Single & Pregnant

  • What to Expect
  • Support Available
  • What To Do Now
  • Finding Out About Pregnancy
  • Communications With Others
  • Considerations And Preparation
  • Preparation For Parenthood
  • Preparing And Caring For Baby
  • Take Care Of Your Own Health
  • Housing Considerations
  • Employment Considerations
  • Legal Considerations
  • Guides & Benefits

What To Do Now

So you’re single and you just found out you’re pregnant, what happens now? It’s alright to be scared, it’s OK to cry. This can be a very confusing time and there are probably many questions running through your mind at this very moment. The important thing to remember is that help is out there and you’re not alone. Just take Yan Ping for example.

The Dilemma: Yan Ping

Yan Ping is a mother of a clever little girl and a joyful little boy. She is in her late 30s. 

When Yan Ping found out about her first pregnancy, she was filled with fear. Everyone around her had different opinions and thoughts, and they made her feel confused and frustrated. She was torn between two options: to keep the child or to let it go. While she knew that her father wanted her to get an abortion, others told her to hold on to the “gift from God”. She felt lost and stressed. And above all, Yan Ping felt terribly and completely alone.

For Yan Ping, the decision to keep her daughter changed from day to day. There were days where the entire weight of the situation became almost unbearable and the thought of giving up seemed tempting. There were days where immense loneliness would dawn upon her. It could be in the aisle of a baby store, in the cold, sterile waiting room of a clinic, or at her dining table with all its empty chairs. Other days, she felt a little more optimistic and truly believed that she and her baby were going to be alright.


Credits:
For contents on “Single & Pregnant” on this website, we would like to credit four students from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information of Nanyang Technological University - Chng-Xin Anthia, Agnes Goh Si Lei, Ng Wei Shuen, Natalie Goh Lewa. In 2016, as their final year project, they created an online information platform for unmarried mothers to help make informed decisions in their journey of single parenthood (heysolosister.com). The contents adopted from heysolosister.com site have been modified and updated accordingly.

Finding Out About Pregnancy

Confirming Your Pregnancy

If you suspect that you may be pregnant, buy a pregnancy test kit from pharmacies such as Guardian and Watson’s and do the test at home. However, to be absolutely certain, you are recommended to visit a doctor for a urine or blood test.

Seeing A Doctor

Regardless of whether you’re intending to keep the baby, seeking medical help is the safest option for both yourself and the baby. Medical professionals will be able to clarify any doubts that you might have and recommend the best course of action to take.

What About The Father?

During this time, it is your decision as to whether you would like to inform the father of the baby. Things are bound to get a little complicated - if you tell him, how will he react? If you don’t, what happens next? Will he want to stay around, get married or completely disappear from the equation? And more importantly, what do you want?

You don’t have to figure this out on your own. Talk to counsellors, get a mediator and resolve the “father” issue with them. Here are some people you can call.

HCSA DaySpring SPIN

(Single Parents INformed INvolved INcluded)
Tel: 6463 0187 (Mondays to Fridays, 9am - 6pm)
Address: 233 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287983
 
Website: http://pregnancycrisis.sg
Helpline: 6339 9770 (24-hour)
Address: Agape Village, 7A Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, #04-01, Singapore 319264
 
Babes Pregnancy Crisis (for teenagers only)
Helpline: 8111 3535 (24-hour)
Address: 26 Jalan Klinik #01-42/52, Singapore 160026
 
Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society
MUM-TO-BE Helpline (offers confidential support to pregnant women in difficult situations)
Helpline: 1800 686 8623 (24-hour)
 
Sanctuary House hotline
Crisis Pregnancy / Emergency Infant Care
Hotline: 9817 0588 (24-hour)

Communications With Others

Breaking The News

Telling the people closest to you about your pregnancy can be one of the toughest things to do. You’re worried about disappointing them, worried that they’ll leave you. You’re worried that they’ll get so angry that you’d be even more alone in this journey than you already are. These worries are real but keep in mind that family support during this time could change everything.

Revealing The Truth: Katherine

Katherine was afraid to tell her parents when she found out she was pregnant, as she was worried as to how they would react. She decided to start by telling her sister but it wasn’t long before her mother found out as well. Needless to say, her mother was very upset. Yet, when the time came, her mother’s worry turned into love for her grandchild. Thus, through the months of pregnancy and even till now, her mother has been a strong pillar of support for both Katherine and her son.

