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All about Childcare Leave in Singapore: A Parent's Guide

A quick guide to childcare leave in Singapore

With the recent news that vaccination for those five to eleven years old is now possible, many parents are scrambling to arrange childcare leave. But as the country adjusts to post-pandemic working arrangements, many of us may wonder how many days or hours of childcare leave are allowed legally? We’ve put together a quick guide to help you figure out childcare leave in Singapore.

What can I use childcare leave for?

If you are a working parent in Singapore, childcare leave allows parents to spend time with their children. Such activities include:

  • Attend child immunisation appointments

  • Accompany children on their first day of school

  • If the parent is unable to make alternative childcare arrangements during school closures.

  • Staying home to care for their sick children.

The goal is to let working parents take care of their children and build their families with peace of mind. This underlying principle applies to the current situation when parents have to take leave to bring their children to vaccination appointments.

How many days of childcare leave am I entitled to?

If your child is a Singapore Citizen, you are entitled to 6 days of paid childcare leave annually.

Your childcare leave can also be pro-rated according to how long you have worked, or if you know you will leave your employer this year.

If you work part-time or are a temporary, contract, or probationary employee, your childcare leave entitlement is adjusted based on your working hours.

However, if your child is not a Singaporean, you get two days of leave following the Employment Act.

You are also entitled to part-time childcare leave per the Employment Act. This is calculated according to the number of hours that you have worked. You can find out more about pro-rated childcare leave here.

To calculate the exact number of childcare days that you are entitled to, you can also check out the MOH childcare leave calculator.

Is my childcare leave paid?

If your child is a Singapore citizen, the government pays for childcare leave partially to ease the financial burden of the employer. You can apply for government-paid childcare leave (GPCL) if you meet these requirements:

  • For employees: you have served your employer for at least three continuous months.

  • For self-employed: you have been engaged in your work for at least three continuous months and have lost income during the childcare leave period.

It is a good idea to discuss your childcare leave plans with your employers early so your company can make alternative work arrangements.

Employees will need to download and complete the Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) declaration form and submit it to their current employers, along with any other necessary supporting documents when applying for childcare leave per company procedures.

Childcare leaves claimed under a previous employer(s) will be deducted from their overall yearly childcare leave entitlement.

If you are self-employed, you will need a log of your leave days to submit an online claim after your leave is taken via the Government-Paid Leave Portal no later than three months after the last day of the calendar year.

The government will reimburse you for up to 3 days of paid childcare leave and/or 2 days of extended childcare leave based on their Notice of Assessment submitted to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

More information and application procedure is available on the website.

When can you not use childcare leave?

MOM website has stated the guidelines for the limitations of your childcare leave. In summary, you cannot use or apply for childcare leave for any other purpose other than caring for your children.

In addition, parents cannot transfer childcare leave days to each other. Any outstanding childcare leaves unused within 12 months cannot be converted to cash or brought over to a new company. You can also not apply for no-pay leave, and childcare leaves simultaneously.

What happens if you do not use up childcare leave?

It is important to note that any unused childcare leave will lapse at the end of 12 months. You cannot carry these days forward. You cannot claim allowance or exchange the unused leave days for cash.

If you know you are leaving your employer, you will also not be allowed to use unused leave days to offset any notice period for the termination of employment.

What if your employer denies you childcare leave?

It is always good to communicate with your employer early that you wish to take childcare leave. Your employer may need to make additional arrangements to accommodate your request. Childcare leave is subjected to the employer’s approval. Still, legally, an employer who unreasonably denies childcare leave will be fined up to $5,000 or imprisoned for a term of up to 6 months or given both punishments.

The Singapore Legal Advice site encourages that if working parents feel they have been unfairly denied childcare leave, they may contact the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) for mediation and advice on dispute management.

What should I do if I cannot take childcare leave?

Work responsibilities may not allow you to take childcare leave, and you may need to look for alternative childcare arrangements. Even with work from home opportunities readily available, you may feel distracted by having your child at home. You may worry about your child’s learning progress if not with them. At the same time, work calls require you to multitask. Balancing family and work commitments can be stressful.

Instead of taking frequent childcare leave, it is essential to look for a good childcare centre to supervise your child and help them develop.

More importantly, childcare options such as preschools allow your child to socialise with others of the same age. In today’s world, having strong social skills will be crucial to help your child succeed in the future. You can read here to find other advantages of leaving your child in a school.


We hope you have a clearer picture of applying for childcare leave in Singapore now.

As the world starts to ease pandemic measures slowly, your responsibilities at work will increase.

What matters most to parents? Our most-read articles:

Importance of a conducive learning environment

Holistic Child Development

What to prepare for infant care

Tampines parks that you can bring your child

Cost of infant care

As one of the best infant care in Tampines, Nurture Infant House Tampines provides a happy and healthy learning environment for your infants to learn and grow independently.

Our infant care at Tampines have over 10 years of experience in caring for your beloved infants aged 2 months to 18 months old. Check out our Tampines infant care’s testimonials regarding the care that parents’ infants have received at Nurture Infant House.

Check out our infant care Tampines’s gallery for photos taken during activities.

If you are looking for good infant care in Tampines or preschool in Tampines or childcare in Tampines central, do consider Nurture Infant House.

Located beside our Tampines infant care is our Genesis Childcare 1989.

Boasting over 30 years of specialized experience, we have nurtured thousands of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers so if you are looking for childcare in Tampines to start your little ones in life, why not start your search by registering with us for a complimentary guided tour?

Click here to learn more about our child care centre or click here to WhatsApp us if you have any enquiries regarding our playgroup Tampines.

Lastly, would you like to visit our Nurture Infant House to find out more about our environment and setup as well as understand our operations by talking to our teachers and supervisor?

Book a school tour now! Click here to read our Google reviews too!

Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months Infants)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 Singapore 520433

Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 Singapore 520433

Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)

Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293

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