Personal Finance

Best Financial Resources For Single Parents In Singapore

One of the main problems faced by single parents, particularly those from low-income families in Singapore is the immense financial stress of making ends meet. Here’s a guide on the various grants, subsidies, and financial assistance that may relieve part of the financial burden single parents struggle with.

Key Highlights

  • Single mothers can save on various pregnancy costs (including pre-delivery expenses) through the Medisave Maternity Package
  • The government matches every single dollar a parent puts into a Child Development Account (CDA) under the Baby Bonus Scheme
  • There are various subsidies available to single parents who need to place their children in infant care or childcare

The average cost of raising a child in Singapore is estimated to be S$1,500-S$2,000 per month. Given that a married couple’s average monthly household income stands at S$8,352 and nearly 18% of that combined income goes toward providing for a child. With the introduction of Working Mother’s Child Relief and HDB subsidies, parenthood has indeed become less financially taxing for parents. However, the same can’t be said for single parents, where they’re often left out of support policies, even though this group often needs it the most. To make it easier for single parents in Singapore to seek financial assistance, here’s a guide to various support schemes and subsidies available.

Make Use Of Medisave Schemes And Grants To Save On Newborn Costs

Type Of DeliveryPre-delivery ExpensesDelivery ProcedureHospitalisationTotal Claimable (3 Days Hospitalisation
Vaginal Delivery (Normal)S$900S$750Up to S$450/dayS$3,000
Vaginal Delivery (Assisted)S$900S$1,250Up to S$450/dayS$3,500
Caesarean Section (Normal)S$900S$2,150Up to S$450/dayS$4,400
Caesarean Section (with Tubal Ligation)S$900S$2,600Up to S$450/dayS$4,850
Caesarean Section (with Hysterectomy)S$900S$3,950Up to S$450/dayS$6,200
Information obtained from CPF, accurate as of 10 Feb 2021. Subject to changes.

Delivering a baby in Singapore is an expensive affair – with the average total cost of prenatal care (e.g. genetic disease testing and gynaecologist consultations) and the delivery itself at S$1,577 (assuming it's at a public hospital, in a subsidised ward). Single mothers can save on these pregnancy costs through the Medisave Maternity Package, which allows you to use your Medisave savings for pre-delivery medical expenses, delivery expenses, and daily hospital charges.

Also, all single parents can use the enhanced Medisave Grant, where S$4,000 will be deposited into a newborn’s CPF Medisave account, to help pay for the child’s healthcare expenses, including MediShield Life premiums, recommended childhood vaccinations, hospitalisation, and approved outpatient treatments.

Deposit Money Into Your Child’s Child Development Account To Leverage Dollar-For-Dollar Matching

Birth OrderCDA First StepDollar-for-Dollar Matching
1st & 2nd ChildS$3,000Up to S$3,000
3rd & 4th ChildS$3,000Up to S$9,000
5th Child & HigherS$3,000Up to S$15,000
Information obtained from MSF Singapore, accurate as of 10 Feb 2021. Subject to changes.

While single parents are not eligible for the Baby Bonus Cash Gift (under the Baby Bonus Scheme), they do qualify for its other component: the Child Development Account (CDA), a special co-savings scheme for children. The government puts in S$3,000 into the account upon the birth of your child. As a co-savings account, the government matches every S$1 you put into the account. This happens until your child is 12 years old and a limit set based on your child's birth order. With current savings accounts rarely offering interest rates above 1% in this economic climate, this co-savings scheme is definitely a better way to multiply savings for your child.

Apply For Childcare and Infant Care Subsidies In Singapore

Full-Day Childcare Programmes In Singapore

Monthly Household IncomePer Capita IncomeBasic SubsidyAdditional SubsidyMaximum Total Subsidy
S$2,500 and belowS$625 and belowS$300S$440S$740
S$2,501 to S$3,000S$626 to S$750S$300S$400S$700
S$3,001 to S$3,500S$751 to S$875S$300S$370S$670
S$3,501 to S$4,000S$876 to S$1,000S$300S$310S$610
S$4,001 to S$4,500S$1,001 to S$1,125S$300S$220S$520
S$4,501 to S$7,500S$1,126 to S$1,875S$300S$100S$400
Above S$7,500Above S$1,875S$300S$0S$300
Information obtained from ECDA Singapore, accurate as of 10 Feb 2021. Subject to changes.

