Childcare subsidies in Singapore – How can you get government help to pay for childcare?
As parents, we always try and do what’s best for our child. And that includes sending them to the best possible childcare that we can afford.
But let’s face it: some childcare costs in Singapore are exorbitant, and however much we may like the childcare centre’s curriculum, policies or environment, sending our kids there is out of the question because of the high fees.
There is a solution to this problem but not many Singaporeans know about this. If you think that childcare costs have been escalating beyond your reach, it’s time to stop worrying.
We bring you 3 clever ways of tapping on existing Childcare subsidies in Singapore to make childcare more affordable to you.
3 Childcare subsidies in Singapore
1. Tap on your child’s CDA to defray childcare costs
If your child is eligible for the Baby Bonus, the savings in their Child Development Account (CDA) will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to the cap of $6,000 each for the first and second child, $12,000 each for the third and fourth child and $18,000 each for the fifth and subsequent child.
The Government will match your savings in the following month. This means if you deposit $400 in your child’s CDA, the Government will match another $400 in the following month. You can tap on the savings in the CDA to pay for your child’s school fees at childcare centres which are approved Institutions registered with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) under the Baby Bonus Scheme.
You can arrange with your childcare centre to deduct the school fees from the CDA, through GIRO on a monthly basis. A simple way to cut down on out-of-pocket expenses for childcare fees.
Childcare subsidies in Singapore: Be clever about making your childcare costs more affordable
2. Subsidy scheme for low & middle income families
The Government is raising subsidies to make child and infant care services more affordable for lower and middle-income families.
On 1 April 2013, the ComCare child care subsidies (also known as the Centre Based Financial Assistance for Child Care or CFAC) was combined with the universal working mother subsidy, into one subsidy framework.
Under the new subsidy framework, all parents will continue to receive a basic subsidy at the current rates for childcare and infant care programmes. So if you are a working mother, you get to enjoy a subsidy of $300 for full-day childcare, and $600 for full-day infant care.
Get help in reducing the costs of childcare
On top of the basic subsidy, families with a gross monthly income of $7,500 and below will receive more support in the form of an additional subsidy.
Eligible families using full-day programmes will see an increase in their current child and infant care subsidies of at least $100 and $200 respectively, with lower income families receiving more. Larger families with many dependents can also choose to have their additional subsidy computed on a per capita income (PCI) basis.
Here’s how it works: If Susan and her husband have a combined gross monthly household income of $7,000, and they have a 3-year-old child who attends full day childcare that costs $750, they will enjoy these following subsidies:
Basic subsidy for working mother: $300
Additional subsidy: $100
Net fee payable: $750 – $300 – $100 = $350
3. Start-up grant for lower income
Some lower income families who may require further assistance on top of the basic and additional subsidies, can benefit from other forms of assistance, such as a one-time start-up grant of up to $1,000 per child to help with the initial cost of placing a child in a childcare centre.
The grant covers items such as the deposit, uniforms, registration fee and insurance charges. Depending on your eligibility, upon enrolment of your child at the childcare centre, the centre operator will assist you with the paperwork and apply for the necessary subsidies on your behalf.
For more information on Childcare subsidies in Singapore, call the ComCare toll-free hotline: 1800-222-0000.
On top of these government schemes, some childcare centres provide additional financial assistance for needy families, providing further relief. So don’t forget to check with the childcare centre of your choice if they are able to give you any form of additional support.
We hope this Childcare subsidies in Singapore article has been useful to you if you’ve been worrying about childcare costs for your child.
We’d also love to hear about any other ways of reducing childcare costs that you might know about. Your comments are valuable – so please leave one!