SINGAPORE - A new $3,000 grant announced on Friday (Oct 9) will help parents meet the costs of raising a child amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Mums and dads of children born from Oct 1 this year to Sep 30, 2022 will be eligible for the one-off Baby Support Grant.
Here are some frequently asked questions.
Is my child eligible for the grant if he or she was born on Oct 1, 2020?
Yes, parents of Singaporean children born from Oct 1, 2020 to Sept 30, 2022 (both dates inclusive) are eligible for the one-off grant of $3,000. Each couple will get $3,000.
How and when will the Baby Support Grant be disbursed? Are there any restrictions on its use?
The grant will be deposited into the same bank account that parents have nominated for receiving the Baby Bonus cash gift.
As IT system updates require time to complete, it will be deposited from April 1, 2021, or within one month of enrolment into the Baby Bonus scheme, whichever is later.
Parents can visit this site to enrol in the Baby Bonus scheme. There are no restrictions on the use of the Baby Support Grant. More information on the new grant can be found here.
Why is the grant only for babies born from 1 Oct 2020 when couples and parents would have been affected by the Covid-19 situation earlier in 2020?
The National Population and Talent Division (NPTD) said it understands that parents who have missed the start date might be disappointed. "But we would like to seek the public's understanding that specific start dates are needed for any new measure or enhancement."
The NPTD added that children born before Oct 1 can enjoy the many benefits under the Marriage and Parenthood Package.
What is the expected impact of Covid-19 on marriages and births?
The Covid-19 situation has resulted in a drop in the number of marriages, especially during the circuit breaker and in Phase One of the economy's re-opening, said the NPTD.
"This was expected due to the restrictions on movement and gatherings," it added.
A recent survey of about 4,100 Singaporeans found that about 30 per cent said they are likely to delay plans to get married or have a child owing to the pandemic and its effects on the economy.
"However, despite the uncertainty brought about by Covid-19, it is heartening that many couples have continued with their wedding plans," said the NPTD.
It added that it has seen "healthy numbers" totalling about 800 couples, who have planned their solemnisation on special dates, like Oct 10 - 10/10/2020, an easy to remember date with a nice ring to it.
For the latest updates on the coronavirus, visit here.
This article was first published in The Straits Times.