Although Katherine’s family was supportive of her, not all parents would be as accepting of such news. As such, if you need help breaking the news, seek help:

(Single Parents INformed INvolved INcluded)
Tel: 6463 0187 (Mondays to Fridays, 9am - 6pm)
Address: 233 Turf Club Road, Singapore 287983
 
Website: http://pregnancycrisis.sg
Helpline: 6339 9770 (24-hour)

Considerations And Preparation

What Are Your Pregnancy Options?

Facing the news of pregnancy at this juncture can be overwhelming and it is normal to experience a range of mixed emotions.  As this will be one of the most difficult decisions you’ll ever have to make, it should be an informed one – made only after gathering all available information on your options and using that information to decide what's right or what works best for you and your baby.  Sometimes it takes courage and confidence to ask others (e.g. family members, friends, counsellors or experts, etc.) tough questions to ensure the options you decide on are available to you.  Therefore, it is important that you are well educated about your pregnancy options.

These include: keeping the baby, placing the baby up for foster care or adoption, or terminating the pregnancy.

Parenthood

Firstly, consider parenthood. 

Being a single parent can be very demanding, but parenthood is also filled with much joy. Single parenting can be challenging, even if you have help from your family and friends. It may also be hard to balance the tasks of providing for your child economically (earning a living) as well as emotionally (being there to care of your child).  In addition, as a single parent, you may need to sacrifice some of your own needs and freedom. 

Here are some useful questions to ask: 

1. Am I financially equipped to raise a child?

Think practically -- do you have a stable income or the financial capacity to raise a child, put food on the table, and provide a roof over your heads? Do you know, on average, how much it would cost to raise a child in Singapore?

Everyone will have their own calculations but perhaps it would be useful to see what the experts say.

2. Do I have sufficient support from my family (and friends) to raise my child?

Having the support of your loved ones can change your life and your baby’s life dramatically. It may seem as if your parents will be too angry and disappointed to give you their blessings. But, many cases have shown that in the end, the family always comes together to give their support to their pregnant daughter. Remember, if you never ask, you’ll never know.

3. Am I emotionally and mentally prepared to raise a child?

Over the course of pregnancy, a woman’s emotions will vary from excited or happy to probably fear and frustration. These emotions may be even more extreme if you’re going through it alone. The stress and the hurt, on top of your normal hormonal changes, can become unbearable, especially if you have no one to turn to. Do you know what to expect from this journey? Are you likely to crumble under the stress, the pain and the confusion?

4. Am I willing to make drastic changes to my plans and lifestyle for this child?

As a mother, your time will no longer be your own and your lifestyle choices will inevitably impact your child. If you’re not ready to make compromises on your schedule and habits, now may not be the best time for you to raise a child.

If you answered "no" to most of the above questions, perhaps raising a child at this point in time may not be ideal for you.

Thus, after you have decided that parenthood is not the answer, take time to explore other options (see below) before making any further decision. Also, perhaps it would be useful to hear how other mothers answered their big questions.

A Long-term decision: Jaxe

When Jaxe found out about the pregnancy, she was overwhelmed with the big decision she was about to make. But she didn’t allow herself to panic. Instead, she laid out her options and tried to figure out the next best thing to do. Jaxe consulted many people, she read stories of mothers who had been in her position and she weighed each option cautiously. She wanted to make a decision that she knew she’d be happy with in the long term. 

Even though she had always kept her options open, the few months Jaxe spent with her little growing baby made it impossible for her to ever imagine giving up her baby. And the rest is history.

The Alternative: Cindy

Cindy was pregnant with her first child when she was 16. At the time, there was little room for debate -- she was going to get an abortion and that was that. She had a million excuses for not keeping the child and it didn’t seem like a very big deal anyway. It was far too early in her pregnancy for her to feel the baby and the ultrasound image didn’t even resemble a human yet. It was like it didn’t even exist. Why would it matter if she aborted it?

Years down the road, now a mother to a sensible young boy, Cindy looks back at the time with regret, feeling the guilt that only a mother would understand. Every now and then, she’d wonder how old her little baby would’ve been had she kept it. For her, the emotional torture of her abortion was enough reason to keep her baby when she got pregnant for the second time at 20.

Foster Care & Adoption

Are you struggling to decide what’s best for yourself? Find out more about each of the available options and think carefully before making any decision.

Foster Care vs. Adoption

Fostering is a temporary care arrangement and the goal is to reunite the children with their natural parents. Foster children remain the legal children of their natural parents.

