Parliamentary reply by Minister Indranee Rajah on the Approved Uses of the Child Development Account
FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
TUESDAY, 5 JANUARY 2021
Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim:
To ask the Prime Minister why is the Child Development Account precluded from use for student care services.
Ms Indranee Rajah (for the Prime Minister):
The CDA was introduced to support the development needs of children, such as for preschool and healthcare. Parents can use the CDA to pay for expenses at Approved Institutions such as childcare centres, kindergartens, hospitals and clinics. The Government regularly reviews the CDA scheme to consider feedback from parents and to better support the developmental needs of children. Parents have provided us feedback that they would find it helpful if the Government expands approved uses of CDA funds to cover Student Care Centre (SCC) expenses. We are thus already considering this as part of our ongoing review of the CDA scheme and we will provide an update on this in due course.
The possible use of CDA funds are not the only way that parents are provided support for student care. To ensure the affordability of student care, MSF provides children from lower-income families with monthly subsidies of up to 98% (up to a maximum amount of $290) of student care fees and a one-off grant (up to $400) to offset enrolment costs under the ComCare Student Care Fee Assistance (SCFA) scheme. These subsidies are administered through MSF-registered SCCs.
Since 1 July 2020, MSF has enhanced the SCFA scheme by:
a. Increasing the amount of subsidies such that eligible families receive up to $60 more in student care subsidies each month; and
b. Raising the monthly household income ceiling from $4,000 to $4,500 and per capita income ceiling from $1,000 to $1,125 so that more families qualify.
These enhancements are part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to ensure that lower-income families continue to be able to afford student care.