With expenses like gynae visits, baby diapers and infantcare, having a newborn in Singapore can be a costly endeavour. Fortunately, the government has introduced schemes to keep costs more affordable − one of which is the Baby Bonus scheme.
The scheme is part of Singapore’s Marriage and Parenthood Package, and was recently enhanced in February 2021 to provide couples with greater support and assurance. It comprises two components: the Baby Bonus Cash Gift and a Child Development Account (CDA).
As its name suggests, the Cash Gift comes in the form of a one-time cash benefit each time you give birth to a child. The CDA is made up of the First Step Grant and government co-matching of parents’ savings.
We outline what exactly the Baby Bonus entails, including important information that parents need to know.
Who is eligible for Baby Bonus?
Your child is eligible for the Baby Bonus Cash Gift if:
- He or she is a Singapore Citizen; and
- You are lawfully married to your spouse.
Unfortunately, single mother and fathers do not qualify for the Cash Gift. However, they still qualify for the CDA First Step Grant and dollar-for-dollar matching, if their child is a Singapore citizen born on or after 1 September 2016.
Parents of all Singaporean children, including single parents, are also eligible for paid childcare and extended childcare leave, unpaid infant care leave, Medisave grant for newborns, enhanced subsidies for centre-based infant and childcare and the foreign domestic worker concessionary levy.
Check your eligibility for the Cash Gift here.
How much is the Baby Bonus in Singapore?
Parents can refer to the table below for how much cash they can expect to receive:
^All Singapore Citizen children who are the second child, and whose date of birth or estimated date of delivery is on or after 1 Jan 2021, will be eligible to receive the higher maximum amount of dollar-for-dollar matching.
*Applicable to a child born from Jan 2015.
How do I apply for the Baby Bonus grant?
Parents can submit the online form for their child to join the scheme as early as 2 months before the estimated delivery date.
Do also prepare the following documents beforehand:
1. Bank account holder’s account details to receive the Cash Gift
2. Personal particulars of the bank account holder and CDA trustee, if they are a third party (i.e. not the child’s parent)
3. Marriage certificate (as required)
How do I check my baby bonus payouts?
The Baby Bonus Cash Gift is given out in five instalments over 18 months, after your child’s birth. You can expect to receive the cash gift within 7 to 10 working days of your child’s birth registration, or after completing the online form, whichever is later.
The table below shows the timeline for receiving the Cash Gift:
What is the Child Development Account (CDA)?
The Child Development Account (CDA) is a special savings account for your child. The First Step Grant is deposited into the CDA without you having to save first, and your subsequent savings will be co-matched by the government.
If your child is eligible, he or she will receive the CDA First Step Grant of $3,000. This amount will be automatically deposited when you open the CDA at any of the following banks: DBS/POSB, OCBC or UOB.
Parents can also enjoy dollar-for-dollar matching from the government when you save into your child’s CDA, up to the maximum co-matching amount. You can save into and use the CDA at any time before 31 December of the year your child turns 12 years old.
The savings in the account can be used for:
- Fees for registered childcare centres, kindergartens, special education schools and early intervention programmes
- Medical expenses at healthcare institutions such as hospitals and general practitioner clinics
- Premiums for MediShield Life or MediSave-approved private integrated plans
- Assistive technology devices
- Eye-related products and services at optical shops
- Approved healthcare items at pharmacies
Other childcare subsidies and benefits for Singapore Citizens
Parents can also benefit from the Parenthood Tax Rebate, given to Singapore tax residents to encourage them to have more children. It can be claimed in the year following your child’s birth.
All Singapore Citizen newborns also qualify for the MediSave Grant for Newborns, amounting to $4,000. A CPF MediSave account will be opened for each newborn, with the grant credited automatically. The grant supports your child’s healthcare expenses like MediShield Life premiums, recommended childhood vaccinations, hospitalisation and approved outpatient treatments.
Do note that if your child is not a Singapore Citizen at birth, the grant amount will depend on the date that he or she becomes a Singapore Citizen.
While childcare and infantcare can be pricey in Singapore, there also are various subsidies to alleviate the costs. Check out our infantcare and childcare guide for the various options and which subsidies you might be eligible for.
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