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Rationale for Not Providing Non-working Mothers with the Same Level of Infant Care or Childcare Subsidy as Working Mothers

Type: Early Childhood,

Topic(s): Early Childhood,


Question

Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development what is the rationale for not providing non-working mothers  with the same level of infant care or childcare subsidy as working mothers  for enrolling Singapore citizen children below seven years old in full-day  infant care or childcare programmes at licensed childcare centres.

 

Answer

All parents, regardless of their working status, are supported with a universal basic childcare and infant care subsidy for their Singaporean children. Working mothers receive more support for full-day childcare and infant care as they may have a greater need for care for their children while they are away at work.

Applicants who are not working due to extenuating circumstances and need full-day childcare (e.g. illness, seeking employment, undergoing training/skills upgrading, and those who need to care for other dependants) can apply for Special Approval to receive subsidy support equivalent to what a working mother applicant will receive. Today, families under HDB’s Public Rental Scheme or MSF’s Comcare schemes are also automatically eligible for maximum preschool subsidies until the next fixed point of assessment, regardless of the mother’s working status.

Non-working mothers can also enrol their children in half-day kindergarten. Singaporean children enrolled in kindergartens run by MOE or Anchor Operators may receive kindergarten subsidies, which do not depend on the mother’s working status.

The Government will do more to ensure that parents can consistently afford to send their children to preschool. As stated in the Forward SG report, we will extend full childcare subsidies to all lower-income families based on their income tier. More details will be provided when ready.