From 1 April 2013, Singaporeans can look forward to wider choices and better access to family education and resources at different life stages. The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) is initiating FamilyMatters!, a movement to give a greater push to family life education and promotion efforts within the family, in school, in the community and at work.
FamilyMatters! seeks to nurture a pro-family mindset, and help Singaporeans equip themselves with skills and knowledge that will enhance the quality of their family life. It will bring family life education to where Singaporeans live, work and play at day-to-day touch points such workplaces, schools, shopping malls and other convenient locations within the community. These programmes will be relevant to key life stages and cover topics such as marriage, work-life harmony, fertility and parenthood, and parenting.
Acting Minister for Social and Family Development, Chan Chun Sing shared: “As our society evolves and the pace of our lives quickens, we must do even more to strengthen the family. We should equip ourselves with family life knowledge and skills, and also bring about greater pro-family consciousness and mindsets across all segments of our society.”
FamilyMatters! brings together existing and new family life education programmes for singles and families to provide a continuum of learning opportunities. Government will provide funding to a network of partners and delivery channels in schools, in the community and in workplaces.
As the workplace offers a convenient platform for busy Singaporeans to access family programmes, the Ministry will be providing more support for companies to organise family life education talks and activities for their employees. Support from the Ministry will include more flexible funding to offset the costs of organising workplace talks and activities, a comprehensive programme menu that cater to different life stages, as well as support to sustain programmes throughout the year.
The Ministry will also provide a FamilyMatters@Business grant to help businesses defray costs incurred in staff training, process re-engineering and infrastructure development to make their businesses a more family-friendly environment to their customers. Details will be announced at a later date.
To help family life education providers and family life educators build capability and deliver quality programmes, the Ministry will be stepping up support for non-profit family life education organisations in research and content development. We will also provide more training and development opportunities for family life educators.
MSF has budgeted $40 million to fund FamilyMatters! over three years, and plans to double the outreach from close to 1 million in 2012 to 2 million Singaporeans in 2015.