Being a parent is one of the greatest joy a person can experience. However, it also comes with a lifetime of responsibilities. For many parents in Singapore, there will be days where you and your spouse be tested physically, emotionally, mentally and of course, financially, as you care for your little ones.
Celebrating alongside you is none other than the Singapore Government. And with the fertility rate in Singapore at a 7-year low of 1.16, you see why they are just as happy.
Raising a child in Singapore is not cheap. After having spent anything between $5,000 to $15,000 from pregnancy to delivering the baby, parents can easily incur between $8,000 to $18,000 in costs just for raising their baby in the first year.
To help new parents with the cost of raising their baby in Singapore, there are quite a number of grants that the government has introduced.
In this guide, we will run through each of these grants that you and your little ones will be eligible for. We have also added other useful schemes and initiatives that you can consider applying for.
Find Out More
- Baby Bonus Cash Gift
- Child Development Account
- Personal Income Tax Relief And Rebate
- Good Start Bundle
Baby Bonus Cash Gift
The Baby Bonus Cash Gift is basically cash that is given to parents of newborn babies. How much parents receive depends on the birth order of their child. This ranges from $8,000 (1st and 2nd child) to $10,000 (3rd and subsequent children).
The cash gift is not paid out in one lump sum. Rather, it’s given over a period of 18 months from the birth of the child.
You can apply for the Baby Bonus Cash Gift on the Baby Bonus website.
Child Development Account
The Child Development Account (CDA) is part of the baby bonus scheme designed to help parents with the cost of raising their child. Money in the CDA account can be used to pay for educational and healthcare expenses at approved institutions.
CDA First Step
Announced in the 2016 Budget, all Singaporean children born from 24 March 2016 onwards will receive an initial $3,000 in their CDA.
For the first and second child, the government will do a dollar-for-dollar matching whenever parents top up their child’s CDA, up to $3,000.
This amount increases to $9,000 for the third and fourth child, and $15,000 for the fifth and subsequent child.
Source: Baby Bonus
Because the CDA is a savings account, you will need to choose a bank for the CDA to be opened at. This can be done online. You can select from OCBC, UOB and POSB.
In our view, it’s better for you to choose a bank that you already have an existing internet banking relationship with. This will make it convenient for you to monitor the CDA, since the account will be tied to your name. This way, you wouldn’t need another internet banking login to access the account.
If you wish to sign up for both the Baby Bonus Cash Gift and the CDA, you can read our step-by-step guide to applying for the Baby Bonus Scheme.
Not everyone knows but all newborns will receive a $4,000 Medisave Grant into their Medisave Account. There is no need to apply for this grant as it will be automatically deposited into your child’s Medisave Account once the birth is registered.
Other Schemes And Initiatives To Consider
Aside from government grants, they are also other schemes and initiatives that you, as a new parent, should know about.
Personal Income Tax Relief And Rebate
If you are already paying income tax, you will realise that having a child allows you to claim for tax relief and tax rebate. Here’s a quick look at what you may be entitled to.
Qualifying Child Relief (QCR)
Tax relief of $4,000.
Handicapped Child Relief (HCR)
Tax relief of $7,500. Do note, you can only claim for either the QCR or the HCR.
Working Mother’s Child Relief (WMCR)
If you are a working mother, you can claim the WMCR at 15% of your earned income for your 1st child, 20% for the 2nd, and 25% per child for all subsequent children, with a maximum cap at 100% of your earned income.
Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR)
The Parenthood Tax rebate (PTR) is a rebate which is given to parents who are paying income tax. Unlike the tax relief, which only reduces a person assessable income, the PTR is a tax rebate, which means you are given this rebate based on the income tax that you are liable to pay. You and your spouse will share the PTR based on an apportionment agreed by both of you.
Any unutilised amount of PTR will be carried forward to offset against the income tax payable for subsequent years, until the rebate has been fully utilised.
Good Start Bundle
The Good Start Bundle is an initiative put together by NTUC Social Enterprise. It consists of a few items including a NTUC FairPrice “FairMily” kit worth $100. This is a baby hamper that includes many useful essentials.
In addition to the “FairMily” kit, the Good Start Bundle also gives complimentary one-year health insurance coverage, courtesy of NTUC Income. The insurance coverage is an important reminder for parents not to neglect essential healthcare coverage for their child.
There is also an “Early Experiences Matter” book developed by NTUC First Campus. This book gives essential tips for parents on how they can engage with their little ones in their learning journey from young.
The newest addition to the Good Start Bundle is Toddlers’ Thursday. It provides free entry for one child (age 3 years and below) and one adult every first Thursday of the month to eXplorerkid at Downtown East and AMK Hub. There is also complimentary entry to The Little Skool-House every first Thursday of the month, where children can learn the wonders of languages and literacy in interactive ways.
Families with Singapore citizen babies born between 1 January 2016 and 31 December 2019 are eligible to receive the NTUC Good Start Bundle.
If you have not heard of the NTUC Good Start Bundle, or have yet to sign up your baby for it, you can read up more and sign up on the Good Start Bundle website.
Drop us a message at [email protected] if there are any more baby related grants, initiatives and schemes that you know about.
Considering Getting A New Credit Card?
SingSaver is running a special credit card promotion this month that gives you up to $150 in cash and $120 in cashback, on top of rewards from individual credit card companies. Offer is good until 31 May 2018.
Not sure which card is right for you? Check out the Complete Guide to Choosing Credit Cards in Singapore for a step-by-step walkthrough to help you make the best decision.
DollarsAndSense.sg is a website that aims to provide interesting, bite-sized financial articles which are relevant to the average Singaporean. Subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available on our website. Follow us as well on Instagram @DNSsingapore to get your daily dose of finance knowledge through photos.
Bonds and Fixed Income