SINGAPORE: Parents who have a second child from this year will get more financial support through their child's CDA (Child Development Account).
The Government will double the maximum amount it will match dollar-for-dollar in the CDA from S$3,000 to S$6,000 for Singaporean children who are the second child, announced Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah on Friday (Feb 26).
This applies to children whose estimated date of delivery or date of birth is on or after Jan 1 this year. About 12,000 children and their families will benefit from this annually, said the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).
Currently, the Government’s maximum dollar-for-dollar contributions to the CDA is the same for the first and second child, at S$3,000.
Each child also gets a S$3,000 CDA First Step Grant, which is automatically credited into the CDA.
With the enhancements, the maximum government contribution to the CDA in total for the second child will increase to S$9,000.
PMO said that nine in 10 married Singaporeans would like to have two or more children, and almost two-thirds of them still do. However, there is an increasing proportion who are having only one child.
"I heard from Singaporean couples who shared their worries about the costs of having a second child, though they very much want to," said Ms Indranee, who oversees the National Population and Talent Division in PMO.
She added: "We hope that notwithstanding the pandemic, Singaporeans will continue to pursue their family goals, and we will galvanise a whole-of-nation effort to support them."
Money in the CDA can only be used for education and healthcare needs for the child and is separate from the Baby Bonus each child is entitled to.
Third and fourth children get up to S$9,000 in matching funds from the Government, while the fifth and subsequent child gets up to S$15,000.
Parents will have to deposit funds in their child's CDA before getting the matching amount. The Government will co-match parents’ savings up to the increased cap from Apr 1, but funds saved into the qualifying child’s CDA before April will also receive the increased amount.
SUPPORT FOR FATHERS AND ADOPTIVE MOTHERS
PMO also announced that fathers and adoptive mothers who are currently not eligible for paternity or adoption leave could receive cash in lieu of paid leave, with a new government-paid paternity or adoption benefit.
"This group of parents may have been on short-term employment contracts or had an employment contract that ended just before their child was born or adopted, and therefore would not benefit from paternity or adoption leave," PMO said.
Similar to the government-paid maternity benefit, the new schemes will give parents cash benefits in lieu of paid leave.
It will apply to parents whose child's date of birth, estimated date of delivery or formal intent to adopt is on or after Jan 1, 2021.
To qualify, parents must have worked for a total of at least 90 days in the 12 months before their child’s birth or formal intent to adopt.
About 500 working fathers and adoptive mothers will benefit annually, said Ms Indranee.