Assistance schemes for single parents

Updated: 07 Mar 2016
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Raising a child as a single parent has its challenges. As a sole parent, you are likely to face greater time and financial pressures than you would as part of a 2-parent household. If you are divorced, widowed or unwed and raising a child, you can leverage the following schemes to mitigate stress as a single parent.

Healthcare

If your child is born a Singapore citizen, he or she is automatically accorded a Medisave Grant for Newborns and MediShield Life coverage upon registration of birth.

Medisave Grant for Newborns

All Singapore citizen newborns born on or after 1 January 2015 qualify for the enhanced $4,000 Medisave Grant for Newborns (MGN). Eligible newborns will receive the MGN automatically after the registration of birth. Parents do not need to apply for the grant.

Medisave can be used to cover your child’s healthcare expenses like MediShield Life premiums, and the costs of hospitalisations, recommended vaccinations and approved outpatient treatments.

After the grant has been deposited into the child's Medisave account, parents will receive a notification letter to inform them of the deposit.

Here are some FAQs on Medisave Grant for Newborns.

MediShield Life Coverage from Birth

MediShield Life is a mandatory basic health insurance that helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments such as dialysis and chemotherapy for cancer. It is basic because it is sized for subsidised treatments in the public hospitals.

Your child will receive MediShield Life coverage from birth, including those with congenital and neonatal conditions, for life.

MediShield Life premiums may be fully paid from Medisave and parents will be able to tap on the Medisave Grant for Newborns to pay for their MediShield Life premiums. The Government will be providing significant support in the form of subsidies to keep premiums affordable.

For those who are needy and are unable to pay their share of premiums even after subsidies, the Government will provide Additional Premium Support, to help them further with the payment of their MediShield Life premiums.

Here are some FAQs on MediShield Life coverage.

Education

To ensure all children can access education and early development care, there are several subsidies and schemes that can help parents defray such expenses.

Early childhood education & care

The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has 2 subsidies you can apply for:

Basic Subsidy Additional subsidy
For Enrollment in an ECDA-licensed childcare centre
Eligibility Child is a Singapore citizen
Additional criteria N.A.
  • Monthly household income of $7,500 & less
  • You work 56 hours or more per month
Subsidy
  • Up to $600 for infant care
  • Up to $300 for childcare
  • $200 to $540 for infant care
  • $100 to $440 for childcare

Note

  • The actual amount of ECDA subsidies are determined based on:
    • Your monthly household income
    • Whether your child is enrolled in a full-day, half-day or flexi-care programme
  • If you are earning less than $3,500 a month, you can apply for a Start-Up Grant of up to $1,000 to help pay for the initial costs of placing your child in an ECDA-licensed centre.

You can download their application formonline.

Primary school to pre-university

If your child is of school-going age, you can apply for these financial aid schemes by the Ministry of Education (MOE):

MOE Financial Assistance Scheme (MOE FAS) MOE Independent School Bursary (ISB) scheme
For
  • Government schools
  • Government-aided schools
  • Independent schools
Eligibility
  • Monthly household income of $2,500 or less
  • Monthly household income of $7,200 or less
Subsidy
  • Full waiver of school & miscellaneous fees
  • 33% to 100% of school & miscellaneous fees, depending on monthly household income
Other benefits May include:
  • Free textbooks & uniforms
  • $750 bursary for junior college or pre-U
  • 75% to 100% subsidy of national exam fees

Here are more information on the MOE FAS and ISB scheme, including instructions on application.

Housing

If you are a divorced or widowed parent to a child below 16, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has made it easier for you to right-size to a new flat. Under its Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (Divorced/Widowed Parents) – otherwise known as ASSIST – 5% of new 2-room Flexi* and 3-room Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in non-mature estates will be set aside for single parents with such housing requirements.

To be eligible for this priority scheme, you must not have owned or disposed of a housing property after the date of your divorce or demise of your spouse, and your child must be below 16 at the point of your BTO application.

*For the 2-room Flexi flats, the above quota will be applied onto the flat supply for the non-elderly parents. 

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