If you’re a Singaporean parent, it’s a MUST to know about the Baby Bonus scheme.
It’s good to have babies. It’s pure happiness to enjoy the cute little ones experience unconditional love, and pass down your genes. But all parents will agree that raising kids is expensive. It’s not just the milk and the diapers, but also education, hospitalisation and making sure they have everything they need to thrive in life.
This is why the government made it part of its mission to extend help to growing families in Singapore through its efforts at the Ministry of Social and Family Development, including the Baby Bonus Scheme.
The Singapore Baby Bonus Scheme, first introduced in April 2001 and enhanced in August 2004, supports parents’ decision to have more children by helping to ease the financial costs of raising children. The scheme was reviewed again and made more attractive for parents starting from 17th August 2008, with increased benefits.
Want to learn more about it? Read on to understand the latest enhancements of the baby bonus payout.
What Is the Singapore Baby Bonus Scheme?
The Singapore Baby Bonus Scheme is a government initiative that provides support to couples in their decision to have more children.
The Scheme is part of the Marriage and Parenthood Package and includes a Cash Gift and Child Development Account (CDA) benefits.
According to the Ministry of Social and Family Development, the Baby Bonus Payout Cash Gift has been enhanced for eligible children born, or have an estimated delivery date, on or after 14 February 2023.
Parents will receive the Cash Gift in 5 instalments over 18 months.
Image Source: MSF
Children Development Account (CDA)
The CDA is special savings account that you open at any OCBC Bank or Standard Chartered Bank branch for your child who is eligible for CDA.
You will have up to 12 years to save in your child’s CDA. The Government will match your savings in the CDA within 2 weeks. Babies born from 14 Feb 2023 will receive up to $5,000 of First Step Grant in addition to CDA co-matching contributions, up to the eligible child’s prevailing cap. You can also refer to their FAQ section for more information regarding the CDA First Step grant.
According to MSF:
When a CDA is opened, the child will receive CDA benefits comprising (a) the CDA First Step Grant which will be automatically credited after CDA opening and (b) dollar-for-dollar Government co-matching for each dollar that parents deposit in the CDA, up to the co-matching caps shown below. The CDA is opened until the year of the year that the child turns 12 years old.
You can use the savings in the CDA to pay for educational and healthcare expenses of all your children at the following Baby Bonus Approved Institutions (AIs):
- Child Care Centres
- Special education schools
- Providers of early intervention programmes
- Providers of assistive technology devices
- Hospitals and clinics
- Optical shops
If you’re an unwed parent who just had a baby or if you’re planning to have a baby, this is important information for you:
- You may be eligible for CDA benefits.
- Children of unwed parents who are born, or have an estimated delivery date on or after 1 September 2016 can receive CDA benefits.
- The most important part is that the child must have been born or have an estimated delivery date on or after 1 September 2016.
How to Join the Baby Bonus Scheme
To join the Baby Bonus Payout Scheme, you can submit the online form for your child to join the Scheme as early as 2 months before your estimated delivery date. Please click here for the form.
Please start by checking your child’s eligibility by using the “Check Eligiblity” on Baby Bonus Online.
If your child qualifies, you may proceed to apply by following these steps.
2: Click “Join”. It will bring you to a Singpass log-in page.
3: Log in using your Singpass.
4: Complete the relevant sections in the application form.
5: Click “Submit” when done.
When applying, please note that both parents have to decide which parent or a third party will
- receive the cash gifts as a Nominated Bank Account Holder, and
- manage the Child Development Account (CDA) as a CDA trustee.
You may wish to know that the Nominated Bank Account Holder for the cash gift and the CDA trustee can be the same person or different persons. The CDA trustee has to be above the age of 18 and must not be bankrupt.
For a quick guide on the online application of the Baby Bonus Scheme, you can check out this video under #BiteSizedBabyBonus in Baby Bonus Parenting Resources Facebook Page.
If you’re eligible for the Baby Bonus payout and have not yet applied for it, visit here.
1) You may need 5-10 minutes to complete this form.
2) You may submit the form as early as 8 weeks before the child is born (Estimated Date of Delivery) or after the birth registration.
3) If your child was born overseas/adopted, you may submit the form after the citizenship/adoption process.
4) If you are applying for your unborn child, please proceed only if you have a valid marriage certificate.
5) If married overseas, please proceed only if your child has received his/her birth certificate.
Image Source: Shutterstock
You may want to get ready the following documents to complete this form:
1) Bank Account Holder’s account details to receive the cash gift
2) Personal particulars of the Bank Account Holder and CDA Trustee, if they are a third party (i.e. not the child’s parent).
3) Marriage Certificate (as required)
(You can upload up to a maximum of 10 files each time. Each file should not exceed 2MB and has to be in .xls, .xlsx, .pdf, .doc, .docx, .jpg, or .png format.)
For enquiries or assistance, please call the Baby Bonus payout hotline at 1800-253-7707 (local) or +65-62537707 (overseas); or email [email protected]
Benefits of CDA
The savings in the CDA may be used to pay fees for all your children attending Approved Institutions registered with MCYS under the Baby Bonus Scheme. These include childcare centres, kindergartens & special education schools registered with the Ministry of Education.
The CDA savings can also be used to purchase MediShield or Medisave-approved private integrated plans for all your children and pay for all your children’s medical-related expenses. These include consultation fees, treatment fees and prescription costs incurred at healthcare institutions.
You can use the savings in CDA to pay for all your children. This means savings from your first child’s CDA may be used to pay for your second child’s medical expenses or education. However, there’s one restriction to take note. When using the CDA to pay for another child, only children below six may use their siblings’ CDA for their educational needs. Children above 6 can only use another child’s CDA for their medical expenses.
Image Source: iStock
Who Is Eligible for the Singapore Baby Bonus?
A child may be eligible for the Baby Bonus Scheme if:
● he or she is a Singapore Citizen and
● his or her parents are lawfully married.
Children of unwed parents may be eligible for Child Development (CDA) benefits. That’s only if they are born on or after 1 September 2016.
You can check your child’s eligibility and Baby Bonus Benefits using the “Check Eligibility” on Baby Bonus Online. You need to answer several questions on the website to determine the child’s eligibility.
Baby Bonus One-Stop Service
A one-stop service is available at the birth registration counters at the hospitals and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to make it more convenient for you to join the Baby Bonus Scheme. The hospitals are:
- East Shore Hospital
- Gleneagles Hospital
- KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
- Mount Alvernia Hospital
- Mount Elizabeth Hospital
- National University Hospital
- Raffles Hospital
- Singapore General Hospital
- Thomson Medical Centre
Actual payment of the enhanced Baby Bonus payout benefits will only be made after the necessary legislative and administrative changes are completed.
There has never been a better time to start a family! For more information on the Singapore Baby Bonus payout scheme and benefits, you can visit the official website at: https://www.babybonus.msf.gov.sg/Pages/Home.aspx
Updates from Pheona Ilagan
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