complete guide baby grants headerPhoto: Dollars and Sense

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
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).


Child Order

Born between 26 Aug 2012 and 31 Dec 2014 (for each child)

Born on or after  1 Jan 2015 (for each child)

1st & 2nd Child

$6,000

$8,000 (inclusive of $2,000 Baby Bonus Plus)

3rd & 4th Child

$8,000

$10,000 (inclusive of $2,000 Baby Bonus Plus)

5th and higher

$0

$10,000 (inclusive of 2,000 Baby Bonus Plus)

 Source: MSF

 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.

Time

Amount of cash gift disbursed

 

First and Second Birth Orders

Third and Subsequent Birth Orders

Within 3 weeks after joining the scheme

$3,000

$4,000

When the child turns 6 months old

$1,500

$2,000

When the child turns 12 months old

$1,500

$2,000

<New> Baby Bonus Plus When the child turns 15 months old

$1,000

$1,000

<New> Baby Bonus Plus When the child turns 18 months old

$1,000

$1,000

Total

$8,000

$10,000

 Source: MSF

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. 

You can find the list of approved institutions in this list.



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.

Dollar-For-Dollar Matching
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.

Child Order

CDA Benefits

Total CDA Benefits

CDA First Step

Dollar-for-Dollar Matching

1st & 2nd Child

$3,000

Up to $3,000

Up to $6,000

3rd & 4th Child

Up to $9,000

Up to $12,000

5th Child and higher

Up to $15,000

Up to $18,000


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.

Medisave
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.

Medisave monies can be used to pay for items such as MediShield Life premiums, private integrated shield plans premium and the cost of any hospitalization required.

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 realize 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 unutilized amount of PTR will be carried forward to offset against the income tax payable for subsequent years until the rebate has been fully utilized.


Amount of Tax Rebate

Child Order

PTR
(For child born in 2004 to 2007)

PTR
(For child born from 2008 onwards)

1st

$0

$5,000

2nd

$10,000

$10,000

3rd

$20,000

$20,000

4th

$20,000

$20,000

5th and subsequent child

$0

$20,000 per child

Source: IRAS 

 

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.

GSB Content Image
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.


This article is republished with permission from Dollars and Sense.

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