Adoption, on the other hand, is a legal process where an adopted child assumes the rights of a natural child of the family. 

Foster Care

i. What is itFoster care is a way of providing family life for the children who are unable to stay with their parents.

ii. To be eligible: 

  • Your child must be below the age of 18
  • You are unable to take care of your child

iii. How does this affect my child?

A child on the Fostering Scheme keeps his/her identity (i.e. own name) and continues to be the legal child of his/her biological parents. If the situation allows, the child may eventually return to his/her biological parents.

iv. Will my child be safe?

Foster parents must meet a series of stringent criteria set out by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to be accepted for the placement of foster children. They need to attend regular courses on child care arranged by MSF. MSF pays a fostering allowance and an educational allowance to the foster family to cover the child’s expenses.

For more information:

Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)

There are currently four accredited fostering agencies:

1. Epworth Foster Care (part of Epworth Community Services)
Tel: 6715 3725
Email: fostercare@epworth.sg
 
2a. Boys’ Town
MSF Fostering Agency (referred by Child Protective Services)
Tel: 9113 7612
 
2b. Boys' Town
Sanctuary Care (referred by community social workers)
Tel: 6221 0588 (Mondays to Fridays, 9am - 6pm)
 
3. Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura (PPIS)
Tel: 6817 6150 
Email: info@ppis.sg
 
4. The Salvation Army
Tel/Whatsapp: 8833 8173 

Adoption

i. What is it: Adoption is the legal act of entrusting your child to another person/couple to bring him/her up as their own.

ii. To be eligible:

  • The child must be a resident of Singapore (i.e. a Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or Dependant's Pass holder). A child is not regarded as a resident if the child is residing in Singapore on a visit pass, a student’s pass or a special pass. (see Section 4(7)(a)(b) of the Adoption of Child Act.)
  • The child must be below 21 years of age (see Section 3(2) of the Adoption of Child Act.)
  • Consent from both parents is needed if the biological father and/or mother is unmarried and below the age of 21 years

iii. Things to note

  • It is against the law for biological parents to receive payments in return of giving up their child without the court’s approval.
  • Teenage mothers must declare the details of the child’s father, and if the father is unknown, to state as unknown.

iv. How does this affect my child?

From the law’s perspective, all legal ties between your child and you will be broken off. The adoptive parent(s) will have all the rights and responsibilities in caring and educating the child.

Once the legal statement is signed and the child is surrendered, there is no "turning back".

v. Will my child be safe?

Child adoption in Singapore has a strict set of criteria and rules. Anyone who wishes to adopt a child from MSF will need to apply for a Home Study Report , which is conducted by professional social service staff. This is a comprehensive investigation to assess if the potential adoptive parents are ready for to adopt a child. They need to attend a Pre-Adoption Briefing (PAB) to ensure they are prepared and eligible to adopt. The adoptive parents will also be strongly encouraged to attend an Adoption Disclosure workshop.

vi. Other things to note

Placing your child for adoption can be traumatic (Source: Henney, Ayers-Lopez, McRoy, & Grotevant, 2007). You may experience grief, anger and guilt (Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway)

vii. Pre-Adoption Briefing

Attending a Pre-Adoption Briefing (available in 3 languages: English, Mandarin and Malay) is compulsory before identifying a child for adoption and applying for a home study or making an application to the Court. For detials on the available briefing sessions, click here

Find out more information:

Hotline: 6355 6388
Email: msf_adoption@msf.gov.sg
 
There are currently four accredited adoption agencies:
 
1. Touch Family Services
Tel: 6709 8400
Email: adoption@touch.org.sg
Address: 5 Stadium Walk, Leisure Park Kallang #04-05/06, Singapore 397693
 
2. Fei Yue Community Services
Tel: 6366 4096
Email: adoption@fycs.org
Address: Blk 280 Choa Chu Kang Ave 3, #01-360, Singapore 680280
 
3. Lutheran Community Care Services (LCCS)
Tel: 6441 3906
Email: adoption@lccs.org.sg
Address: 450 MacPherson Road, Singapore 368170 
4. Apkim Centre For Social Services (ACOSS)
Tel: 6295 1011
Email: info@apkim.com
Address: 134 Arab Street, Singapore 199824
  

Abortion

1. What it is: It is a medical procedure taken to end a pregnancy by removing a foetus or embryo from the womb before it can survive on its own.

