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More support for families in housing, childcare

Here’s how the Government is encouraging Singaporeans to have more children.

02 Mar 2017

Shorter waiting times for flats, more infant care leave, and an infant caregiving training pilot for foreign domestic workers – these were some of the schemes announced during the Committee of Supply debates on Thursday, 2nd March.

Speaking in Parliament, Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office Josephine Teo focused on three areas: housing, childcare, and the workplace.

HOUSING

The Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) will be enhanced to help more couples benefit from PPHS flats. Couples who apply for a flat under this scheme currently wait three to four years for a BTO flat, enhancements to the PPHS will see couples gaining access to flats with shorter waiting times from 2018.

CHILDCARE

With the rise in females and seniors in the labour force, the need for infant-care givers outside the family is expected to rise as well. Two measures were announced to help parents in the area of childcare.

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More infant-care places: To meet the growing demand for centre-based infant care, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) is planning to increase the number of infant-care places over the next few years.

Infant caregiving training pilot: The SEED Institute, and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital has also launched an infant caregiving training pilot for parent to equip their foreign domestic workers (FDWs) with the necessary skills to take care of young children. The course will cover the basics of infant caregiving, and how employers and care-givers should work together.

WORK-LIFE

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More infant care leave for those in the public sector: To provide more support for parents with very young children, the Government will launch a three-year pilot within the public sector to provide more unpaid infant care leave for parents. From July this year, those working in the public service will have an additional four-weeks of unpaid infant care leave, to be taken within the child’s first year. As long as one parent is working in the public sector, the couple can tap up to 26 weeks of leave between them.

Beyond these three areas, the Government will also increase community support for families. Organisations such as the People’s Association will help bring communities together to support families.

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