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Operational Procedures for SCFA Administrator Student Care Centres

This section lays out the operational procedures that SCFA Administrator Student Care Centres (SCCs) should follow in different scenarios:

Note: The ComCare Student Care Subsidies scheme is also known as the Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) scheme.

1.            The SCFA Scheme provides fee assistance for children from lower-income working1 families who enrol in SCFA Administrator Student Care Centres (SCCs). Under the SCFA Scheme, successful applicants are provided a monthly Subsidy and SUG (if eligible) which MSF disburses directly to the SCC. SUG Deposit (equivalent to one month’s fees) shall be held by MSF and disbursed to the SCC if the student withdraws without providing 1 month’s notice). The SCC deducts the Subsidy against the SCC monthly fees. The amount of the Subsidy is determined based on the monthly gross household/per capita income of the family. With effect from 1 July 2020, families with a gross Household Income of up to $4,500, or a gross Per Capita Income of up to $1,125 (for families with five or more family members) are eligible to apply for the Subsidy.


2.            When you are successfully registered as an SCFA Administrator, you are required to:


  1. Verify and confirm that applicants meet the eligibility criteria for the SCFA scheme and submit the application form and required supporting documents online via https://one.ssnet.gov.sg;

  2. Update any changes to your Centre’s contact details via written communication (e.g. Email) to the respective Student Care Officer or to MSF_Student_Care@msf.gov.sg.

  3. Provide updates on your centre’s monthly capacity, overall student care enrolment, number of students receiving SCFA subsidies at your SCC, and other required information to MSF once every 6 months;

  4. Allow access to any officer authorised by MSF to inspect the SCC and examine relevant documents relating to the administration of the SCFA subsidies during such visits;

  5. Abide by the prevailing minimum standards as outlined in the registration form for SCFA administrators; and

  6. Track the attendance of students attending your SCC. An SCFA beneficiary is required to attain an attendance rate of at least 30% per month for June and December and 50% per month for non-school holiday months in the centre in order to receive the SCFA subsidy for the month. For students who do not meet the 30% / 50% attendance requirement for a particular month, your SCC is to refund the SCFA subsidies for that month within the next calendar month. Please refer to the table below for details.

Calculation of student's monthly attendance rate and procedure for refund of overpayment to MSF

Read the PDF document

Timeframe for Refund to MSF

The refund must reach MSF within the next calendar month. For example, if the student did not meet 30% / 50% attendance level requirement for the month of February, the SCC’s refund should reach SCFA/SDD before the end of March.

Documentary trail for audit purposes

A copy of the refund bank transfer, a detailed list of students in the SCFA Refunds to MSF (to be filled in by SCCs) and the hardcopy letter/email should be filed for audit purposes.


3.            The Ministry has also published a set of guidelines for operators running SCCs. We strongly advise SCFA Administrators to read through these guidelines, as it contains valuable resources which will aid the operation of the centre. Please refer to the document titled “Gu​idelines for Student Care Centres​”


4.            Please note that SCFA administrators are required to meet a stipulated list of minimum requirements and are subjected to audit checks to assess their suitability to continue administering the SCFA subsidies. Please refer to the SCFA administrator guidelines for more details.


5.            To submit SCFA subsidy applications for individual students, please refer to the following URL for the relevant MSF contact points to send the application form to: Contact points for submission of ComCare Student Care subsidies (SCFA subsidy) application forms

1.           If you are taking over the operation of an existing SCFA administrator SCC and wish to be registered as an SCFA administrator as well, you must:


  • Submit a fresh application for SCFA administrator status. Kindly email MSF_Comcare_SCFA@msf.gov.sg for more information.
  • Obtain the list of SCFA students from the outgoing operator.
  • Reach an agreement with the outgoing operator on the cut-off date when the SCFA beneficiaries’ payment will transit to the incoming operator. This needs to be done via a written agreement signed by both operators, and a scanned copy of the agreement is to be emailed to the respective Student Care Officer or to MSF_Student_Care@msf.gov.sg.

