Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development how many children who are currently eligible for a Child Development Account (CDA) have not had their CDAs established and what can be done for this particular group of children.
Parents can open a Child Development Account (CDA) for an eligible Singapore Citizen child anytime from the child’s birth until the end of the year that he or she turns 12. Based on the 2008 to 2020 birth cohorts, around 450,700 children are eligible for a CDA. As at 7 December 2020, about 1.8% or 8,200 eligible children have not opened their CDA. We expect this number to decrease given the time frame to open a CDA.
2 Parents can conveniently apply for the Baby Bonus Scheme and open a CDA for their child on the Baby Bonus website or the LifeSG mobile application. Information on how to apply for a CDA is also included in the Baby Bonus kit distributed to new parents at maternity hospitals and ICA’s birth registration counters. Subsequently, MSF regularly sends mail reminders to parents to apply for the Baby Bonus Scheme and open a CDA.
3 MSF also works with agencies to reach out to those without a CDA. For example, MSF partners KidSTART Agencies under the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) to identify low-income families and help them apply for a CDA.
4 We encourage all parents to open a CDA as the Government provides the CDA First Step Grant of $3,000, and co-matches parents’ savings up to a cap, depending on the child order. These help families defray the financial costs of child-raising and can be used by the child and his or her siblings for approved educational and healthcare expenses. For more information on the CDA and how to open an account, members of the public can visit MSF’s Baby Bonus website, or call the Baby Bonus hotline 1800 253 7707 for assistance.
5 The Government is committed to building strong and resilient families, and helping all parents invest in their children’s future, including the more vulnerable children. We will continue to work with relevant agencies to help more families benefit from the CDA.