Marriage & Parenthood Scheme: Grants and Schemes for Singaporeans Getting Married and Starting Families
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Marriage & Parenthood Scheme: Grants and Schemes for Singaporeans Getting Married and Starting Families

profileXue Miao
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We have all seen how expensive it is to raise a kid in Singapore.

Our government recognises it too, as seen from the recent one-off Baby Support Grant to encourage couples to give birth between 1 Oct 2020 to 30 Sept 2022.

It is also mentioned that this Baby Support Grant would be added to the Marriage and Parenthood Scheme.

what is that hiliary duff confused
Source: Giphy

If you’re wondering what’s the Marriage and Parenthood Scheme, it is a set of pro-family incentives and benefits that were implemented by the Singapore Government in 2001 to encourage more Singaporeans to marry and have children.

In short, these incentives are in place to help Singaporeans achieve their marriage and parenthood aspirations, by providing support in these areas through different measures.

In this article, we will provide a quick guide of what’s available under this scheme!

TL;DR: Marriage & Parenthood Scheme: Grants and Schemes for Singaporeans Getting Married and Starting Families

CategoryIncentives
HousingParenthood Priority Scheme (PPS)
Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS)
Fresh Start Housing Scheme (Fresh Start)
Workplace and Community Support
Parental Leave
- Paternity Leave
- Maternity Leave
- Adoption Leave
- Shared Parental Leave
- Paid Childcare Leave
- Unpaid Infant Care Leave
Embracing PArenthood Movement
ActiveSG’s sports programmes
Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs
Job Sharing Incentive
BCA’s Accessibility Fund
EducationExpanding the Number of Centres
Making Child Care or Infant Care Affordable
Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)
KidSTART Pilot Programme
HealthcareBaby Support Grant
MediSave Grant
MediShield Life
MediSave Maternity Package
Government co-funding for Assisted Conception Procedures (ACP)
Usage of MediSave for Assisted Conception Procedures (ACP)
Financial Support for Child-RaisingCDA First Step
Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR)
Working Mother’s Child Relief (WMCR)
Qualifying Child Relief (QCR)
Handicapped Child Relief (HCR)
Grandparent Caregiver Relief
Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession

Housing

Hands Holding A House

Measures are in place to help couples to have faster access to their own homes.

Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS)

You’ve seen a few ways which you can increase your HDB BTO ballot chance.

One of such ways is to be enrolled in the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS).

First-timer married couples with or expecting a child would get to enjoy priority for flats under this scheme.

Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS)

While waiting for the completion of flats, families can also rent a flat from HDB at affordable rates around half or less than half of market price, under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS).

This scheme was initially created for couples with young children, but has since been extended to include more family types like divorced or widowed parents with children as well.

The PPHS flats available are mostly Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) flats before they are demolished and used for redevelopment.

Fresh Start Housing Scheme (Fresh Start)

The Fresh Start Housing Scheme (Fresh Start) aims to help second-timer families with young children, who are currently living in public rental flats.

The applicant and his/her spouse (if applicable) has to be between 35 to 54 years old, and is married, divorced or widowed.

This scheme helps these families to own 2-room Flexi flats (via BTO or SBF sales exercises) through providing financial assistance and social support.

There will be a Fresh Start Housing Grant of $35,000, and there will be priority allocation of up to 10% of 2-room Flexi flats under the Tenants’ Priority Scheme.


Workplace and Community Support

group of people

Here are some schemes and incentives to allow for work environments to be supportive of family planning.

Parental Leave

There are different types of parental leave that allows parents to take time off to spend it with their children.

Paternity Leave – Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)

 No of Days
(M.O.M guidelines)
No. of Days
(Set by some companies)
Paternity Leave / Adoption Leave10 days10 days
Shared Parental LeaveUp to 4 weeks of wife's 16 weeksN/A
Unpaid Infant Care Leave66
Child Care Leave (for children under 7 years old)66

Maternity Leave – Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML)

 No of Days
(M.O.M guidelines)
No. of Days
(Set by some companies)
Maternity Leave / Adoption LeaveChild is a citizen: 16 weeks
Child is a non-citizen: 12 weeks (8 weeks paid, 4 weeks unpaid)
Child is a non-citizen: 12 weeks paid
Shared Parental LeaveHusband can apply for 4 weeks of wife's 16 weeksN/A
Unpaid Infant Care Leave66
Child Care Leave (for children under 7 years old)66

Adoption Leave

Similar to regular birth, adoptive fathers who meet the following requirements are also entitled to GPPL for all births.

Shared Parental Leave

Fathers who are lawfully married to the child’s mother can apply for 4 weeks of paternity leave from the wife’s 16 weeks, subject to her approval.

Paid Childcare Leave (for children under 7 years old)

  • Both parents get 6 days/year until the year your child turns 7 years old
  • Capped at 42 days for each parent
  • Cannot carry forward childcare leave to the next year

Unpaid Infant Care Leave

  • 6 days per year per working parent with children under 2 years
  • Additional 4 weeks for public servants to be taken in child’s first year

Do note that leave type is subjected to its own eligibility criteria.

To Encourage Family Bonding

  • Embracing PArenthood Movement: An initiative by People’s Association to celebrate the joy of parenthood and build strong communities of support. This includes receiving gifts from respective constituencies and also participating in family-centric activities
  • ActiveSG’s sports programmes: Family-centric fitness programs available that are suitable for both the young and the old

Support for Family-Friendly Workplaces

workplace work desk office table and chair

There are a number of initiatives to allow for family-friendly workplaces which can benefit both employers and employees.

