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Budget 2024

Type: Announcements

Topic(s): Committee of Supply



Empowering Families with Opportunities for All

Building on ForwardSG to refresh our social compact, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will work with Singaporeans and the community to better support and strengthen our families. This is part of our commitment to build a Singapore Made for Families - where all families, especially lower-income families, are empowered to fulfill their aspirations and achieve stability, self-reliance and social mobility.

At the Committee of Supply 2024 debate, MSF shared about three key shifts:

  1. Moving towards a whole-of-society support for families;
  2. Going beyond assistance to empowerment; and
  3. Building a strong social service ecosystem.

Find out more about how you can benefit here.

COS 2024 - Supporting Parents and Parents-to-beCOS 2024 - Uplifting Lower-income FamiliesCOS 2024 - Enabling Persons with Disabilities to Live and Work in the CommunityCOS 2024 - Supporting our Social Service Agencies and Professionals


Click on the images to view each infographic in full


Strengthening Families

  • [25 May - 30 Jun 2024] National Family Festival 2024
    • Wide range of exciting activities and programmes for families across Home, Play and Work pillars
    • Visit familiesforlife.sg for updates


Additional Caregiving Options

  • [2H 2024] Launch of a three-year infant childminding pilot
    • At childminder's home or at community centres/clubs, up to three infants per childminder
    • Out-of-pocket expenses will be around $700/month, similar to what a median-income family pays for full-day infant care at Anchor Operators
    • Parents can also tap on the Child Development Account to further defray expenses
    • ECDA will engage parents and stakeholders before launch

Greater Preschool Affordability

  • [By 2025] 80% of preschoolers can have a place in Government-supported preschools
    • Up from over 65% today
  • [In 2025] Full-day childcare fee caps for Anchor Operator (AOP) and Partner Operator (POP) centres will be lowered by $40, to $640 and $680 per month respectively (before GST)
    • With existing basic and means-tested subsidies, monthly out-of-pocket fees will be between $3 and $441 (See Tables 1 and 2 for details)
    • The fee caps will be lowered further in 2026, so dual-income families with a child in AOP full-day childcare will pay around the equivalent of primary school and student care fees

Table 1: Full-day childcare expenses at an AOP centre with a revised fee cap of $640 ($698 after GST)
Support for Parents and Families - Table 1

Table 2: Full-day childcare expenses at a POP centre with a revised fee cap of $680 ($741 after GST)
Support for Parents and Families - Table 2

2026 fee caps and expected savings for families will be disclosed closer to 2026.


Strengthening Early Intervention and Special Education Support

  • [2H 2024] New EIPIC-Care pilot to equip caregivers to provide first line of early intervention (EI) support
    • During the 6-month programme, caregivers of children age 2 to 3 with developmental needs will be equipped with the skills to provide EI support at home.
  • [By end 2024] 1,500 new places in government-supported EI centres
  • [July 2024] Special Student Care Centres (SSCC) fee caps will be lowered
    • Reduction of out-of-pocket fees for middle-income families by up to 40% (See Table 3 for details)
    • About 100 families per year will benefit


Table 3: Revision to fee caps for SSCC services

Support for Parents and Families - Table 3

Greater Affordability of Preschool

  • [Q4 2024] All lower-income families will qualify for the maximum amount of childcare subsidies for their income tier
    • For families with gross monthly household income of $6,000 and below (See Table 4 for details)
    • Up to 17,000 additional children could benefit

Table 4: Full-day childcare expenses at an Anchor Operator (AOP) centre with enhanced preschool subsidies for lower-income families
Support for Lower-income Families - Table 4*Fees will be lower as full-day childcare fees will be lowered from 1 Jan 2025.

Support for Preschool Enrolment and Attendance

  • [Q3 2024] Expansion of Preschool Outreach Programme to more children from lower-income families
    • Encourage and facilitate children's preschool enrolment by age 3
    • Aim to reach out to over 2,000 children every year
  • [2H 2024] Under the ComLink+ Package for Preschool,  ComLink+ families can receive up to $3,700 in Child Development Account (CDA) top-ups for each child
    • Singaporean children in ComLink+ families who were born in 2021 or later are eligible
    • The top-ups are funded by a donor and are as follows:
      • One-time top-up of $500 for each child who is enrolled in preschool in the year the child turns 3
      • $200 top-up every quarter, for each child aged 3 to 6 years old who attends preschool for at least 75% of the school days
    • Government will match these donor top-ups as part of the Baby Bonus Scheme
      • This means each child can start primary school with up to an additional $7,400 in their CDA
    • Family coaches will continue to provide direct support to families e.g. by guiding them through the preschool enrolment process

