We all know how expensive early childhood education can be. The government has revised the childcare and preschool subsidies to benefit more families. These alterations has seen a positive response since April.
Since April this year, the government has adjusted the household income eligibility criteria from S$1,800 to S$3500. With this alteration, more families are able to enjoy childcare subsidies.
The change found positive feedback from parents as an increasing number of families are tapping into these subsidies which makes preschool services and childcare more affordable. Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Halimah Yacob, said applications for the Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme (KIFAS) increased by 163 per cent in April and May this year, compared to the same period last year.
Similarly, the Centre-based Financial Assistance Scheme for Childcare (CFAC) saw a 34 per cent increase in applicants.
Madam Halimah said this after visiting the Presbyterian Community Services Childcare Centre in Yishun on Thursday.
She also added that a third of CFAC applications and half of KIFAS applications come from families who were previously ineligible for government subsidies.
‘The effort that we have made to make childcare more affordable we are seeing the results. So more women can continue to work or come out to work now, and that helps to strengthen families,’ Madam Halimah stated.
MCYS made the revisions to KIFAS and CFAC in April this year. The revisions are as follows:
(a) With effect from 1 April 2011, the eligible income criteria will be revised upwards from $1,800 to $3,500. This will allow more families to enjoy subsidies under the assistance schemes and lower the cost of preschool education for these families.
(b) Currently, families with monthly income of less than $1,000 can receive up to $340 of childcare and up to $98 of kindergarten subsidies. This same level of subsidy will now be extended to families earning up to $1,500.
(c) Families earning up to $3,500 who currently do not enjoy the subsidies will receive tiered subsidies based on their income levels.
MCYS expects even more families to benefit from the changes. Tell us how you feel about the revisions? How have they affected you and your family?
Photo credit: MCYS
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