Cost of raising a child
We all know it is expensive to raise a child. You do know that, don’t you?
If you Google it, the average cost of raising this tiny human baby till the age of 18 costs about $280,000 SGD!
Well, now we know why no one else is having babies, except you, who is reading the article.
What is Baby Bonus?
In short, if you have a baby in Singapore, you get cash. Before you get all excited, you do have to meet the baby bonus eligibility criteria below:
Is it Cash or CPF or Vouchers?
If you meet the above criteria, you will be eligible for a CASH gift! So how much exactly are you getting? For your 1st & 2nd child, you can receive up to $8000! If you have a 3rd child and more, you will get up to $10,000 by the time they are 18 months old!
Here’s the breakdown at a glance:
So what can you do with this cash gift? Anything! You can use it to buy diapers, milk powder, a new baby cot, clothes or the many wet wipes that you will soon learn that it is the best invention ever or you can simply save it up for them in the bank or in their Child Development Account (CDA)!
Child Development Account (CDA)
The CDA is a special savings account for your child. It will be ready automatically when the child successfully joins the Baby Bonus Scheme. All eligible children will get $3000 in their CDA – this is known as the CDA First Step Grant. And, there is a dollar for dollar matching scheme. What does this mean? Simply put – If you put $1000 in the CDA, the government will top up another $1000 (within 2 weeks) so now you will have $2000! You can save in the CDA anytime before 31 December of the year your child turns 12.
Take a look below:
Many of you will ask, what can CDA be used for?
CDA funds can be used for child development needs at Approved Institutions registered with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
Some examples are:
- Fees for child care centres, kindergartens, special education schools and early intervention programmes
- Medical expenses incurred at healthcare institutions such as hospitals and clinics
- Medical insurance which includes MediShield Life or Medisave-approved private integrated plans
- Assistive devices providers
- Optical shops
- Pharmacies (approved healthcare items only)
How do you apply for Baby Bonus?
Here’s what you should do:
Step 1: Have a baby
Legally of course! If you decide to adopt a child, you will be eligible for it too.
Step 2: Sign up for the Baby Bonus scheme
Get your marriage certificate ready. Your child needs to be a Singapore Citizen to qualify. You can sign up for the Baby Bonus scheme online (as early as 8 weeks before your EDD).
Step 3: Register your baby’s birth
This will automatically open your child’s Child Development Account (CDA) within a week.
And you are all set.
Now all you have to do is save money in your child’s CDA!
You can save in the CDA anytime before 31 December of the year your child turns 12 and the government will do dollar-for-dollar matching all the way until you hit the cap.
In Singapore, we are really lucky to have a monetary startup package – known as the Baby Bonus Scheme for parents. This helps us defray the costs at the initial stages of raising a child and we should maximise the dollar-to-dollar matching scheme by saving in the CDA. Afterall, no other bank gives you an interest rate better than the government!
For more details, you can visit MSF’s Baby Bonus website.