Families can look forward to more childcare subsidies
Families can look forward to more childcare subsidies and a more convenient application process to get aid, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development's Senior Parliamentary Secretary Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.
Besides extending the duration that non-working mothers with infants or young children receive subsidies, additional subsidies will be given if their monthly household income is $7,500 and below.
A total of over 5,000 families will benefit from these enhancements, Associate Professor Faishal said in Parliament yesterday as he responded to questions from several MPs on the topic of childcare support.
Unemployed mothers looking for work will receive monthly subsidies - $300 and $600 per child in childcare and infantcare respectively - for six months, up from three.
They will also get additional subsidies of between $100 and $540 a month for six months, if their monthly household income is $7,500 and below.
The second category of families who will benefit from the enhanced subsidies are those with at least two children and the mother is not working.
These mothers caring full-time for their younger child aged two or younger will also receive the child or infant subsidy for their older child until their younger child turns two-years-old - up from 18 months old currently.
Depending on their household income, they may also be eligible for extra subsidies of up to $540 a month.
Single parents also qualify for these benefits, which is separate from the basic subsidy of $150 a month that all non-working mothers get, regardless of their families' income.
There is no change to basic subsidies for employed mothers, deemed to be working if they work at least 56 hours a month. They get $300 and $600 per child for child and infant care respectively.
The Early Childhood Development Agency will also introduce a centre management system this year which will streamline subsidy applications and administrative processes like licence application to give parents and pre-schools greater convenience.
For example, parents will have to fill in just one form - down from three currently - to apply for various subsidies and financial aid schemes.