Boon Lay joins programme to support young parents

Mr Patrick Tay (centre), adviser to Boon Lay grassroots organisations, with parents at the programme's launch yesterday.
Mr Patrick Tay (centre), adviser to Boon Lay grassroots organisations, with parents at the programme's launch yesterday.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

Young parents in Boon Lay can now tap a free programme that offers parenting advice and community support.

Boon Lay is the 17th and latest constituency to join the Embracing Parenthood Celebrations programme, organised by the People's Association. The estate welcomed 578 newborns last year and 218 in the first five months of this year.

First rolled out in April by Bishan North for its residents, the eight-month programme consists of a series of events such as workshops and talks by experts.

Mr Patrick Tay, adviser to Boon Lay grassroots organisations, launched the programme yesterday. Said the West Coast GRC MP: "This is not just a one-off event to give gifts. The more important thing is to create a network to provide mutual support for young parents and to share best practices."

The launch comes on the back of results from the Marriage and Parenthood Survey last Saturday showing that out of nearly 3,000 singles aged 21 to 45, 59 per cent were not dating seriously with a view to getting married.

Mr Tay - who has three children aged seven, 10 and 13 - added that issues that might hold couples back from having children include a lack of workplace and community support, and the rising costs of having children.

"Ultimately the decision whether to have kids is up to each couple's personal values, but the programme can at least help with increasing community support."

More than 50 families turned up for the launch, where they took part in activities such as talks by the Health Promotion Board on weaning and baby nutrition.

Chemical analyst Teoh Yang Han, 41, who has two children aged one and five, plans to join the programme. "I already learnt more about how it might be better to give a child enriched-iron solid foods after six months, so I'm looking forward to learning more, and to find more playmates for my children."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2017, with the headline 'Boon Lay joins programme to support young parents'. Print Edition | Subscribe