2.            In the event that you as the new operator have taken over some students on SCFA scheme, you have to re-submit Sections I, VIII, IX & X of the SCFA subsidy application form for each student (whose SCFA’s duration has not expired). Thereafter, please email these forms to SCFA/SDD (Email: MSF_Comcare_SCFA@msf.gov.sg). This procedure only involves you, being the new SCFA Administrator, and will not require the parents/guardians’ participation or signature. The said form can be downloaded from the webpage Checklist and Application forms for ComCare Student Care subsidies (SCFA subsidy).


3.            If there are new Start-Up Grant (SUG) components needed (i.e. new uniform, insurance, deposit or registration fee), transiting parents/guardians will be able to claim SUG again (only for those who are currently using their first SUG in this centre). This procedure only involves you, being the new SCFA Administrator, and will not require the parents/guardians’ participation or signature, as the SUG component is captured in Section VIII of the form that you will be resubmitting.

1.            If you are withdrawing your centre as SCFA Administrator, please email MSF (respective SCO / MSF_Student_Care@msf.gov.sg and SCFA Team (MSF_ComCare_SCFA@msf.gov.sg)), and affected parents/guardians in writing, at least 3 months in advance.


  1. Inform MSF Student Care Officer and affected parents/guardians in writing, at least 3 months in advance.

  2. Submit the list of affected SCFA students to Student Care Officer and SCFA/SDD at MSF_Comcare_SCFA@msf.gov.sg. The students’ names and Birth Certificate numbers should be in the list.

  3. Assist to reassure affected SCFA students’ parents/guardians that they will be eligible for second instance of Start-Up Grant (SUG) claim at the new SCFA Administrator centre that the students are transiting to. However, this is only applicable for SCFA students that are using their first instance of SUG at your current centre.

  4. Give affected parents/guardians the website link of MSF Student Care Portal’s search function that provides List of Registered Student Care Centres. Please inform parents/guardians that centres on that list are able to assist parents/guardians to apply for SCFA subsidies. If parents/guardians are eligible for second instance of SUG claim (as mentioned in 1c), please advise parents/guardians to inform the operator of the new SCFA Administrator centre that the students are transiting to.

  5. Fill in the withdrawal forms for SCFA students that are leaving your centre. Submit the online withdrawal forms for SCFA students that are leaving your centre.

  6. Usually, for SCFA student, the centre would not have collected 1 month’s deposit from the parent/guardian. This is due to the fact that 1 month’s deposit (part of the SUG) is withheld by MSF when the student’s SCFA subsidy application is approved. However, for cases where alternative arrangements have been made with parents/guardians to collect cash booking fee that in turn was held by centre as cash security deposit, your centre have to resolve with the parents/guardians for the refund of such cash security deposit.

For school-based Student Care Centre (SCCs): Steps to be taken prior to expiration of contract


1.            Operators of school-based SCCs are selected through an open procurement process to operate the centre for a certain contractual period. Prior to the end of the contractual period, schools will embark on another cycle of open procurement to select an operator for the next contractual period.


2.            If you are a school-based SCFA Administrator SCC with a contract that is due to expire in 3 months, you should take the following steps:


  1. Send a circular to parents/guardians to inform them of the SCC contract expiry date and the possibility of a new operator taking over. This circular should be sent 3 months before the contract expiry date.

  2. Send a follow-up circular to parents/guardians when the school publishes the results of the contract award on GeBIZ, to inform them about any change in the SCC operator. If there is a change in the operator, please provide parents/guardians with the details of the new operator and the official date of the handover.


3.            If you will be handing over the centre to a new operator, please work with the parents/guardians and the new operator to facilitate a smooth transition. This includes settling matters involving the refund of deposit to parents/guardians and the transfer of SCFA subsidy cases to the new operator.

