Singapore Budget 2015: More affordable child care fees, better quality child care services

SINGAPORE - The Government will introduce a new Partner Operator (POP) scheme for child care.

Child care operators on the scheme will have to commit to keeping fees affordable, while delivering quality child care services, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam announced on Monday.

The existing Anchor Operator Scheme and new POP will benefit half of all pre-school children by 2020.

The Anchor Operator Scheme was introduced in 2009. Schools under the scheme are required to keep their monthly fees below $720, in return for subsidised rent and a government grant that can be used for various purposes, such as hiring better-trained teachers.

The new scheme will cost $250 million over five years.

The Government will also give a one-off top up to the Child Development Account for every child up to the age of six this year.

The majority of children, that is those who live in homes with an annual value of up to $13,000, will get $600. 

Those whose annual value of home is more than $13,000 will get $300.

Annual value refers to the estimated annual rent of property if it were to be rented out for a year.

The top-up will cost $126 million and benefit 230,000 children.

Savings which parents deposit into their children's Child Development Accounts are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government up to a cap of between $6,000 and $18,000 depending on the birth order of the child.

chuimin@sph.com.sg