SINGAPORE - The Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) will raise the qualification criteria for its schemes to help needy families from January next year, with the monthly income threshold being lifted from $1,900 to $2,400.
The CDAC announced the move on Thursday (June 20), with the per capita income criterion also rising from $650 to $800.
With these changes, the CDAC projects that about 1,500 more families will benefit from its schemes. About 1,500 families who are already in its programmes will receive more support.
At the same time, beneficiaries from more disadvantaged families will receive "deepened support on a more sustained basis", the organisation said.
It will "make adjustments to extend assistance on a multi-year basis" to families who may be facing challenges and require assistance on a more sustained basis.
For example, a child from a family facing long-term financial and job challenges could be given a three-year continuous bursary. Currently, bursaries have to be applied for and are disbursed yearly.
Families with a monthly household income of $4,000 and below, or a per capita income of $1,200 and below, will also be eligible for certain programme subsidies. The current thresholds are $3,300 and $900.
Education Minister Ong Ye Kung, who is also the CDAC board chairman, said: "While we will continue to expand outreach and offer quality programmes to more low-income families, we are identifying the more disadvantaged families to provide them with holistic and deepened support.
"The objective is to ensure social mobility within the Chinese community, and recognising that education for children and stable jobs for parents, are the best ways to bring this about."
The CDAC is a self-help group for the Chinese community that provides learning support for students through tuition and other enrichment programmes.
The Eurasian Association, Singapore Indian Development Association and Yayasan Mendaki are similar self-help groups serving the other communities.
Speaking further to reporters on the sidelines of the CDAC's annual general meeting on Thursday, Mr Ong said that last year, the CDAC managed over 800 cases that gave customised help to vulnerable families.
He said: "CDAC operates on a small scale. But that means our case workers can have a deeper relationship with our beneficiaries, and we can be flexible in the kind of help we provide."