1.            In the event that a student receiving SCFA were to exhibit signs of poor attendance at the SCC (e.g. not able to achieve at least 30% / 50% attendance in a month), the centre is advised not to terminate the student as the first resort. Instead, the centre should do the following:

  • Confirm with parent/guardian if he/she is still keen for student to be enrolled and if so, ask parent/guardian to make efforts to ensure that student attend the centre unless the student is absent with a valid reason2.

  • Remind parent/guardian that in order to continue enjoying the relevant monthly subsidy, the student needs to attend at least 30% / 50% of the number of days in which the SCC operates per month. If the student does not meet the minimum 30% / 50% attendance rate, the SCC will refund MSF the subsidy paid for the relevant month and the parent/guardian is liable to pay the full SCC monthly fee.

  • If the parent/guardian wishes to appeal for the SCFA subsidies to be given for those month(s), the SCC could help to gather supporting document(s) or parent/guardian’s written declaration or School’s endorsement letter or social worker/counsellor's memo and other supporting documents, and the SCC can submit an online appeal for the waiver of the attendance requirement.

For students who are receiving case management by a social worker or support from a school counsellor:

  • The SCC could alert the social worker or counsellor on student’s non-attendance, and seek assistance from the social worker/counsellor to write a memo to support a waiver of minimum 30% / 50% attendance requirement for the student, if the social worker or counsellor is committed to work with the family to ensure that the student attends the student care centre unless student is absent with valid reasons2.
  • The centre could use the memo as a supporting document to appeal against refunding the SCFA subsidies for the affected month(s). Email the appeal request to SDCD/MSF at MSF_Comcare_SCFA@msf.gov.sg.

  • Meanwhile, the centre should also inform parent/guardian about the 30% / 50% attendance requirement in order to be eligible for SCFA subsidy. Urge parent/guardian to ensure that student attend SCC unless student is ill or has school activities.

2.            If student’s attendance at the SCC still falls below the 30% / 50% rate despite all efforts made, and the centre decides to terminate student’s enrolment, the centre needs to carry out the following procedure:

  • Provide a one-month notice letter to parent/guardian before submitting the withdrawal form to MSF. The notification letter should make the following points:
    1. Inform parent/guardian about the minimum 30% / 50% attendance requirement in order to be eligible for SCFA subsidy.

    2. rge parent/guardian to ensure that the student attends the centre unless student is absent with valid reasons2

    3. Alert parent/guardian that the centre will terminate the student’s enrolment if student’s attendance falls below 30% / 50% attendance rate.

3.            The withdrawal form can only be submitted one month from the date of the notice provided to parent/guardian, i.e. after the one-calendar-month notice period given to parents/guardians. This is to enable the centre to have a full month’s attendance record confirmation that the student did not meet the minimum 30% / 50% attendance requirement despite the notice letter issued by the centre. Centre may request for refund of deposit (if SUG is approved in the same subsidy period) by indicating in the withdrawal form.


4.            The centre is to refund the SCFA subsidies for those month(s) which the student did not meet the 30% / 50% attendance requirement.


5.            Please refer to the table below for details on refund procedures.


Calculation of student's monthly attendance rate and procedure for refund of overpayment to MSF

Read the PDF document

Timeframe for Refund to MSF

The refund must reach MSF within the next calendar month. For example, if the student did not meet 30% / 50% attendance level requirement for the month of February, the SCC’s refund should reach SCFA/SDD before the end of March.

Documentary trail for audit purposes

A copy of the refund bank transfer, a detailed list of students in the SCFA Refunds to MSF (to be filled in by SCCs) and the hardcopy letter/email should be filed for audit purposes.


Footnotes:

1 If either parent/legal guardian is not working, he or she must be looking for work, on medical leave, incarcerated, a certified full-time caregiver for a dependent, or have other valid reasons. The applicant must provide relevant supporting documents.

2 Valid reasons that can be considered are: when the child (a) has valid MC, (b) engages in school activities outside of the centre (e.g. co-curricular activities, supplementary classes, training for sports and national tournaments), (c) engages in enrichment activities organised by SSAs outside of the centre (e.g. tuition classes), and (d) is travelling overseas.