PA launches community initiative to celebrate parenthood, provides gifts and advice


SINGAPORE - The People's Association (PA) has launched a new initiative, under which all parents with Singaporean children born between last year and 2019 will be invited to a community event where they will receive gifts and health insurance, worth up to $250 each.

Dubbed the Embracing Parenthood Movement, the initiative seeks "to celebrate the birth of new Singaporean babies within the community" and "to work towards a society where marriage and parenthood are achievable, enjoyable and celebrated", said the PA in a release on the same day.

The first celebration of its kind under this initiative was held on Saturday (April 8) at Bishan Active Park for 50 Bishan North families with children born last year.

Minister, Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing and Mrs Josephine Teo, Senior Minister of State, Prime Minister's Office and the Ministries of Transport and Foreign Affairs were also present at the event.

By the end of the year, similar celebrations - initially engaging families with babies born last year - will be held nationwide regularly. Each celebration will be at an intimate scale, involving families within a small cluster of blocks in an constituency to promote neighbourliness and community bonding, and held regularly on a rolling basis.

Every family with a Singaporean baby born in between last year and 2019 can expect to be invited for these celebrations, where they will be given gift sets. Each gift set contains an interactive stuffed toy, finger puppets with an accompanying storybook and a photo album.

The value of each gift set was reported by The Straits Times on Friday (April 7) to be worth $50 each and supplied by gift company Noel Gifts. In a move that will cost the PA up to $3.45 million, 3,000 such packs are to be given out in a pilot phase from this month onwards, with up to 66,000 more by March next year.

Representatives from NTUC Social Enterprises - the initiative's main sponsor - added a year's worth of free health insurance for the children, and a parent-child activity book published by NTUC First Campus to the bounty. For the health insurance, NTUC Social Enterprises has set aside $28 million, spread out over four years - $200 per child, based on an estimate of 35,000 babies born each year.

In another first, the families present received a new PAssion Baby card personalised with their own family photo too.

At the Bishan North event, parents could also seek parenting advice and tips from booths set up by the PA's community partners, such as the Singapore First Aid Training Centre.

Staff of the centre were on hand to provide a infant cardio-pulmonary resuscitation demonstration. Other partners present at the event included the Centre for Fathering and KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

Parent-child bonding activities such as clay handprint moulding were also available, with Mr Chan and Mrs Teo joining the families in a mass song and dance activity.