13 Jan 2020
Raising a Child in Singapore:
According to the Report on Registration of Births and Deaths in 2018, the number of babies born in Singapore dropped to an 8-year low of 39,039 births in 2018. Based on projections from the United Nations, 47 percent of Singapore’s total population will be 65 years or older in 2050. Such a demographic structure results in immense pressure as a shrinking workforce struggles to support elderly population. Increasing the fertility rate, therefore, become the most significant issue the government has to deal with.
Given the trend of later marriages and births, the Singapore government provides incentives and subsidies to parents and children to alter the situation. The Baby bonus scheme implemented in 2001 is an incentive provided to parents to lighten the financial costs of raising children. The baby bonus consists of 2 parts, a cash gift and a child development account which can be used for the child’s educational and healthcare expenses. The cash gift can reach S$8,000 for your first or second child, even more for your third child and onwards. In addition, the Singapore government deposit S$3,000 into Child Development Account for childcare, kindergarten, medical or optical expenses, and every dollar you deposit into the CDA is matched by the government. It means that when you deposit $3,000 into the CDA for your first child, the government contributes you another $3,000. There are also various kinds of subsidies, including the Childcare Basic Subsidy, Kindergarten subsidies, primary & secondary school subsidies, and etc. All these subsidies can definitely help to defray the costs of raising children.
It is so great to have so many subsidies, yet, your child will only be eligible for these subsidies if he/she is a Singapore Citizen. A person is a Singaporean citizen by birth if he or she is born in Singapore with at least one parent who is a Singaporean citizen provided both parents are registered officially as legally married. Expats who want to give births in Singapore may need to plan for it. If you are a holder of Employment Pass or S Pass, or a foreign investor, you are eligible to apply for permanent residence. When you have been a Singapore Permanent Resident for at least two years, you are eligible to apply for Singapore citizenship.
Singapore is always regarded as one of the best places to live in. It could be a great place to start a new page of life and to raise children. If you want to have a family and to spend the rest of your life in Singapore, you may need to plan for it now.