 To find out more about abortion in Singapore, visit abortion page by AWARE for information about the procedures and regulation involved.

2. Other things to note

  • You may experience menstrual cramps after the procedure
  • Light bleeding may occur when your menses returns after 4-5 weeks
  • Avoid having sex for about 2 weeks after the procedure
  • Continue to observe your body for unusual symptoms
  • You may experience “Post Abortion Syndrome” or “PAS” (i.e. emotional problems experienced after an abortion experience)

3. Potential risks (varying dependent on individuals)

  • Fever
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Prolonged abdominal pain
  • Reduced chances of pregnancy
  • Emotions such as feeling of loss and regret

4. Finding someone to talk to after the abortion

The aftermath effects of an abortion can take a toll on your emotions. Don’t let your past hold you back. Find someone to talk to about it.

Tel: 6488 0278 (Mondays to Fridays, 9am – 6pm)
 
Rachel’s Vineyard (for post-abortion healing)
Website: http://www.rachelsvineyard.sg/

5. Voices of reason

If you’re still unsure of what to do, speak to someone who will be able to provide you with some professional advice. 

Babes Pregnancy Crisis (for teenagers only)
Helpline: 8111 3535 (24-hour)
Address: 26 Jalan Klinik #01-42/52, Singapore 160026
 
Website: http://pregnancycrisis.sg
Helpline: 6339 9770 (24-hour)
Address: Agape Village, 7A Lorong 8 Toa Payoh, #04-01, Singapore 319264

You’ve finally made the decision to keep your baby. Congratulations!

The months ahead, as you prepare to welcome your baby into the world, are going to be busy and full of difficulties. But take heart and be brave. Now that you’ve started down this road, the important thing is to keep moving forward. In preparation for the arrival of your child, there are a few arrangements you’d have to make within the few months of your pregnancy.

Healthcare Considerations

You may experience various forms of physical discomfort or changes at different stages of your pregnancy and beyond, so be sure to give your body the attention and care it deserves. You can refer to reliable organisations such as aLife for articles on pregnancy, but do consult a doctor in person for a detailed review, and go for regular check-ups during different stages of your pregnancy.

Joyful Parenting (Helpline: 6488 0286) is an initiative of Family Life Society. It prepares new mums for labour, advocates breastfeeding and provides advice on the challenges faced when caring for newborns and toddlers. It also provides new mums with information on the dos and don’ts during pregnancy, as well as support on breastfeeding. If you are looking for guidance, sharing, or a support group for new mums, Joyful Parenting offers a dedicated pool of mum volunteers, some of whom are experienced family educators, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants qualified nurses, and home-makers.

To track your baby’s development as he/she grows in your belly and receive health tips throughout your pregnancy, sign up for newsletters at BabyCenter.

Another very good website is The Bump which contains comprehensive information to guide you through the ins and outs of all nine months.  It has everything you need, from pregnancy nutrition tips to dealing withpregnancy symptoms. Everything you need to know about pregnancy week-by-week such as info on baby's development, pregnancy symptoms week-by-week, etc. can be found here.

You may also want to visit KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s website to find out many more information on care during pregnancy, tests to take, labour & delivery, and after pregnancy.

In addition, eating right is just as important for the health of both yourself and your child. Learn more about how to plan your diet and eat well here.

Find out more information:

Family Life Society

Joyful Parenting
Helpline: 6488 0286 (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am - 5pm)

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital

Click here for website.

Labour & Delivery

Be educated and familiarise yourself with information and facts about giving birth before the big day! Find out what really happens during labour and delivery. Learn how to recognise the signs and stages of labour and get an overview of pain management techniques. Plus, get the latest advice about when and how to push. Click here.

Be sure to also check out KKH’s FAQ on labour & delivery here.

Helps are available:

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
Tel: 6294 4050
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays, 8.30am - 5.30pm; Saturdays, 8.30am - 1.00pm
(Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays)

O&G (24-hour) Clinic
The O&G (24-hour) Clinic, located at Basement 1 of Women's Tower, is a walk-in clinic for women with emergency O&G conditions.
The Clinic provides round-the-clock service for early or post pregnancy related conditions, gynaecological complaints; such as acute vaginal bleeding and severe pelvic pain.

For expectant mothers who are at least 22 weeks into their pregnancy, and with concerns such as water bag leakage, vaginal bleeding or signs of labour, please directly proceed to Delivery Suite, located at Level 2 of Women's Tower.

