More government subsidies for child and infant care services

The Government is giving more subsidies to make child and infant care services more affordable for lower and middle income families.

Under the new subsidy framework, all parents will continue to receive basic subsidies of $300 to $600 currently given for child and infant care programmes.

But those earning a monthly household income of $7,500 or less will enjoy an additional subsidy ranging from $100 to $540, on top of the basic subsidy, depending on their income.

Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing announced these details today. The initiative is meant to complement other measures under the Marriage and Parenthood Package announced on Monday.

He told reporters that the affordability of childcare in Singapore was in the average range compared to the rest of the world, but with the new subsidies, "Singapore now sits comfortably in the top half".

Up to two-thirds of households can now benefit from higher subsidies on top of the basic subsidy. Lower income families who may need more financial help could get a one-time start-up grant of up to $1,000 per child to help with the initial cost of placing a child in a centre.

The grant covers items such as the deposit, uniforms, registration fee and insurance charges.

The new subsidy framework, which will increase the Government's investment in child and infant care by $105 million, will take effect on April 1 this year.

This brings the total budget for Government spending in this area to about $360 million for FY13.

The Government will also expand the number of child care and infant care places for lower and middle income families. More details will come in the second quarter of this year.

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