Financial Support for Single Parents in Singapore

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In recent years, the support for single parents in Singapore has been rising in a bid to help single parents better manage their households. The government has introduced various financial schemes in a bid to reduce the burden of single parents so that work-life balance can be improved for this group of people. Below are some assistance schemes that you can look out for.

1) Healthcare
All children born as a Singaporean will automatically receive a Medisave Grant for Newborns and Medishield Life coverage upon registration of birth.

Medisave Grant for Newborns (MGN)
All children born on or after 1 January 2015 will automatically qualify for the enhanced MGN of $4,000. Eligible newborns will receive MGN after registration of birth without any need of application for the grant. This grant can be used to cover the child’s healthcare expenses such as Medishield life premiums, recommended vaccinations, approved outpatient treatments and the cost of hospitalisation. CPF will notify the parent after the grant has been deposited into the child’s Medisave account.

Medishield Life Coverage
Medishield Life is a basic healthcare insurance that helps Singaporeans to pay for high hospital bills and certain costly outpatient treatments such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer. All newborns, including those with congenital and neonatal conditions, will receive this basic insurance coverage from birth, and this insurance will cover them for life. The premiums may be fully paid for using Medisave and parents can tap on the MGN to help them with the payment. For needy parents, the government provide Additional Premium Support to help them out with the payment of the premium.

2) Education
Singapore is a land filled with opportunities, and the government ensures that all children here has access to education and early development care. There are various subsidies and assistance schemes available for single parents to help them with educational cost.

Early Childhood Education and Care
The below table outlines the subsidy available for single parents:

Basic Subsidy Additional subsidy
For
Enrollment in an ECDA-licensed childcare centre
Eligibility
Child is a Singapore citizen
Additional criteria
N.A.
Monthly household income of $7,500 & less
You work 56 hours or more per month
Subsidy
Up to $600 for infant care
$200 to $540 for infant care
Up to $300 for childcare
$100 to $440 for childcare

It is important to note that the amount of subsidy depends on your monthly household income and the type of program that your child is enrolled in. For single parents who are earning less than $3,500 a month, there is a special start up grant of up to $1,000 that you can apply to help defray the initial cost of putting your child in a ECDA-licensed childcare centre.

Primary to Pre-U Education

For school-going children, the Ministry of Education also provides single parent with financial assistance to ensure the children are getting the essential support for education.

MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (MOE FAS)
MOE Independent School Bursary (ISB) scheme
For
Government schools
Independent schools
Government-aided schools
Eligibility
Monthly household income of $2,500 or less
Monthly household income of $7,200 or less
Subsidy
Full waiver of school & miscellaneous fees
33% to 100% of school & miscellaneous fees, depending on monthly household income
Other benefits
May include:
N.A
Free textbooks & uniforms
$750 bursary for junior college or pre-U
75% to 100% subsidy of national exam fees

3) Housing
Financial assistance cannot be complete without providing assistance for housing. In Singapore, the government is stepping up their efforts to cater to the housing needs of single parent families. If you are a divorced parent with a child below 16 years of age, you are eligible for a priority scheme called ASSIST that is provided by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to right-size your home. This scheme sets aside 5% of new 2-room Flexi and 3-room Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in non-matured estates for single parents with housing needs. The conditions to apply for this scheme is simply not owned or disposed of a housing property after the date of the divorce and the child must be below 16 years old at the date of application.

All these financial schemes for single parents are aimed to helping this group of parents to better manage their time and efforts in rising children on their own. With some financial help, single parents will be better equipped to raise their children comfortably, even on a single income.

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