Boosting the Baby Bonus Scheme with the Baby Support Grant (2020) — What is the Total Payout?


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During the Pioneer and Merdeka generations, it was normal to use your children as free labour at your hawker stall or provision shop. But now that child labour is outlawed, you need to find some other way to make money from your children. That’s where the Baby Bonus scheme comes in to help parents defray the (very) high child rearing costs in Singapore. And encourage more married folks to have more kids — the more kids you have, the more money you get!
With declining national birth rates and the global economic uncertainty brought on by Covid-19, the Baby Bonus scheme has been given a boost in the form of a $3,000 Baby Support Grant. It does sound like a windfall if you consider the fact that it’s on top of the existing Baby Bonus cash gift that can go up to $10,000. But just how fat and juicy this carrot really is depends on your lifestyle and expectations.
So, just how much can you receive? Here’s a guide to figuring our your Baby Bonus payout, plus the Baby Support Grant.
The Baby Support Grant of $3,000 is a one-off freebie for parents of each eligible Singaporean child born between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2022 only. And there’s no restriction on how you use it. If you have twins, congrats! That’s $6,000 in the bag! The grant will be deposited into the CDA account at the bank (DBS, OCBC or UOB) that the parents have chosen to receive the Baby Bonus cash gift. The deposit will be made from 1 April 2021, or within one month of enrolment into the Baby Bonus scheme, whichever is later.
First, you and your spouse must be lawfully married. Your child must be a Singapore Citizen and born between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2022 only. The grant will still be offered if your child was born earlier than his certified Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD) which is 1 October 2020. You just need to e-mail a scanned copy of the doctor’s certification of your child’s EDD to msf_babybonus@msf.gov.sg for review.
The Baby Bonus scheme’s full name is actually the Child Development Co-Savings Scheme. The Baby Bonus payout comes in 3 components: Cash Gift, CDA First Step and dollar-for-dollar matching.
Cash Gift ($8,000 to $10,000): This is the first batch of free money you’ll get with each child, and is credited to your bank account. You can register for the scheme as early as 8 weeks before the birth. However, you need to be part of a state-sanctioned nuclear family to get this cash. Unwed mums do not receive the Cash Gift.
CDA First Step ($3,000): This is a grant that the government deposits when you open a CDA account (Child Development Account) in your baby’s name. The CDA account is automatically opened once your child is born. You just need to choose between DBS/POSB, OCBC and UOB to manage the account.
Dollar-for-dollar matching (up to $15,000, amount depends on birth order): The CDA is a co-savings account, meaning for each $1 you put in your baby’s account, the government will give him another $1. This happens all the way until age 12, with limits set depending on the birth order of your child. Depending on the birth order of your child, this is how much you can get under the Baby Bonus scheme:
Scroll down to the relevant birth order for further details of the Baby Bonus payout.
For your 1st or 2nd child, the government will give you a Baby Bonus of up to $14,000. It’s $3,000 more if you’re eligible for the Baby Support Grant. Here’s how it works out:
3 to 5 working days after your child’s birth is registered
Dollar-for-dollar matching is done within 2 weeks
Up to $14,000 ($17,000 if you’re eligible for the Baby Support Grant of $3,000)
The Cash Gift component of the Baby Bonus is staggered according to the following schedule:
Within 3 weeks of joining the scheme
For your 3rd and 4th child, the government will give you a Baby Bonus of up to $22,000. It’s also $3,000 more if you’re eligible for the Baby Support Grant. Here’s how it works out:
3 to 5 working days after your child’s birth is registered
Dollar-for-dollar matching is done within 2 weeks
Up to $22,000 ($25,000 if you’re eligible for the Baby Support Grant of $3,000)
The Cash Gift component of the Baby Bonus is staggered according to the following schedule:
Within 3 weeks of joining the scheme
For your 5th child and any other children thereafter, the government will give you a Baby Bonus of up to $28,000. And it’s still $3,000 more if you’re eligible for the Baby Support Grant. Here’s how it works out:
3 to 5 working days after your child’s birth is registered
Dollar-for-dollar matching is done within 2 weeks
Up to $28,000 ($31,000 if you’re eligible for the Baby Support Grant of $3,000)
For the 5th child onwards, the Cash Gift component of the Baby Bonus is staggered according to the following schedule:
Within 3 weeks of joining the scheme
Single parents do not get the Baby Support Grant, but they do get some of the Baby Bonus (even though they’re the ones who are more likely to require financial assistance…) They won’t get the Cash Gift component of the Baby Bonus ($8,000 to $10,000), but their kids will still get their own CDA. They are also entitled to the $3,000 CDA First Step Grant as well as the usual dollar-for-dollar matching.
Here’s a comparison of how much less single parents get for the Baby Bonus payout as compared to their peers:
Baby Bonus payout (married parents)
Read our guide to child subsidies and financial assistance for single parents in Singapore.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to how you can get the money.
Hopefully we don’t need to tell you how to do this. If you adopt a child, you are also eligible for the Baby Bonus.
Step 2: Enrol in the Baby Bonus scheme.
You will need a valid marriage cert for this, and your child needs to be born in Singapore or have Singapore citizenship. You can sign up for the Baby Bonus scheme online, as early as 8 weeks before the delivery date. Check your eligibility.
Step 3: Register your baby’s birth.
This will automatically open your child’s CDA in 3 to 5 working days. You can also open a CDA account online.
Step 4: Save money in your child’s CDA.
Do this before he turns 12, and the government will do dollar-for-dollar matching all the way until you hit the cap (based on birth order). It’s super worth it — we can’t think of any other investment that will give you a 100% yield. However, note that funds in the CDA account is locked up and can only be used for education and healthcare expenses for your child, and only at Baby Bonus approved childcare centres, kindergartens, hospitals, clinics, etc. So, if you anticipate cash flow problems, don’t be in too much of a hurry to max out your Baby Bonus just yet. Read our guide on the CDA account and what you can use it on.
Apart from the Baby Bonus, there are other childcare subsidies you can get to raise your kids. It’s no small sum either. Added together, they amount to more than $50,000 in either subsidies or savings.
Medisave Grant for Newborns ($4,000): All Singapore babies get a CPF Medisave account and the money will be automatically credited to the account. You can use it to pay for your child’s MediShield life premiums, recommended childhood vaccinations, hospitalisation and approved outpatient treatments.
Basic infantcare ($600) and childcare ($300) subsidies: Singaporean kids who are enrolled in an infantcare or childcare licensed by ECDA get their fees subsidised. However, the better benefits are for working mothers. Non-working mothers get only $150.
Additional Childcare Subsidy ($40 to $710 for infantcare and $80 to $467 for childcare): This is additional aid for parents with a monthly household income of $12,000 or less.
Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme KiFAS ($21 to $170): Singaporean children from lower income families ($3,000 and below) can attend kindergartens at a subsidised rates.
Parenthood Tax Rebate (up to $2,000): If you’re a tax-paying Singaporean who is married, divorced or widowed in the relevant year, you can get a tax rebate of $5,000 for your first child, $10,000 for your second child and $20,000 for your third child. The tax rebate is capped at $20,000 per child if you continue to expand your family.
Maid levy ($60): If you hire a domestic helper to help care for your child (below 16 years old), you’ll be eligible for a concessionary levy rate of $60 per month (i.e. concession of $240). And in a few years’ time, when your baby is old enough to go to primary school, a whole other set of financial schemes kick in: Edusave, PSEA, MOE Financial Assistance Scheme and so on.
Will the Baby Support Grant and the Baby Bonus encourage you to start a family or have more kids? Share this with friends who are newly-minted parents or parents-to-be!
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