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More affordable after-school care services and a single point of contact for persons with disabilities and caregivers

MORE AFFORDABLE AFTER-SCHOOL CARE SERVICES AND A SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AND CAREGIVERS

1. In line with the Enabling Masterplan to better support and empower persons with disabilities and caregivers at every stage of life, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will be making the following enhancements. 

More affordable Special Student Care Centre services - 70% increase in funding and subsidy support

2. Special Student Care Centres (SSCCs) provide after-school care services and supervision for Special Education (SPED) students aged 7-18 years old. SSCCs are a key platform to support caregivers, providing a conducive environment for students with special needs to learn and develop skills for independent living.

3. MSF provides SPED students with monthly subsidies for SSCC fees, under the Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) scheme. These subsidies are administered through the SSCCs. 

4. To strengthen caregiver support, MSF will invest around $2 million a year – a 70% increase from $1.2 million today – to improve funding and subsidy support for families of SSCC students. From 1 July 2020, MSF will (i) enhance subsidies to better support families and (ii) considerably broaden the income criteria for means-tested subsidies so that more families qualify for SCFA. [1] The improvements to funding and subsidy support are expected to benefit about 150 children and their families this year, and we expect more to benefit in the future.

5. With the changes, out-of-pocket expenses for SSCC services will be lowered for most income groups, with reductions averaging between 30% to 80%. [2] For example, for a child from a family with a combined household income of $4,000, the SSCC out-of-pocket cost after subsidies for the child will be reduced by about 75% from $582/month to $142/month. Details of the enhancements and worked examples can be found in Annex A. 

6. MSF will continue to work with SSCC service providers to extend additional financial support to families who may require more help, for example, families with multiple children requiring SSCC services.

SG Enable as single touchpoint for disability services

7. SG Enable was established in 2013 to support the employment needs of persons with disabilities by assessing their training needs, enhancing their readiness for employment and by providing job placement and support services. SG Enable also provides disability-related information and referral services, and administers grants. 

8. From 1 Oct 2020, SG Enable will be the single touchpoint for disability services, and take over the administration of disability programmes currently administered by MSF and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). This includes the funding administration and management of services provided by Special Education Schools, Day Activity Centres, Adult Disability Homes, and Sheltered Workshops. SG Enable will also take the lead on public education efforts related to disability, and will take over the running of the See The True Me campaign from NCSS. This will better serve persons with disabilities and their caregivers across their different life stages and needs. 

9. The change will allow SG Enable to identify areas in services where there are gaps or overlaps, or duplicative processes. For example, persons with disabilities and their caregivers will be able to access information about more schemes and services from a single agency. Social Service Agencies (SSAs) will also benefit, as they only need to interface with one agency for funding and service management matters.

10. SG Enable has also launched a new online resource – the Enabling Guide (www.enablingguide.sg). This is a one-stop website for persons with disabilities, and caregivers to directly find information, while sector professionals can use the information in the Enabling Guide to help their clients. It pulls together information and resources on disability schemes and services, and guides users in making more informed decisions about different service options across the life stages. Since its launch, more than 20,000 users have benefited from the Enabling Guide.

11. MSF will continue to work with our people, private, and public sector partners to build a more inclusive environment and inclusive homes for persons with disabilities. Under the Third Enabling Masterplan (EMP3), the Government has formed three cross-sectoral Workgroups to look into how we can better support persons with disabilities through their different life stages. The Workgroups are looking into how we can better support children with developmental needs through an inclusive preschool model, improve the employability of persons with disabilities, and help them live independently through the use of technology and design. The Workgroups will release their recommendations later this year. 

[1] The eligible monthly household income for means-tested subsidies will be raised from $4,000 to $9,200.

[2] The exception is the lowest income tier, where children already enjoy a nominal fee.

ANNEX A: Revisions to fee caps for SSCC services

ANNEX B: Frequently asked questions

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