Singapore has one of the highest mobile penetration rates in the world (about 154%), and it is no wonder that citizens would prefer to transact with the government on the go, 24/7, using their mobile apps.
Enter LifeSG, a newly-revamped app by the government that boasts more than 40 government services being brought under a single app.
Probably due to the app’s origins as “Moments of Life”, before it was repurposed to become a one-stop solution for government services, most of the unique functions cater mainly to new parents.
#1 Find Out What Subsidies, Benefits, Grants You Can Get For Your Household
There are so many subsidies, grants, and benefits (like paid childcare leave) to support parents with raising a child that it can sometimes be hard to keep track of what you are eligible for.
Within the LifeSG app, click on Explore -> Government Schemes -> Family Support Calculator. By answering about 6 simple questions (on things like your age, marital status, household income, and children), you’ll be able to see at a glance what government schemes apply to you, with expandable details.
#2 Receive Relevant Notifications In Line With Your Baby’s Estimated Date Of Delivery (EDD)
Within the Services -> Family and Parenting section, you can specify when you’re expecting the delivery of your little one, and the LifeSG app will calibrate sending of notifications, useful articles, and other reminders leading up to the big day – and beyond.
Definitely a thoughtful feature for parents-to-be, and perhaps a pioneering example of how information on government schemes and services can be shared in a relevant, contextual manner.
Primary School registration and admin matters to come, perhaps? Or maybe retirees can look forward to a guided journey for planning their CPF LIFE payouts in the future? Or maybe in-app reminders for filing personal income taxes?
#3 Apply For Your Baby’s Birth Registration And Baby Bonus
New parents can register the birth of their child and for the Baby Bonus scheme conveniently, from within the LifeSG app using their SingPass – even while they’re still in the hospital!
#4 Find (Baby Bonus Approved) Pharmacies And Optical Shops Near You
Part of the Baby Bonus benefits is an initial $3,000 being deposited in your Child Development Account (CDA), which you can use for pre-approved child-related expenses, including pharmacies, optical shops, clinics, pre-schools, and more.
You can click Services -> Family and Parenting -> Search for Baby Bonus Approved Institutions to see a list of places where you can use your CDA monies, sorted by proximity and type.
#5 Search And Bookmark Suitable Pre-Schools Around A Given Vicinity
Finding the right childcare facility is simple with the step-by-step wizard that helps you with shortlisting. You can access it via Services -> Family and Parenting -> Search for a preschool.
You simply need to indicate the pre-school level you’re looking for (infant care, playgroup, pre-nursery, nursery, or kindergarten) and you’ll be matched to the appropriate type of institution (childcare centre, early years centre, kindergarten).
Depending on your citizenship status, the indicative school fees will also be displayed (after subsidies), so you can shortlist the appropriate facility that suits your needs and budget. You can even see the type of food served, whether transportation services are available, and the certification and programmes of the school.
#6 Look For Fitness, Educational And Cultural Activities
The LifeSG app’s Explore -> Events section brings together a wide range of events and activities from the Health Promotion Board, National Library Board, Ministry of Social and Family Development, National Arts Council, and many others.
You can search for events by vicinity, genre,and even filter by suitability for children, teens, or seniors. Amidst the current socially-distance time we’re in, many of these events are conducted virtually, allowing you to enjoy them from the comfort and safety of home.
#7 Links To Some 40 Government E-Services
At the launch of LifeSG by Minister-in-Charge of Smart Nation, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, it was boasted that some 40 government services now being accessible within a single app.
This soundbite was parroted multiple media outlets, but anyone who downloaded and used the app would realise that the majority of the functions are simply links to mobile websites, which is contrasted by the comprehensive and well-designed parenting-related services.
The poor integration of LifeSG with the other government services mean that you will need to login using your SingPass every single time you access a new e-Service – even during the same session – and this despite having to be logged in to use LifeSG in the first place.
But perhaps some would see value in bringing together a bookmarks list of frequently used government e-Services, so here is a glimpse of some of them:
– Season parking, Road tax, LTA fines, ERP admin fees
– Child’s immunisation records/medical appointments, Make blood donation appointment
– Check HDB loan eligibility, Check HDB appointment details, Buy/sell on HDB Resale Portal
– Check your CPF balances
– Apply/renew your Passion card
– Search for SkillsFuture courses to attend
– Apply for passport, register overseas travel with MFA
A Good First Start, But Here’s To Better Things To Come
In its current form, the LifeSG app gives us mostly the same functions we enjoyed using under Moments of Life, with the convenience of links to some of the more commonly-used government e-services.
Glimpses into screenshots on the press release show some promise of what the app could be in future: giving notifications about upcoming In-Camp Trainings for NSmen, notices of approval of HDB season parking, and more.
Here’s hoping the vision and promise of a truly one-stop government e-Services app come to fruition in the near future.