I never understood the whole “children are troublesome” argument. So they need to supervised, catered to, and have their diapers changed. They wake you up at four in the morning. They demand constant attention. How exactly is it different from having a boss? (Source)
We even penned our thoughts on how to increase the birth rate of Singaporeans here.
Couples decision to have children is largely based on two factors – financial stability and mental readiness.
You can rejoice if you you are planning to start a family soon.
The latest incentives announced by the Prime Minister might just be the impetus for couples to take the plunge as couples are promised more cash flow and support for them and their children starting from 1 January 2016.
More help to take care of the child
- Priority in living closer with parents; Proximity housing Grant
Every Singaporean household will be eligible, whether first-time buyer or not. You will get the grant when you buy a resale flat near your parents or your married children. Rumors state that the amount is at least $20,000 but I think MND will be announcing the details soon
- Extended leave – 2 weeks paternity leave
Fathers play an important role in bring up children and they can definitely contribute more than just bringing home the bacon. As such, the government is giving an extra week of leave (in addition to the current one week). The Public service will be leading the way with this scheme – Yay to more fathers son/daughters bonding time!
Financial boost – $$
- More medisave grants for babies
A CPF Medisave account is created for each newborn and they currently receive $3,000 grant. This amount is set to increase by at least 20% to offset healthcare expenses, including the cost of insurance under MediShield.
- Enhanced Baby bonus (cash gift and Chid development account)
The baby bonus is really what most couples are interested in when they have their child. Couples get at least $6,000 in cash and dollar for dollar top up in the Child Development Account (CDA) of up to $6,000. Rumors state that this amount will be increased to $9,000. Ka- Ching!
Over the past decade. The government has not only come up with creative programmes to render assistance to encourage couples to have children but they have also committed resources to back up their claims.
(Amount in all categories set to increase by at least 20% by 1 Jan 2015. )
In short, the Singapore Government have put money where their mouth is and make good on their promises – to support you and your family for the future of Singapore.
What they promised to do. They did. Even during tough times
While it is easy to zoom in on the amount of money received when you start a family, it is equally important to notice initiatives such as the proximity housing grant, child care rebates and extended paternity leave. These initiatives helps the family cope with the new adjustment in their lifestyle by providing support pillars that they can tap on – alleviating worry and anxiety when deciding how to juggle both family and work.
According to PM Lee, the Total Fertilitiry Rate (TFR) seems to have beaten the down trend and that the stats have been encouraging so far. Statistics show an uptrend in the number of births from 2010. Last year, it stood at about 33,200 – the highest across 10 years. (Source)
This immense child support package coupled with a world class education and a health care system already in place and set to get better will hopefully put the worries of young parents at ease. Our kids are indeed much more privileged as compared to the generation before them (who had much much less). On our part, we must never let them forget how lucky they are and to never take these privileges for granted.
p.s. Guide on the current baby bonus here