Full-Day Infant Care Programmes In Singapore

Monthly Household IncomePer Capita IncomeBasic SubsidyAdditional SubsidyMaximum Total Subsidy
S$2,500 and belowS$625 and belowS$600S$540S$1,140
S$2,501 to S$3,000S$626 to S$750S$600S$500S$1,100
S$3,001 to S$3,500S$751 to S$875S$600S$470S$1,070
S$3,501 to S$4,000S$876 to S$1,000S$600S$410S$1,010
S$4,001 to S$4,500S$1,001 to S$1,125S$600S$320S$920
S$4,501 to S$7,500S$1,126 to S$1,875S$600S$200S$800
Above S$7,500Above S$1,875S$600S$0S$600
Information obtained from ECDA Singapore, accurate as of 10 Feb 2021. Subject to changes.

Every parent desires to take care of their child – but that's not an option for single parents. For those who are unable to receive help from parents, the remaining viable alternative is a childcare or infant care centre (which can be expensive). There are various subsidies available to relieve at least part of this financial cost. For example, the Basic Subsidy for Infant Care and Childcare entitles a working single parent to get up to S$600 subsidy on infant care, and S$300 on childcare.

Single parents with slightly older children need not worry as well; there are various schemes and financial aid tools that can help offset education costs. For example, the Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme (KiFAS) provides maximum fee assistance up to S$170 for a gross monthly household income not exceeding S$2,500.

Find Practical And Emotional Help At Non-Profit Organisations

Single Parents INformed, INvolved, INcluded (SPIN)HCSA Dayspring SPIN aims to improve the quality of life of single parent families by providing resources that strengthen their social support network, as well as improving their access to organised information that enable single parents to make informed decisions.
  • Casework & Counselling
  • Information & Referral
  • Befriending & Ally Network
  • Practical support
  • Respite service
  • Skills-based/family-friendly activities & workshops
PPIS As-SalaamA non-profit organisation focused on working with Malay-Muslim single parent families; dedicated to working with women of all ages in carrying out their multiple roles in society.
  • Casework & Counselling
  • Parenting Pact
  • Support programme for divorced mothers with dependent children
  • Talks/consultation sessions focusing on issues related to impact of divorce on children and co-parenting issues
AWARE #asingleloveThe leading non-profit women's rights and gender equality group in Singapore; dedicated to supporting and empowering single parents and their children.
  • Financial service & back-to-work support
  • Emotional support, counselling, and legal advice
HELP Family CentreA non-profit organisation dedicated to extending assistance to single parent families in meeting the demands of coping alone as a single parent.
  • Divorce specialist programmes
  • Casework & Counselling
  • Peer Support Programmes
  • Public Education
Information obtained from the organisations listed, accurate as of 10 Feb 2021. Subject to changes.

Single parents who require additional assistance (financial or emotional) can seek support from several non-profit organisations. For single mothers: the initiative ‘#asinglelove’ by AWARE offers services and programmes designed to support and empower women and their children. Other support groups also include the HELP Family Service Centre and As-Salaam PPIS Family Support Centre. Single parents struggling to meet their basic needs can approach the Social Service Offices as well.

And of course, it’s always worthwhile for single parents to consider purchasing life insurance – just for that peace of mind, in case of disease or death where providing for your child is no longer possible.

Pooja Khandelwal

Pooja is a Content Marketing Lead at ValueChampion Singapore. She is responsible for planning and executing sponsored content projects and building relationships with media partners. In addition, she evaluates financial products for consumers based on quantitative and qualitative analysis. Pooja holds degrees in Economics and Psychology from Rutgers University. Her prior work experience includes founding and leading a content marketing consultancy and working at eCommerce, AI, and B2B SaaS startups in Singapore. Pooja has contributed insights to Tech in Asia, Yahoo!, and many other publications. Connect with her on LinkedIn to collaborate on content.