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Child Development Account Scheme In Singapore Extended By Six Years

Good news for Singaporean parents. The Baby Bonus Scheme is now extended for children aged 12 years old, instead of six. Starting January 1, 2013, the Child Development Accounts (CDAs) of parents will be extended by six years. This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean during the 2012 Committee of Supply Debate.

The CDA is a savings account co-funded by the Singapore government for items for children such as spectacles, prescription medicine and childcare fees.

In the said scheme, parents deposit amount of money in the CDA, wherein it is matched dollar-by-dollar by the government up to a cap; ranging from S$ 6,000 to S$18,000 depending on the birth order of the child. A parent can get a cash gift of up to S$ 4,000 each for his or her first and second child and S$6,000 each the third and fourth child. The cash gift is disbursed in four equal instalments over 18 months from the birth of the child, to help parents defray the new or additional expenses arising from the newborn children.

Children who were born after January 6, 2006, will continue to have their CDAs open until December 31 of the year they turn 12, instead of the year they turn six.

With the scheme, parents are given opportunities to save up for six more years if they have not saved up to the cap. They can also use the CDA funds for the child and the child’s other siblings.

The Baby Bonus Scheme is one of the government’s interventions to support the decision of Singaporean parents to have more children. This scheme helps lighten the financial costs of raising children in Singapore. It aims to better support the developmental needs of children.It was introduced on April 1, 2001, and the programme was enhanced on August 1, 2004, and August 14, 2008. The latest enhancements include the expansion of the categories of Approved Institutions (AIs) which was made effective on July 1, 2012, and the extension of the CDA Account in January 2013.