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Questions about infant care that you’re too afraid to ask

Updated: Sep 21


  • Can I apply for Infant Care Subsidy as a single father?

A: Fathers who are single, widowed, divorced or undergoing separation are eligible for Basic and Additional Subsidy. They can apply as a “single father” and submit Form 1 along with the necessary supporting documents:

(i) If father’s name is in child’s birth certificate (BC)

o Child BC

o Marriage search record from Registry of Marriages / Muslim Marriages

(ii) Not in child’s BC

o Court Order

o Police Report on the whereabouts of the mother

o Marriage search record from Registry of marriages / Muslim Marriages

After verification of the declared marital status and relationship with the child, the monthly household income will be determined based on the single income of the father.


  • I am not a Singapore citizen (Permanent Resident or Foreigner). Will my child be eligible for the Infant/Child Care Subsidy?

A: Your child will receive the Basic and/or Additional Subsidy, if he/she is a Singapore Citizen and meets the eligibility criteria for Infant/Child Care Subsidy.


  • My child is adopted. Will he/she be eligible for Infant/Child Care Subsidy?

A: Yes. Adopted children who meet the eligibility criteria can qualify for Infant/Child Care Subsidy.


  • My child is withdrawn from the child care centre in the middle of the month. Is he/she eligible to receive Infant/Child Care Subsidy?

A: Children who are enrolled in full-day or half-day programmes are eligible for pro-rated subsidy during the month of withdrawal, based on the amount of fees paid by parents (e.g. 1 week, 2 weeks, 3 weeks or full month’s fee). The child must have at least one day of attendance in the centre to be eligible for the subsidy in the month.


  • If I am unable to work due to medical reasons, can I qualify for Infant/Child Care Subsidy?

A: All parents of Singaporean children who attend child or infant care, regardless of their working status, are eligible for a Basic Subsidy. Mothers (or single father applicants) who are not working receive a Basic Subsidy of $150.


On a case-by-case basis, ECDA provides higher subsidies to non-working mothers, under Special Approval. For example, non-working mothers who require child care services when they are in the midst of seeking employment, as well as mothers who are unable to work due to medical reasons or caregiving commitments, are considered for higher subsidy support.


To apply for Special Approval, parents are to:

o For new enrolment – use Form 1 to apply for subsidy (including Special Approval).

o For existing enrolment – use Form 2 to submit a new application for Special Approval or seek extension of subsidy support under Special Approval.


  • What are the enhancements made to better support non-working mothers that have been announced in Mar 2019?

A: To better support job-seeking mothers and mothers of preschool children who are caring fulltime for a younger child, ECDA will extend Additional Subsidy to them and by lengthening the duration for which these mothers may receive more subsidies for child care. This will apply to new applications for Special Approval received from 1 March 2019 onwards.


  • Can I receive further financial assistance, even after the Basic and Additional Subsidy?

A: Low-income families with difficult family circumstances, and who face difficulties paying child care fees – even after receiving Basic and Additional Subsidy – can apply for financial assistance. These families can also apply for the one-time Start-up Grant, to pay for the initial costs of enrolling their child into an infant or child care centre.


  • What is the minimum co-payment amount?

A: Parents who are eligible for Additional Subsidy will be subject to a minimum co-payment amount. The minimum co-payment amount increases progressively as household or per capita income rises.


For example, a family earning less than $2,500 will have to co-pay at least $3 for child care, while a family earning $4,501 - $7,500 will have to co-pay at least $215.


  • Am I expected to update my centre if I stop working?

A: From 2019, ECDA will verify the working status of mothers (or single father applicants), as well as their household incomes at the following fixed points:

(i) At the point of preschool enrolment;

(ii) When the child changes from infant care to child care programme; and

(iii) When the child changes from Nursery 2 (N2) to Kindergarten 1 (K1), i.e. at the end of N2.


The subsidy assessed and granted at the point of enrolment will hold until the next point of reassessment. This will provide parents with greater certainty on the amount of subsidy they will receive, even if they transit between jobs or take on care-giving responsibilities.


Parents who may eligible for more subsidy because of a change in household income or working status may, however, still apply for a review at any time.


  • Will I receive notifications on my application status?

A: Parents will receive system notifications via email and SMS on their application status and actions required (where applicable). Centres will also receive a copy of the notifications.

Click here to read more about the subsidies

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