Single Parent Assistance – Government Schemes Available In Singapore

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The cost of raising a family has considerably increased over the years and parents have to work harder to provide for their children in today’s Singapore. As hard as it is for a couple to raise a child in today’s society, the burden is doubled for a single parent. With the pressure to work in order to provide sufficiently for their children, a single parent also faces challenges in child care and ensuring that their children are well looked after. With such pressures, it is no wonder that the burden of soldiering on alone is immense. The Singapore Government hence provide some assistance to single parents – especially single mothers – in order to help them overcome some of their financial burden so as to spend more time with their children.

Unpaid Infant Care Leave

Eligibility:
- You have a child below the age of 2. Child could be your own, adopted or step-child.
- You have been working continuously for the same employer for at least 3 months

Entitlement:
- You are entitled to 6 days UNPAID infant care leave, regardless of the number of children.

Child Care Leave

Eligibility:
- You have a child below the age of 7. Child could be your own, adopted or step-child.
- Your child is a Singapore Citizen
- You have been working continuously for the same employer for at least 3 months

Entitlement:
- You are entitled to 6 days PAID child care leave, regardless of the number of children.

Extended Child Care Leave

Eligibility:
- You have a child between 7 to 12 years old. Child could be your own, adopted or step-child.
- Your child is a Singapore Citizen
- You have been working continuously for the same employer for at least 3 months

Entitlement:
- You are entitled to 6 PAID extended child care leave, regardless of the number of children.

Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession

You can obtain foreign domestic worker levy concession of $60 per month applicable under the Young Child Scheme.

Eligibility:
- Your child/children is below the age of 16 years
- Your child is a Singapore Citizen
- Your child is living at the same address

Centre-based Infant and Child Care Subsidies

For working single mothers, placing your child in an infant-care or child care centre might be the only choice if you do not have the advantage of your family to help you out. Due to the constraints of a single income, these centre based infant and child care might be too expensive for you. Therefore, the subsidies listed here are really useful for single mothers.

Monthly Subsidy for Full-Day Child Care Centres (For Singaporeans children 18 months to below 7 years old)

Monthly Household Income

Per Capita Income *(PCI)

Basic Subsidy#

Additional Subsidy

Max Total Subsidy ^

$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

Above $7,500

Above $1,875

$0

$300

 

Monthly Subsidy for Full-Day Infant Care Centres (For Singaporean children 2 to 18 months only)

Monthly Household Income

Per Capita Income *(PCI)

Basic Subsidy#

Additional Subsidy

Max Total Subsidy ^

$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

Above $7,500

Above $1,875

$0

$600

* Families with 5 or more members (including more than 2 dependents) can apply for Additional Subsidy to be computed under the Per Capita Income instead. This will help more families to receive additional subsidy.
# Mothers who are not working will receive Basic Subsidy of up to $150 per month
^ This is subjected to a minimum co-payment from parents. You can find more details at www.childcarelink.gov.sg.

For working mothers who placed their children in a half-day or flexi-day program, the subsidy will be pro-rated accordingly.

Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)

KiFAS is a government initiative that aims to ensure that kindergarten education is kept affordable and accessible to children from all families. As long as your monthly household income is $3500 and below, you can apply for KiFAS. It has different levels of subsidies; up to $108 per month is provided to families who need it. Single mothers earning $1500 and below could be paying as little as $2 a month for their child’s education. Naturally, their child has to be enrolled in one of the 240 kindergartens approved for KiFas. The list of the approved kindergartens can be found on the MCYS website.

Education Assistance – MOE Financial Assistance Scheme

Single parents can seek help from their children’s school to apply for the MOE Financial Assistance Scheme which aims to help parents shoulder the burden of school fees, textbooks and uniforms for their children as they advance to Primary, Secondary and Junior College.

The income limits of the household must be one of the following
- Gross Household Income (GHI) not exceeding $2500 per month OR
- Per Capital Income (PCI) not exceeding $625 per month

The PCI calculation is introduced to ensure students with numerous family members can receive help from this scheme as well. The household income must be calculated based on the combined income of all working members of the family living together at the same address.

The benefits that a student can receive based on the MOE Financial Assistance Schemes are listed below:

Item

Academic Level

Primary

Secondary

Junior College / Pre-U

School Fees

Not Applicable

Full Waiver of $5.00 per month

Full Waiver of $6.00 per month

Standard Miscellaneous Fees

Full Waiver of $6.50 per month

Full Waiver of $10.00 per month

Full Waiver of $13.50 per month

Textbooks

Free Textbooks

Free Textbooks

Not Applicable

Uniform

Free Uniform

Free Uniform

Not Applicable

Bursary

Not Applicable

Not Applicable

$750.00

Transport Allowance

Student Taking School Bus:
50% of school bus fees

Student Taking Public Transport:
$120 Transport Credits per annum

Student Taking Public Transport:
$120 Transport Credits per annum

Student Taking Public Transport:
$120 Transport Credits per annum

 

Besides the above financial schemes which aim at helping single parents cope with the cost of raising a child on their own, single parents are also entitled to the below assistance.

Paid Maternity Leave for 8 Weeks

This is specially catered for unwed mothers who gave birth without the biological father’s involvement. Even though unwed mothers are not entitled for paid maternity leave of 16 weeks that married mothers enjoy, they are still entitled to a PAID maternity leave of 8 weeks to recover from child birth before heading back to work.

Medisave Grant for Newborns

All Singaporeans born on or after 1 January 2015 or having an estimated delivery date (EDD) on or after 1 January 2015 will receive $4000 from the government. This is known as the Medisave Grant for Newborns and is available to all children born on or after 1 January 2015. A CPF Medisave account will be opened for the child and the funds are automatically credited into it. This grant is given to help parents pay for their child’s medical cost, such as Medisave Life Premium, vaccinations, approved outpatient treatments as well as hospitalisation.

Children born before 1 January 2015 but after 26 August 2012 will be entitled to $3000.

Government Healthcare Subsidies and Medifund

Finally, single parents are also allowed to make use of their Medisave for most medical expenses incurred by mother and child as well as the access to apply for Medifund.

Medifund is an endowment fund that was set up by the Government to help Singaporeans who cannot afford their medical cost. It acts as a safety net for Singaporeans who needs medical care but are unable to afford it even after all the government subsidies have been accounted for. Single parents can apply for Medifund for their child if they are unable to repay the medical bills by approaching the medical social workers in the hospital.

With all the various schemes available, single parents will have an easier time to cope with the cost and focus their efforts to spend more time with their children to nurture them into outstanding adults of the future.

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