Singapore has a very good system to support women who wish to continue working after having a child. There is a plethora of Singapore infant care and child care centres that offer professional child care services on a full or half day basis. Trained nannies are also available for parents wishing for their child to be cared for at home.
The Ministry regulates and licences child care programmes through the Child Care Centres Act and Regulations. Here is a brief look at what measures the Singapore Government has adopted to support parents who intend to work after the birth of their child:
Child and Singapore Infant Care Centres:
As of May 2015, there were 393 infant care centres in Singapore, with 3769 children enrolled. The average monthly fee for full day care was $1445. By the end of 2016, the number of centres is expected to reach 450.
Infant care subsidies and schemes:
* Infant and child care centres tend to be expensive, with the average asking price $1445 per month for full day care. But, to ensure that these costs do not dissuade qualified parents from seeking job opportunities after a baby, Singapore offers subsidies to all parents, more amounts to middle and lower income households:
* Singaporean children enrolled in ECDA-recognised care centres are automatically eligible for a basic subsidy of upto $600 for infant care.
* Families with monthly household income of $7500 or below are eligible for an additional subsidy, with lower income families receiving more.
* A basic subsidy of $600/$300 for full day/half day care is given to Singapore citizen children whose mother/ single father works a minimum of 56 hours a month. Non-working mother/single father gets $150.
* Families with parents working minimum 56 hours, and family income of $7500 or under, are eligible for additional subsidy.
Children Development Co-Savings Scheme:
This is a co-savings scheme for children wherein the Government matches dollar for dollar contributions, up to a specified limit, the savings deposited by the parents in special accounts called CDA. These funds can be used for child development needs at Government approved institutions registered with the Ministry of Social and Family Welfare. Some of these uses are:
* Child care centre fees, kindergarten, special education schools and early intervention programmes.
* Assistive devices.
* Medical expenses at healthcare institutions.
* Eye-related products and services at optical shops.