Bringing a child into the world is a joyous and exciting experience, but it also comes with a host of responsibilities and financial considerations. Recognizing the importance of supporting new parents and helping them provide for their children, the Singapore government introduced the Baby Bonus Scheme. This initiative aims to alleviate some financial burdens associated with raising a child by providing cash gifts and other benefits to eligible parents.
The following article is a breakdown of the Enhanced Baby Bonus Scheme eligible for children born on or after 14 February 2023.
What is the Baby Bonus Scheme?
The Baby Bonus Scheme, established in April 2001 and enhanced over the years, has become an integral part of Singapore's efforts to promote a pro-family environment. The scheme is administered by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and available to all Singaporean citizens, permanent residents, and eligible foreigners who have given birth to or adopted a child in Singapore. The primary goal of the Baby Bonus Scheme is to assist parents in defraying the costs of raising a child, including healthcare, education, and general living expenses. By providing financial support, the government aims to ensure that every child in Singapore has a solid foundation for growth and development.
Under the Baby Bonus Scheme, eligible parents receive a combination of a Baby Bonus Cash Gift (BBCG) and a Child Development Account (CDA) to aid them in planning for their child's future.
Here’s a breakdown of what you will get for the Baby Bonus Scheme:
Who is eligible for the Baby Bonus Scheme?
Your child is eligible for the Baby Bonus Scheme if they meet the following conditions:
- They are Singapore Citizens
- Their parents are lawfully married
To check your child’s eligibility for the Baby Bonus Scheme, visit https://www.babybonus-eservices.msf.gov.sg/parent-helper.
How do I register my child for the Baby Bonus Scheme?
Baby Bonus Scheme can be applied on the LifeSG mobile application, or you can go to go.gov.sg/bbo for more information.
You can check your child’s eligibility at https://www.babybonus-eservices.msf.gov.sg/parent-helper/ before applying for the Baby Bonus Scheme. If your child is eligible, you may proceed with the following these steps:
Step 1. Click “Join Baby Bonus” at go.gov.sg/bbo
Step 2. Log in with your SingPass.
Step 3. Complete the application form.
For more information, watch this video for the application process.
Do note that if you have applied for the Baby Bonus during birth registration, there is no need to apply on the Baby Bonus website again.
What is the Baby Bonus Cash Gift?
The BBCG is provided in various stages, starting from the child's birth and continuing until they reach certain milestones in their development. The funds received can be used for many purposes, including healthcare, education, and other child-related expenses.
How much Baby Bonus Cash Gift will your child receive?
The BBCG depends on the birth order of your child. The BBCG amount is given as follows:
- 1st and 2nd Child: $11,000 each
- 3rd and subsequent Child: $13,000 each
When will be you receive the Baby Bonus Cash Gift Payout?
The BBCG will not be a lump sum payment. It will be given out every 6 months, starting from birth till your child reaches 6.5 years old. The payout schedule ensures that parents receive financial support till their child enters primary school.
What is the Child Development Account (CDA)?
The CDA, a special savings account, is an integral component of the Baby Bonus Scheme that supports your child till the age of 12. It acts as a co-savings account, with the government providing dollar-for-dollar matching contributions for eligible deposits made by parents. There are 2 grant components for CDA:
- First Step Grant
- Government Co-matching of Parent’s Savings.
1. CDA First Step Grant
The CDA First Step Grant aims to help parents build a solid financial foundation for their child's healthcare and educational expenses. The grant amount will be ($3000 + $2000*) for children in all birth orders. You can open the CDA for your child at DBS/POSB, OCBC or UOB. Thereafter, the CDA First Step Grant will be deposited automatically.
*The additional $2,000 of CDA First Step Grant is part of the enhanced scheme and will be paid out from early 2024. Parents will be notified by MSF when the disbursement is made.
2. Government Co-matching of Parent’s Savings
The CDA Government Co-Matching of Parent's Savings offers a dollar-for-dollar matching contribution (maximum limit varies according to child’s birth order) from the government to the savings made by parents in their CDA. By providing this co-matching, the government aims to support families in building a stronger financial foundation and ensuring the well-being and development of their children.
How do I create the Child Development Account for my child?
Your child’s CDA will be opened within 3 to 5 working days upon birth registration or completion of online form, whichever is later. Parents, who are Singapore Citizens, do not need to make a trip to the bank to open a CDA.
Your child’s CDA can be opened with the following banks: DBS/POSB, OCBC or UOB.
How do I utilise the Child Development Account savings?
You can utilise the CDA fund to pay for expenses pertaining to your child at any of the Baby Bonus Approved Institutes. These institutes cover many services, such as childcare, healthcare, medical expenses, and optical shops. For the full list of Baby Bonus Approved Institutes, please go to the Ministry of Social and Family Development website.
