All About the Baby Bonus Scheme: 2023 Enhancement, Eligibility Criteria and How to Apply

Welcoming a child into the world is a challenging yet beautiful journey filled with new experiences (and financial responsibilities!). The Singapore government recognises that child-rearing comes with significant costs, so they created the Baby Bonus Scheme to help with some of these expenses.

Designed with families in mind, this initiative offers financial assistance to new parents, easing some of the economic challenges of raising a child.

In this article, we’ll navigate through the Enhanced Baby Bonus Scheme, which applies to children born on or after February 14, 2023, and provide you with the insights you need as you embark on this exciting journey of parenthood.

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Baby Bonus Scheme: 2023 Enhancement

Baby Bonus Scheme 2023

The Baby Bonus Scheme is a thoughtful initiative that helps couples embrace the joys and challenges of parenthood with a little less financial worry. It’s a key part of the broader Marriage and Parenthood Package, which seeks to comprehensively support families from the get-go. 

The scheme has 2 main pillars: the Baby Bonus Cash Gift and the Child Development Account (CDA).

Baby Bonus Cash Gift

The Baby Bonus Cash Gift provides financial support for parents as it can be used to pay for various child-related essentials like diapers or baby wipes. On the other hand, parents who prefer to save it for future expenses such as education can do so as well. This flexibility allows parents to allocate funds where they’re most needed.

Starting from February 14, 2023, you’ll receive $11,000 for your first and second child respectively and $13,000 for your third and subsequent children respectively. This cash gift is spread over several stages up until your child is 6.5 years old.

Child's age milestoneAmount of cash gift for 1st & 2nd childAmount of cash gift for 3rd & subsequent child
At birth$3,000$4,000
6 months old$1,500$2,000
12 months old$1,500$2,000
18 months old$1,000$1,000
Every 6 months (2 - 6.5 years)+ $400+ $400
Total$11,000$13,000

Child Development Account (CDA)

The CDA is an exclusive savings account that you can use to financially support your child’s education and healthcare needs. For every newborn from February 14, 2023, the government will contribute an initial CDA First Step Grant of $5,000. Subsequently, there will be a dollar-for-dollar match for your deposits, up to a specified cap, valid until the child is 12 years old.

Here’s a quick overview of the CDA benefits*:

Benefit type1st child2nd child3rd and 4th child5th child and after
First Step Grant$5,000$5,000$5,000$5,000
Government MatchingUp to $4,000Up to $7,000Up to $9,000Up to $15,000
Total Maximum SupportUp to $9,000Up to $12,000Up to $14,000Up to $20,000

*As of 1 September 2016, CDA benefits also extend to children born to unwed parents.

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Eligibility Criteria for the Baby Bonus Scheme

Eligibility Criteria
Pregnant woman looking at her phone with her husband

To be eligible for the Baby Bonus Scheme in Singapore, your child must be a Singapore Citizen Additionally, to qualify for the Baby Bonus Cash Gift, the child’s parents must be lawfully married.

To check if your child is eligible for the Baby Bonus Scheme, you can use the Eligibility Check tool available on the Baby Bonus website. All you need to do is answer 5 simple questions about your child and marital status.

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How to Register for the Baby Bonus Scheme

How to Register

Registering for the Baby Bonus Scheme is quite an easy and streamlined process. Here are a few simple steps you can follow: 

Step 1: Prepare all the documents required

When applying for the Baby Bonus Scheme, ensure you have these documents ready:

  • A legally recognised marriage certificate.
  • Details of the bank account for receiving the cash gift.
  • Identification details of the account holder and the CDA Trustee, especially if they’re not the child’s parent.
  • The birth certificate of your child (required only for children born outside Singapore).
What is a CDA Trustee?

CDA trustee refers to the primary caretaker of the child.

Step 2: Enrol in the Baby Bonus Scheme 

You can start your Baby Bonus Scheme registration as early as 8 weeks before your baby’s due date. In addition, you won’t need to visit the bank to open the CDA – you can conveniently do so online.

