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Singapore announces one-off top-up of $400 to Child Development Accounts

Amid declining birth rates, Singapore’s latest move to bolster family support sees a one-off top-up of $400 to the Child Development Accounts for children aged six and below. This strategic initiative aims to alleviate the financial strains of child-rearing.

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SINGAPORE: In a strategic move to support families with the escalating costs of child-rearing, Singaporean children aged six and below will now receive a one-off top-up of $400 to their Child Development Accounts (CDA).

This contribution is a substantial leap from the $200 provided in 2022. The 2022 CDA top-up saw about 230,000 children aged six and below benefitting from a $200 grant as part of the Household Support Package under Budget 2022.

This recent top-up, double the previous year’s amount, is projected to benefit approximately 240,000 children.

A joint announcement made on Monday by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social and Family Development revealed that these funds would be credited directly into the eligible CDAs from mid-September.

For children to avail of this benefit, parents who haven’t yet set up a CDA are encouraged to do so by the cutoff of 30 June 2024.

The CDA augmentation is intertwined with the Assurance Package introduced during Budget 2023. This initiative is geared towards alleviating the financial burdens families face, particularly concerning the expenses linked to raising children.

Parents can direct CDA funds towards a myriad of purposes, encompassing their child’s education and healthcare at various approved institutions. These range from registered childcare centres and kindergartens to special education schools, hospitals, and clinics, among others.

Upon the crediting of funds, beneficiaries will be duly informed via multiple channels: SMS, email, or hard-copy letters. Parents can subsequently monitor their CDA statement monthly to check the balance.

With a growing concern over scams, the official SMS notifications will be dispatched solely from the identifier “MSF”.

These will only contain the status of the credited top-up. Beneficiaries are urged to refrain from responding or sharing any personal data, with a clear note that no official correspondence regarding the top-up will be circulated via platforms like WhatsApp.

Furthermore, in May 2023, Singaporean children aged between seven and 20 had already been the recipients of a $300 top-up, earmarked for their Edusave account or Post-Secondary Education Account.

This financial support comes against a backdrop of concerning demographic trends. Singapore’s birth rate for 2023 stands at 8.336 births per 1000 people, marking a 0.99% decline from 2022.

Prior to this, 2022 and 2021 saw declines of 0.98% and 0.96%, respectively. Many have cited the practicalities of child-raising costs as a significant concern, echoing the findings of both YouGov and NPTD surveys.

These studies have unanimously identified financial security and affordability worries as pivotal factors when considering family expansion.

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To really improve the TFR, perhaps the G should extend free education up to ‘A’ levels to newborns. After that, those going to poly or ITE or the universities pay only 10% of existing fees when the children are of age.

In addition, the G should help Singaporeans in giving out another cost of living payout in Oct 23 and double the Assurance Package cash payout in Dec 23 as per PM Lee’s NDR speech where he hopes LW as Finance Minister will enhance the Assurance Package.

Maybe President-elect TS will nudge LW along.

Is it using own money or someone else money?

This is not furking populist.

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