In addition to the financial benefits, the Baby Bonus Scheme provides access to a comprehensive suite of support services. These services include health and developmental screenings, immunizations, and subsidies for medical treatments. Parents can also tap into a wide range of resources, such as parenting workshops, educational materials, and parenting helplines, to assist them in their journey of raising a child.
What happens to my child’s CDA after he/she turns 12?
After your child reaches 12 years old, funds from the CDA will be transferred to their Post-Secondary Education Account* (PSEA). The Government Co-Matching of Parent's Savings is still applicable for your child’s PSEA until the cap is reached or when your child turns 18, whichever is earlier.
*The PSEA is specifically for saving for your children's post-secondary education. It can be used to cover approved programs, repay government education loans, and other financial schemes. The amount used is subject to a cap, which includes the CDA Government co-matching cap, parent deposits, government top-ups, and accrued interests.
Other frequently asked questions
How is my child’s birth order determined? Are non-Singapore Citizen children/stepchildren/stillbirths counted in the birth order?
The birth order is determined by the number of Singapore Citizen children born to or adopted by the mother. It includes biological children, adopted-in children, and stillbirths or deceased children.
For multiple births, each child is assigned a separate birth order. For instance, the first twin is considered the first child and the second twin is considered the second child.
If there is an adopted child, the birth order is based on the date of adoption or the date the child becomes a Singapore Citizen, whichever is later.
Stepchildren, non-citizen children, foster children, and adopted-out children are not included in the birth order calculation.
Are adopted children eligible for the Baby Bonus Scheme?
Yes, adopted children are eligible if they meet the eligibility conditions. Please use the Eligibility Check tool to check your adopted child’s eligibility and benefits.
Is it mandatory to deposit and top up savings in a Child Development Account (CDA) up to the specified cap?
No, it is not compulsory. You have the flexibility to save according to your needs. For example, if you save $10, the Government will match it with an additional $10. The savings can be used for your child's educational and healthcare expenses at Approved Institutions registered with the Ministry of Social and Family Development until the year your child turns 12.
Interest earned and savings exceeding the specified Government contribution cap will not be matched. You can continue to save into your child's CDA until 31st December of the year when they turn 12. Thereafter, the funds in your child’s CDA will be transferred to PSEA where the government will continue to match the contribution until the cap is reached or when your child turns 18, whichever is earlier.
As an overseas Singaporean, will my child be eligible for the Baby Bonus Scheme?
For your child to qualify for the full Baby Bonus benefits, they must obtain Singapore Citizenship by the age of 12. You can apply for the Baby Bonus Scheme through the LifeSG mobile application or go to go.gov.sg/bbo.
If both you and your spouse are not Singapore Citizens when your child is born, your child must acquire Singapore Citizenship before they turn:
(a) 24 months old, to be eligible for the Baby Bonus Cash Gift
(b) 12 years old, to be eligible for the Child Development Account.
The Baby Bonus benefits will be prorated based on the date of your child's Singapore Citizenship acquisition.
If my child has recently become a Singapore Citizen, what Baby Bonus Scheme benefits are they eligible for?
To determine your child's eligibility and entitlement, you can use the Eligibility Check tool. If either you or your spouse is a Singapore citizen when your child is born, they will be eligible for the full Baby Bonus benefits. However, your child must acquire Singapore Citizenship and join the scheme before turning 12 years old.
If you and your spouse are not Singapore citizens at the time of your child's birth, they will qualify for pro-rated benefits. Your child must obtain Singapore Citizenship before turning 24 months old to be eligible for the Cash Gift, and before turning 12 years old to be eligible for the Child Development Account. The pro-rated amount will depend on the date they acquire Singapore Citizenship.
Do parents have to return disbursed Baby Bonus benefits in the following situations?
1. If the mother and father were lawfully married but later divorced:
No. Parents must notify the Ministry of Social and Family Development if there is a change in (a) custody, care, and control, or (b) care and control of the child. The parent granted both (a) and (b) will become the trustee of the Child Development Account and will receive any remaining Baby Bonus Cash Gift.
2. If the child passes away:
No. If the Baby Bonus Cash Gift has not been fully disbursed, the remaining balance will be given as a lump sum to the bank account holder. If there is a Child Development Account, it will be closed, and the remaining funds will be transferred to the Public Trustee for distribution according to the Interstate Succession Act or Syariah Law.
Should I apply for the Baby Bonus on the Baby Bonus website or via LifeSG?
For convenience, eligible parents who register their child's birth through LifeSG can apply for the Baby Bonus Scheme and National Library Board (NLB) basic membership at the same time. If you have already completed your child's birth registration, you can still apply for the Baby Bonus on the Baby Bonus website.
Get your bonus, baby!
The Baby Bonus Scheme in Singapore is a testament to the government's commitment to creating a nurturing and supportive environment for families. So ensure that you check for your child’s eligibility and have this financial relief to ensure that your child can receive the care and opportunities they deserve! For more information about the support measures for raising your child in Singapore, check out the Made For Families website.