Family Life Society
Joyful Parenting (advice or support on breastfeeding, weaning, potty training and more)
Helpline: 6488 0286 (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am - 5pm)

Peter Chew Clinic, Gleneagles Medical Centre
Tel: 6472 6828
For emergency: 6533 0088 or 6535 8833
Opening hours: Mondays to Fridays (except Wednesdays), 9am - 6pm; Wednesdays & Saturdays, 9am - 1pm
Address: 6 Napier Road #06-05/06, Gleneagles Medical Centre, Singapore 258499 

Babes Pregnancy Crisis (for teenagers only)
Helpline: 8111 3535 (24-hour)
Email: hello@babes.org.sg
Address: 26 Jalan Klinik #01-42/52, Singapore 160026

Association of Women Action and Research (AWARE)
Counselling & Support services
Tel: 1800 7745935 (Mondays to Fridays, 3pm - 9.30pm)

Preparing And Caring For Baby

Before your baby arrives, there are a few things that you would need to prepare in advance. For example, essentials like milk powder and diapers are “must-haves”. In your free time, go baby shopping! Make sure your baby is warmly welcomed into the world. Read on for a checklist of baby essentials.

Caring for your child

Even though you probably have your own set of motherly instincts, there are still so many things to learn when it comes to raising a child. There’s no easy way out!

Small But Demanding: Cindy

For Cindy, her pregnancy caught her completely off-guard. Young and unprepared, Cindy wasn’t quite expecting her baby to require so much attention. Though small, the baby was loud and fussy and his crying threw Cindy into a frenzy. She wasn’t prepared for the non-stop crying. She didn’t know how to make it stop. She didn’t know what he wanted. To Cindy, her frustration wasn’t in the crying but from her helplessness.

As Cindy didn’t know how to help her child and had no one around to ask, she took to Google and started doing her research. Although it would’ve been better had she prepared beforehand, the old saying still holds: better late than never.

There’s homework to be done. Read on to learn more about how to care for your child in his/her early years.

Baby Care

There is also an abundance of useful and reliable resources on how to care for newborns and babies. Click here.  Or perhaps you are curious and want to find out more about your child’s development throughout the pregnancy? Check out baby’s development month by month.

Happy reading!

By the way, in case you are looking for guidance, sharing, or a support group for new mums, Joyful Parenting (Helpline: 6488 0286) offers a dedicated pool of mum volunteers, some of whom are experienced family educators, International Board Certified Lactation Consultants qualified nurses, and home-makers.

Baby Essentials

To prepare you ahead, we’ve come up with a basic checklist of the essentials that you will need.

  • Milk powder
  • Milk bottle
  • Diapers
  • Baby clothes (mittens and booties)
  • Wet wipes
  • Swaddling blankets
  • Baby carriers
  • Baby bath
  • Stroller

Budget Tips

There are many communities that offer second-hand baby products at cheaper prices. Visit New2U Thrift Shop, or join any of the groups below for good deals:

Sincere Blessings for Babies and Mummies

Budget Corner

Preloved Baby Goods

Do Your Homework

It may be quite challenging to take care of your little newborn. Health institutions KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Health Promotion Board (HPB) and health site such as BabyCenter offer you valuable information. Find out why the baby catches a cough and cold, has fever or diarrhoeavomits, develops colic (excessive crying)rashes and skin conditions. It will be good to know the immunisations your baby needs and the skills you need throughout his/her growth.

Feeding Your Baby

Congratulations! Now that your baby has arrived, perhaps one of the most immediate decisions for you is whether to breastfeed. 

So, why not give your child a head start by breastfeeding your baby?

♥ Breastfeeding

Mothers are recommended to breastfeed their babies during the first 6 months if they are physically and mentally prepared for the best source of nutrition.  ​​Breast milk contains not only nutrients your baby needs but also valuable antibodies to prevent infections.  Grace Quek, Senior Dietitian, at the Department of Nutrition & Dietetics, KK Women's and Children'​s Hospital shares in the following article why breast milk offers the best nutritional start for your baby and some information on milk formula.

» Baby Nutrition 0 – 6 Months: Breast Milk Offers the Best Nutritional Start

​Breastfeeding is the best way to feed a newborn baby. The Division of Nursing and Lactation Clinic at KK Women's and Children's Hospital explains why.

» Why Is Breastfeeding Better Than Bottle-Feeding Formula Milk

However, it may not be advisable if the mother has health issues as explained by Dr Peter Chew, an experienced doctor in Gleneagles Hospital.

