“I don’t know what resources are out there” and “Why can’t the government just make things easier to understand?” are two common complaints I hear from the public across all ages, races, occupations, and gender. It has becoming increasing apparent that government schemes, like all messages, cannot be successfully communicated without addressing the UI/UX (user interface/user experience) issues. And yes, I do agree that there needs to be a better way to disseminate information in a more clear and easy-to-understand fashion. But to be fair, just saying “this is too complicated and until they make it easier, I give up” is a bit like saying speaking Mandarin is hard or driving is complicated, yet so many people do it all the time. We too, need do our part to facilitate our own understanding through repeated exposure, practice, and patience. And this is my attempt to help in this process:

Government Policies Relating to Family Benefits:

These are based on the People’s Association Booklet: Ask Kopi Kakis – Government Policies Made Simple. You can download the full guide, along with guides for other topics, in all 4 languages here.

For Pregnancy


Policy & How to QualifyBenefits & Limits
Medisave Maternity Package - Parents may use Medisave funds to pay for pregnancy-related expenses.

• Pre-delivery medical expenses: max $900
• Hospitalisation expenses: $450 per day
• Additional surgical expense: $750 to $2,150, depending on type of delivery procedure
Medisave for Assisted Conception Procedures (ACP) - Couples who have difficulties conceiving can use Medisave for Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) treatments.
• Up to $6,000, $5,000 and $4,000 Medisave for their respective first, second, and third and subsequent ART cycles
• Lifetime max of $15,000
Enhanced Co-Funding Scheme for ART Treatments at Public Hospitals - Includes in vitro fertilisation.• Up to 75% in co-funding ($6,300 per cycle) for a maximum of 3 fresh & 3 frozen ART cycles.
NSmen Celebratory Gifts scheme* - National servicemen get a token gift when they get married or start families.• $100 in vouchers when NSmen have a baby
* These are NEW or NEWLY enhanced schemes

For Family Leave


You are eligible for Government-Paid Maternity Benefits (GPMB) if you have been in employment for at least 90 days in the 12 months preceding your Singaporean child’s date of birth.

Policy & How to QualifyBenefits & Limits
Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML)* - For working mothers who have just given birth to a Singaporean child.

• 16 weeks of paid GPML
Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)* - For working fathers of a Singaporean child <1 year old.• 2 weeks of paid GPPL
Shared Parental Leave (SPL)* - Working fathers of a Singaporean child (<1 year old) may share the wife’s maternity or adoption leave (by agreement).• 1 week shared (of the 16 weeks)
• Up to 4 weeks (from 1 July 2017 onward)
Government-Paid Adoption Leave (GPAL)* - For working adoptive mother of a child <1 year old.
• 4 weeks of GPAL
• 12 weeks (from 1 July 2017 onward)
Extended Childcare Leave (ECL) - For a working parent whose youngest Singaporean child is between 7 and 12 years old.
• 2 days of ECL
Unpaid Infant Care Leave - For a working parent whose child is <2 years of age.• 6 days of unpaid infant care leave
* These are NEW or NEWLY enhanced schemes

For Baby

www.heybaby.sg, www.medishieldlife.sg & www.babybonus.msf.gov.sg

Policy & How to QualifyBenefits & Limits
Medisave Grant for Newborns - To offset costs of healthcare expenses/premiums for Singapore Citizen newborns.

• $4,000 Medisave Account grant
MediShield Life Coverage for Congenital and Neonatal Conditions - For all Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident newborns.• Full MediShield Life coverage
Baby Bonus Scheme - Cash Gift - To defray cost of caring for and raising a newborn child.• $8,000 for 1st & 2nd child
• $10,000 for 3rd and subsequent child
Baby Bonus Scheme - Child Development Account (CDA)* - A special savings account where savings deposited by parents are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government, up to a cap.
• CDA First Step initial grant deposit of $3,000 (for eligible children)
• Dollar-for-dollar matching from $3,000 to $15,000, depending on birth order
* These are NEW or NEWLY enhanced schemes

For Child

www.sgenable.sg, www.ecda.gov.sg & www.comcare.sg
For more info on FDW assistance: www.mom.gov.sg & www.silverpages.sg

Policy & How to QualifyBenefits & Limits
Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) - For children with special needs aged 6 years and below, by SG Enable. • Therapy & educational support services
Development Support Grant - For preschoolers with mild developmental needs. • Short-term intervention programme to prepare for mainstream primary education
Integrated Child Care Programme (ICCP) - For children with special needs, by the Early Childhood Development Agency.• An inclusive childcare programme
Subsidies for Centre-Based Infant and Childcare - For parents with Singapore Citizen children enrolled in licensed childcare centres.
• Basic subsidy of up to $600 for infant care
• Basic subsidy of up to $300 for child care
• Additional subsidies for working mothers whose gross monthly household income ≤$7,500, or per capita income of ≤$1,875
Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS) -
Fees assistance for lower and middle-income families (gross monthly household income of ≤$6,000, or per capita income of ≤$1,500) to defray kindergarten education costs.
• Up to $170 (exclusive of GST) of fee assistance per month.
ComCare Student Care Subsidy - For children age 7 to 14 enrolled in a registered Student Care Centre, whose gross monthly household income of ≤$4,000, or per capita income ≤$1,000.• Subsidies from 10% to 98% of monthly student care fees
Financial Assistance Scheme - For Singapore Citizen students with gross monthly household income of ≤$2,500 and below, or per capita income ≤$625.
• Waivers for school fees, standard miscellaneous and exam fees, textbook and
school uniform costs, etc.
Edusave Contribution - Automatic contributions for school enrichment activities for Singapore Citizen students to excel in academic and non-academic areas. • $200 Annual Contribution per Primary Student
• $240 Annual Contribution per Secondary Student
Edusave Merit Bursaries - For Singaporean students in Government and Government-aided schools and junior colleges/centralised institutes, who are within the top 25% of each level with gross monthly household income ≤$6,000, or per capita household income ≤$1,500.• Between $200 and $500, depending on level
Edusave Scholarships - For the top 10% of Singaporean students at their level based on their overall school examination results for the year. • $350 or $500, depending on level
Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession - For families who hire a foreign domestic worker to care for a family members with a disability (children/grandchildren ≤age 16, or family age 65 and above).• A concessionary levy rate of $60 per month
Foreign Domestic Worker Grant* - For families who hire a foreign domestic worker to care for their family members requiring permanent assistance with at least 3 Activities of Daily Living (ADLs).• $120 monthly cash payment
Travel Concession Passes - For students from Primary to University levels, and National Servicemen. Off-Peak Pass (OPP) is also available for Adults, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities and Workfare Transport Concession Scheme (WTCS).• Free for children <7 years of age
• From $20 to $85 for unlimited rides for students and NSmen
• OPP from $40 to $80 for unlimited rides on public transport
* These are NEW or NEWLY enhanced schemes


Look out for future simplified articles which will focus on other Government Policies, including Housing, Persons with Disabilities, and Caring for Elderly Parents. 🙂

Leave a Reply