Step 3: Register your baby’s birth and appoint a bank for the CDA Account

Upon registering your baby’s birth, the CDA will be opened automatically at your preferred bank within 3 – 5 working days. The CDA First Step Grant will then be deposited within the subsequent 2 weeks. 

As parents, you will need to:

  • Choose the recipient for the cash gift
  • Appoint a trustee for the CDA, who should be over 18 and not bankrupt
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How to Use the CDA Funds

Using the CDA Funds

Knowing how much your child will receive from the CDA naturally leads to the question of its best use. In this section, we’ll elaborate on the different ways you can utilise these funds for your child’s needs.

Childcare and Preschool Education

As a parent in Singapore, you can enjoy government subsidies for childcare and preschool education. Licensed childcare centres offer a basic subsidy of up to $600 a month for full-day infant care and up to $300 a month for full-day childcare. And if you’re a working mom with a household income of $12,000 or less, you’re entitled to an additional subsidy.

To cover the remaining fees after the subsidy, it’s recommended to top up your child’s CDA and use the funds in the account for payment. As the government matches your contributions dollar-for-dollar (up to a certain cap), you’re essentially paying less for your child’s care and education!

CDA funds can be used for general healthcare services and even dental care services. It’s important to check if the clinic or dental clinic is CDA-approved so you can use the CDA funds to pay for the treatment.

Special Needs Support

For children with special needs, CDA funds can prove to be a significant aid. They can be used for early intervention programs and essential assistive technologies, providing support right where your child needs it. 

Insurance 

You can use the CDA to pay for your child’s MediShield Life premiums, which offers basic health insurance covering hospital bills and specific outpatient treatments. Additionally, CDA funds can be used to purchase MediSave-approved private Integrated Shield Plans for extra coverage. 

Interestingly, while CDA funds earn up to 2% interest annually, your child’s MediSave account can accumulate up to 5%. Therefore, it might be more beneficial to use the CDA funds for these expenses. 

Do note to check with your insurer, as not all plans may accept payment from the CDA.

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What Happens to the Unused CDA Funds?

Unused CDA Funds

If your child’s CDA still has funds when they turn 12 years old, the remaining funds will be moved to their Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA), up to a certain amount. You can keep adding to the PSEA, enjoying government matching until your child is 18 years old or until you hit the cap. 

The PSEA will close when your child is around 31 years old, and any money left will go into their CPF Ordinary Account. You also have the option to transfer any remaining PSEA balance to a sibling’s account.

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Additional Childcare Benefits and Subsidies for Singaporean Parents

Additional Childcare Benefits and Subsidies
Happy family sitting on the couch

Besides the Baby Bonus Scheme, there are other ways to ease the financial load of raising a child in Singapore. These alternatives offer more support for parents, complementing the benefits of the Baby Bonus Scheme.

Parenthood Tax Rebate

The Parenthood Tax Rebate (PTR) in Singapore is designed for tax-paying citizens who are married, divorced, or widowed. This rebate varies depending on the birth year of the child. Here’s a quick overview of the rebate amounts you might be eligible for depending on your child’s birth year.

Child orderChild born 2004 – 2007Child born from 2008 onwards
1st child$0$5,000
2nd child$10,000$10,000
3rd and 4th child$20,000 per child$20,000 per child
5th and subsequent children$0$20,000 per child

Medisave Grants for Newborns

Every newborn Singaporean receives a $4,000 grant in their CPF Medisave account. This amount can be used for various purposes, including MediShield Life premiums, vaccinations, and treatments at approved outpatient facilities.

Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Relief 

If your child is aged 16 years and below and you’re planning to employ a maid, you’re eligible for a reduced levy of $60 per month. This concessionary rate helps relieve some of the costs associated with hiring domestic help for your child’s care.

Infant Care and Education Subsidies

In Singapore, children in infant care and childcare centres approved by the Early Childhood Development Agency are entitled to subsidies. This includes a basic subsidy of $600 for infant care and $300 for childcare. 

Additionally, families with lower incomes (per capita income of $3,000 and below) can benefit from the Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS), which offers subsidies ranging from $17 to $161 to help cover kindergarten costs. 

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FAQs About the Baby Bonus Scheme

FAQs

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