  • [2Q 2024] Additional resourcing to selected AOP preschools to strengthen preschool attendance and learning support for children from lower-income families
    • For example, preschools can work with parents to address challenges in sending their child to preschool regularly and provide more targeted learning support to children in areas like literacy, numeracy or social emotional development
    • Close to 2,000 children in AOPs will benefit over the next three years

  • [2Q 2024] Increased access to FFL parenting programmes and resources for lower-income parents with children in AOP preschools
    • Customised delivery of FFL parenting programmes and additional support to facilitate attendance to equip lower-income parents with skills
    • Aim to reach 50% of lower-income families in AOP preschools by 2027

Expansion of ComLink+

  • [From Mar 2024] Extension of ComLink+ to more lower-income families with children
    • Extending ComLink+ support to around 3,000 families not residing in public rental flats, that are eligible for UPLIFT Community Network (UCN) or KidSTART, over the next few years
    • Actively recruiting 200 more family coaches to better support ComLink+ families

  • Keen to join as a volunteer befriender to support our ComLink+ families?
    • Volunteer befrienders play an important role in the delivery of ComLink+ to build rapport, support and nudge families to take steps towards their goals
    • Visit go.gov.sg/befriending-comlink to sign up as a ComLink+ volunteer befriender

    Increasing Employment Support

    • [Over next 2 years] 200 Persons with Disabilities employed under Place-and-Train (PnT) programme
      • Introduced in 2021, PnT provides job and training opportunities for persons with disabilities
      • Employers receive 90% of salary support from the Government for up to one year for each hire, and 90% course fee subsidy when persons with disabilities attend training courses
      • About 8 in 10 of those who completed the PnT programme remain employed 6 months after the support ended. Majority were with the same employers who hosted them under PnT

    • [By 2030] 500 more places in Sheltered Workshops
      • For persons with disabilities who are able to work, but are not yet ready for or unable to take up open employment
      • Allows them to receive work skills training and job support, according to their needs

    Support Persons with Disabilities to Live in the Community

    • [From 1 Apr 2024] Higher subsidies under the Enabling Transport Subsidy (ETS) Scheme
      • About 40% of persons with disabilities currently benefitting from ETS will see a reduction in their out-of-pocket transport fees by at least 10%
    • [2025] Two new Enabling Services Hubs (ESHs) in Jurong West and Punggol
      • Work with community partners to offer a range of disability services and programmes close to home
      • New ESHs will serve persons with disabilities and their caregivers staying in Jurong West and Punggol, Hougang, Sengkang and Serangoon towns
    • [By 2030] 500 more Day Activity Centre places
      • For persons with disabilities with higher support needs and are not able to work
      • Centres conduct social and recreational activities, and equip persons with disabilities with daily living and community living skills

     

    • [Over next 3 years] Improve SSAs' adherence to sector salary guidelines
      • MSF and NCSS regularly review Social Service Sector Salary Guidelines to ensure they are competitive
      • Aside from increased funding, MSF and NCSS will work with SSAs to improve the sector's salary adherence of the guidelines over the next three years
      • Target consultancy support will be provided to SSAs who require more assistance

    • Transformation Sustainability Scheme to help strengthen organisational capabilities
      • Provides eligible SSAs with up to $200,000 or 80% of total projected costs (whichever is lower) over three years
      • To strengthen organisational capabilities, such as People Practice, Volunteer Management, and Innovation & Digitalisation
      • All NCSS members and MSF-funded SSAs can apply for this scheme.

    • More Pre-employment Training opportunities with Institutes of Higher Learning and Career Conversion Programmes (CCPs) for mid-career entrants
      • To build sustainable pipelines of professionals for the social service sector, MSF works with Institutes of Higher Learning to develop professional training programmes
        • For instance, the Singapore Institute of Technology introduced a four-year Speech and Language Therapy degree programme in September 2020
      • CCP is a place-and-train programme designed to support mid-career individuals in acquiring knowledge and skills needed to join the sector
        • Employers can tap on CCPs to reskill mid-career new hires or workers with up to 90% salary and course fee support