Updated: 01/24/2013 02:26

Higher subsidies to make child & infant care more affordable

Higher subsidies to make child & infant care more affordable

From April, lower and middle income families will enjoy higher government subsidies in child and infant care services, under a new subsidy framework, 

The framework complements other measures to defray the costs of childraising under the Marriage and Parenthood Package announced on Monday.

All parents will continue to receive a Basic Subsidy at the current rates of $300 a month for childcare and $600 for infant care services. 

Families with a gross monthly income of $7,500 and below will receive an Additional Subsidy. 

Eligible families using full-day programmes will see an increase in their current child care subsidies of at least $100 and infant care subsidies of at least $200, with lower income families receiving more. 

For example, a lower income household with a monthly income of $2,500 and below will get an extra $440 for a basic full day childcare programme. 

This will bring its total subsidy to $740. 

The Additional Subsidy will replace the Centre-Based Financial Assistance Scheme for Child Care (CFAC) which provides childcare-related financial assistance for families earning $3,500 and below.

Up to two-thirds of households will benefit. 

Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing announced the new framework after a visit to YWCA Child Development Centre on Wednesday (23 Jan). 

He said it puts Singapore comfortably in the top half of OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries, in terms affordability of pre-school services. 

Mr Chan said the subsidies will cover a large part of costs, as the median cost of a full day childcare programme in an HDB estate is about $615. 

The new subsidy framework will increase Government's investment in child and infant care by $105 million and bring the total budget for Government spending in this area to about $360 million for FY13.

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