Part of helping your kids succeed in life is providing them with a good education from the early years. When it comes to enrolling your kid into a child care centre or kindergarten, the quality of education matters, but budget comes into play as well. That is why it is paramount to know what government subsidies you qualify for, and how much of the fees can be offset.
Child care subsidy in Singapore
The Singapore government subsidy helps make child care and kindergarten fees more affordable for parents. Previously restricted to NTUC child care centres, child care subsidy now applies to all licensed child care centres in Singapore. Government subsidy for child care and kindergarten aims to provide parents of young children with some support and peace of mind (especially those in low- to middle-income families), while inciting married couples to have more kids. Singapore ranks in the top half of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) child care affordability index.
In Singapore, there are two main types of child care subsidies: Basic Subsidy and Additional Subsidy.
Basic child care subsidy
All children who are Singapore Citizens qualify for Basic Subsidy if they are enrolled in an ECDA-licensed child-care centre, with the cost breakdown as such:
- Full Day Child Care Programme: $300 basic subsidy for working mother; $150 for non-working mother
- Half Day Child Care Programme: $150 basic subsidy for working mother and non-working mother
Additional child care subsidy
According to the ECDA, the main criterion for additional subsidy eligibility is that the mother must be a working mother, working at least 56 hours a month. This applies to single fathers as well. The gross monthly income must not exceed $7,500.
Families with 5 or more family members (including more than 2 dependents) with a Per Capita Income (PCI) of $1,875 and below are also eligible to apply for Additional Subsidy. Here is how to calculate PCI:
- PCI = Total gross monthly household income of family members <divided by> Number of family members living in the same household
For instance, one family has 4 people working, and 3 dependents. They must combine all 4 people’s gross working income, and divide the amount by the number of family members living in the same household. Once divided, the amount must not exceed $1,875 PCI.
This is different from Basic Subsidy, which does not depend on your income. As long as the working mum (or single father) is working 56 hours a month, the family would receive Basic Subsidy for child care centre fees.
For a more detailed example of computation of basic subsidy and additional subsidy, please take a look at the below example provided by the ECDA:
The combined gross monthly household income of Mrs Tan and her husband is $10,000. She has 4 children and parent in-laws staying with her. The full day child care fee of one of their daughters is $642. The amount of additional subsidy the family is eligible for is as follows:
Per Capita income: $10,000 (gross monthly household income) divided by 8 (family members): $1,250
Full day child care centre fee: $642
Basic subsidy: $300 (for working mother)
Fee after basic subsidy: $342
Additional subsidy: $100 (After factoring for minimum co-payment of $215 for this income group)
Hence Mrs Tan is eligible for a subsidy of $400 (Basic = $300 and Additional = $100). After subsidy, the net child care centre fee she is required to pay is ($642 – $400) = $242.
You may find out your rates for Basic and Additional Subsidy by utilizing the Child Care Additional Subsidy Calculator.
Government subsidy for kindergartens
Kindergarten school feels are not subsidised, although families whose monthly household income is $6,000 or below may qualify for the Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS), as long as the child is a Sigapore Citizen enrolled in any of the kindergartens operated by Anchor Operators (AOP) or the Ministry of Education (MOE) kindergartens.
According to the ECDA, KiFAS, “seeks to ensure that kindergarten education remains affordable and accessible for Singaporea Citizen children form low and middle income fmailies, to enable them to provide a good start for their children,”
Families with a gross monthly household income up to $1,900 (or a PCI not more than $650), with a Singaporean Citizen child enrolled in an AOP or MOE kindergarten can apply for a Start Up Grant of up to $240, which can be used toward paying for registration fees, uniforms, and supplementary fees.
To find out more about child care subsidies, contact us to find out more.