this subsidy.

However, this will only happen under Special Approval. You can fill out an application and that will be assessed once the board has reviewed your case and all the documents that you have provided.

Not everyone's request may be granted but it is worth a try if you are a caregiver and want fewer burdens on your shoulder when it comes to caring for the child.


KiFAS Start-Up Grant

If you need further assistance to enrol your child in kindergarten then this grant may just be a solution to your issues. It will cover the initial expenses of being enrolled in kindergarten. This includes a variety of fees such as the uniform, different deposits, and the registration fee.

However, to be eligible for this grant your child needs to be a citizen of Singapore. Apart from that, your monthly household income should be either $1900 or below or your gross per capita income should be up to $650.

Do keep on mind that you get this grant depending on what your situation is and if you get accepted after your case has been reviewed. You have to fill the application and provide proper documentation so your case can be reviewed.


Application Process Of Subsidies

These are the two subsidies that are available to children in Singapore. Now that you know what they are you must know their application process so you can apply for the subsidy.

Firstly, for the Basic and Additional Subsidy, the application process will be done through the preschool of your child. They will give you everything you need to fill in the application. Once this is done you just have to submit it to them.

After submission, the application will go further for approval. If it gets approved then the amount of the subsidy will be directly sent to the school. This way you will not have to do anything. The amount will already be deducted from the fee and so you will only have to pay the net fee amount.

Do remember that a school may also charge an additional fee apart from your net fee. This depends on the school you choose.


How Much Subsidy Will Your Child Get?

This is a question many parents have because they need to also check if they can afford the amount even after the subsidy has been given. There are a few factors that affect the amount of the subsidy your kid will get. These include:

  1. Basic Subsidy: Amount is dependent upon the working status of the parents and the programme the child is enrolled in
  2. Additional Subsidy: The programme your child is in and the income level in the household
  3. KiFAS Subsidy: Depends on household or per capita income
  4. Start-Up Grants: The household or per capita income should be below the threshold for the grant to be approved to your child

Once you meet their eligibility criteria you will be easily given a grant. After all, that is what they are introduced for.


The Future Of Childcare In Singapore

The government is trying to do everything it possibly can to reduce the burden on parents so everyone can have access to quality education. This is why they have also decided to lower the fee cap for partner operators.

This way it will become more affordable for the people as they can easily access it. Apart from that, government-run preschools are likely to have a lower fee soon.

They are also in the middle of an expansion so that more and more children can have access to state-run preschools. This way they will get quality education and the parents will be less burdened. A win-win situation for both parties.


Final Words

If you want your burdens to be eased when it comes to childcare expenses then you can easily opt for these subsidies. Just be sure to check out the official site of ECDA too in case there are any further changes regarding the subsidy and their applications.

You can also easily get in touch with them if you need assistance when it comes to subsidies. They will sort out your concerns in no time and you will have all the answers you need.


More informative articles that may interest you:
10 Effective parenting tips to handle your preschooler kid
Teach Maths to Your Kindergarten Child The Fun Way
Co-ed or Same Gender School, Where Your Child Will Thrive

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About Author

Tutor City's blog focuses on balancing informative and relevant content, never at the expense of providing an enriching read. 

We want our readers to expand their horizons by learning more and find meaning to what they learn.

Resident author - Mr Wee Ben Sen, has a wealth of experience in crafting articles to provide valuable insights in the field of private education.

Ben Sen has also been running Tutor City, a leading home tuition agency in Singapore since 2010.