This encourages companies to create work-life harmony in the workplace.

Tripartite Standard on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs

This encourages companies to offer up to 2 or 4 weeks of unpaid leave for employees that require to care for immediate family member or infant’s unexpected needs.

Job Sharing Incentive

This incentive encourages companies to support PMET-level employees who adopt job-sharing arrangements.

It allows for up to $35,000 per company over two years.

BCA’s Accessibility Fund

The BCA’s Accessibility Fund covers up to 60% of construction costs for family-friendly features in companies.

This includes features such as nursing rooms.

This is for private buildings built before 1990 when they undergo basic barrier-free accessibility upgrading.


Education

education book and apple

Education is a huge part of a child’s journey.

(We’ve seen how much tuition itself can cost.)

Here are some steps that the government is taking to make education accessible and affordable for families.

Expanding the Number of Centres

  • There will be 50 MOE kindergartens by 2023
  • The number of full-day places will be increased by 30,000 by 2023

Making Child Care or Infant Care Affordable

There are various options available when it comes to childcare.

Here are some incentives to make it more affordable:

  • Basic subsidy of up to $600 for infant care, and up to $300 for childcare for working mothers
  • Families with non-working mothers are eligible for a Basic Subsidy of up to $150 per month
  • Families with working mothers and a gross monthly household income of $7,500 are eligible for an Additional Subsidy of up to $540 for infant care and $440 for childcare

Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)

Eligible families (gross monthly income ceiling up to $12,000, or $3,000 Per Capita Income) would be able to pay as little as $1 a month at Anchor Operators or MOE kindergartens.

kifas for families
Source: Ministry of Social and Family Development

KidSTART Pilot Programme

This programme helps lower-income families have different forms of support for child development, from birth onwards.

This programme has three main components – KidSTART Home Visitation, KidSTART Groups (Supported Playgroups), and KidSTART Enhanced Support to Pre-schools.

Other schemes include:

  • MOE Financial Assistance Scheme
  • School Meals Programme
  • Expansion of after-school care to all primary schools by 2020; and lower-income families can receive total subsidies of up to $285 per month
  • Bursaries for students for publicly-funded Post-Secondary Education Institutions

Healthcare

Health Insurance

For Parents of Newborns

Apart from the one-off Baby Support Grant that was recently announced, here are a few other schemes that are available for new parents:

 Details
MediSave GrantFor newborns

$4,000 grant deposited into child's MediSave grant
MediShield Life Coverage from birth

Extended to cover inpatient treatments for serious
pregnancy and delivery-related complications from
1 April 2019
MediSave Maternity Package To use MediSave for r delivery and pre-delivery care

- Up to $900 for pre-delivery care
- Between $750 and $2,150 for delivery medical expenses depending on type of procedure
- Up to $450 for each day’s stay in hospital

For Assisted Conception Procedures (ACP)

  • Government co-funding for Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) of up to 75% for eligible couples undergoing treatments at public hospitals
  • Amount of funding depends on the type of cycle as well as citizenships of the couple
Singapore Citizen (SC) Couple SC-PR Couple SC-Foreigner Couple
Fresh cycles (up to 3 cycles) 75%; up to $7,700 55%; up to $5,700 35%; up to $3,600
Frozen cycles (up to 3 cycles) 75%; up to $2,200 55%; up to $1,600 35%; up to $1,000
  • Usage of MediSave for Assisted Conception Procedures (ACP): Couples can withdraw between $4,000 and $6,000 for each treatment cycle, up to $15,000 in their lifetime

Financial Support for Child-Raising

Baby in Blue Blanket

To support parents financially, there are a number of schemes that are in place to help alleviate some of these costs.

One of which we’ve mentioned previously – the Baby Bonus Cash Gift.

What else is there for parents or parents-to-be?

One would be the Child Development Account (CDA), which is a special savings account where savings that are deposited are matched by the Government, dollar-to-dollar.

(In case you’ve missed it, we’ve spoken about how to maximise the CDA as well!)

Under this account, there is also a CDA First Step, a $3,000 Government contribution to the account.

In addition, there is also a Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR), where parents would be able to claim different amounts based on the number of children they have.

In summary:

Birth Order of Child Rebate Amount (Per Child)
First child $5,000
Second child $10,000
Third and subsequent child $20,000

A working mother can also claim for tax relief under the Working Mother’s Child Relief (WMCR):

Birth Order of Child Percentage of Earned Income (Per Child)
First child 15%
Second child 20%
Third and subsequent child 25%

Qualifying Child Relief (QCR) & Handicapped Child Relief (HCR):

  • Tax relief of $4,000 per child under QCR
  • Tax relief of $7,500 per child under HCR

Grandparent Caregiver Relief:

  • $3,000 tax relief for a working mother whose parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, or grandparent-in-law is looking after her child aged 12 years and below
  • From Year of Assessment 2020, there will be no age criteria for the child if the child is handicapped and unmarried

Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession:

  • Concessionary levy of $60 for families who engage a foreign domestic worker (with a Singapore citizen child below 16 years old)

Marriage & Parenthood Scheme: Grants and Schemes for Singaporeans Getting Married and Starting Families

Starting a family in Singapore is an expensive affair.

With these grants and schemes in place, it certainly would help in alleviating some of these child-rearing costs.

For parents or parents-to-be, do you have any other methods to save childcare costs?

Do share them with the other parents in the SeedlyCommunity!

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About Xue Miao
A millennial who is learning to adult. She doesn't believe in the rat race and hopes to live on a farm someday.
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