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More affordable student care services for lower-income families

Type: Fact Sheets

Topic(s): Committee of Supply, Children & Families, Financial Assistance & Social Support

1. To strengthen support for lower-income families and give every child a good start in life, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will enhance the affordability of student care for families who require after-school care for their child.

2. Student Care Centres provide an important care option for parents who need after-school care for school-going children aged 7 to 14 years old. To ensure that student care remains affordable, MSF provides children from lower-income families with monthly subsidies for student care fees, under the Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) scheme. These subsidies are administered through MSF-registered student care centres (SCCs).

Higher subsidies and more qualifying families from 1 July 2020

3. From 1 July 2020, MSF will (i) increase the amount of subsidies, such that eligible families will receive up to $60 more in student care subsidies each month, and (ii) broaden the income criteria so that more families can qualify for SCFA. The enhancements are expected to benefit around 9,000 children.

4. With the enhanced subsidies, out-of-pocket expenses for student care services will be reduced by 15% to 50% for children attending a median-fee SCC, with households earning $1,500 or less per month paying $5 per month.

5. The qualifying monthly household income ceiling for SCFA will be raised from $4,000 to $4,500, and the per capita income ceiling will be raised from $1,000 to $1,125. Details of the revised SCFA subsidy framework can be found in Annex A.

6. The enhancements are part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to ensure that lower-income families continue to be able to afford student care. Strengthening afterschool care and support for students who may have less conducive home environment to return to after school is also one of the key focus areas of the Uplifting Pupils in Life and Inspiring Families Taskforce (UPLIFT) led by the Ministry of Education. Providing children with a safe and structured environment after school will help them inculcate good habits, build their resilience and strengthen their motivation to pursue their aspirations.