Reasons for not breastfeeding 

  • Short nipples
  • Bacterial infections
  • Medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, cancer)
  • Taking certain medication
  • Insufficient nutrients in mother’s body
  • Metabolic diseases in baby

Preparing for Breastfeeding – Physical Considerations

  • Maintain a balanced diet (HPB recommended) during and after pregnancy (i.e. Have adequate meats, vegetables and fruits)
  • Visit the doctor for a breast examination
  • Get suitable clothes, mainly support nursing bras, loose blouses or T-shirts

Preparing for Breastfeeding – Mental Considerations

  • Attend a breastfeeding workshop or find out more about it early
  • Plan how long you would breastfeed your baby
  • Be confident and positive that you can perform the task

Breastfeeding Know-hows

  • Breastfeed your baby as soon as possible to build up your milk supply
  • A healthy baby usually needs 8-10 feeds per day, or every 2-3 hours
  • Collect your milk using a breast pump and store it in a bottle to continue your breastfeeding routines while working

Need Help?

Hotline: 6339 3558
 
Family Life Society
Joyful Parenting (advice or support on breastfeeding, weaning, potty training and more)
Helpline: 6488 0286 (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am - 5pm)
 

♥ Milk Formula

There is always an alternative if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you. Formula feeding can also be a healthy choice for your baby if you choose a suitable formula for him/her.

You may want to read: How to Buy Baby Formula

♥ Subsequent Feeding

Milk alone is sufficient for first 6 months. Beyond that, your baby needs other food to complement his/her nutrition needs.

When and how should you introduce solid foods to your baby? How do you know if your baby is ready for solid foods? Read on to find out.

If you’re unsure of what to feed your baby, click here for a guide on how to introduce solid food to your baby.

Perhaps you may want to try out the below sample menus for your growing baby (6 to 12 Months), as recommended by the ​Department of Neonatal and Developmental Medicine at Singapore General Hospital.

Recommended menu​

​Time

6 Months

7 to 9 Months

10 to 12 Months

6am

- 180 to 200ml milk

- 210 to 240ml milk

- 210 to 240ml milk

9am

- 3 dsp of infant rice
cereal mixed with
120ml milk

- ½ to 1 egg yolk
(hard-boiled or mixed
in cereals)

- Few tsp of water

- ½ bowl infant rice/
wheat/cereals mixed
with 120ml milk

- 1 hard-boiled egg yolk

- Few tsp of water

- 1 hard-boiled
egg yolk

- 1 slice of bread

- 120ml milk
(try serving in a cup)

- Few sips of water

12pm

- 180 to 200ml milk

- 3 tsp unsweetened
apple juice
(1½ tsp juice diluted
with 1½ tsp water)

- ½ bowl thin porridge

- 2 tsp sieved spinach

- 1 dsp scraped meat

- 4 tsp scraped apple

- Few tsp of water

- ½ to 1 bowl thick
porridge

- 3 tsps mustard green
leaves (cut into small
pieces)

- ½ piece soft beancurd

- ½ dsp chopped liver

- 2 dsp watermelon,
cut into small pieces

- Few sips of water

3pm

- 180 to 200ml milk

- 210 to 240ml milk

- ½ teething rusk
or ½ baby biscuit
(if baby is teething)

- 210 to 240ml milk

- 1 teething rusk
or 1 baby biscuit

- Few sips of water

6pm

- ½ bowl of thin porridge

- 1 tsp scraped meat

- 1 tsp sieved spinach

- 1 tsp of scraped papaya

- Few tsp of water

- 1 mashed potato

- 1 dsp mashed carrot

- 1 dsp of mashed baked fish

- 4 tsp scraped papaya

- Few tsps of water

- ½ to 1 bowl
thick porridge

- 1 to 2 dsp pumpkin,
chopped into small
pieces

- 1 to 2 dsp
minced chicken

- 2 dsp banana

- Few sips of water

9pm

- 180 to 200ml milk
(some babies may need
one to two extra milk
feeds at night)

- 210 to 240ml milk
(some babies may
need one extra
milk feed at night)

- 210 to 240ml milk​

​Click here for some recipe ideas for babies.

Be sure to also check out the following reads and tips:

Attending to Your Baby

♥ Know Your Crying Baby

Find out through BabyCenter the reasons why your baby cries.  We understand it can be stressful as you try to stop him/her from crying.

You may want to read:

♥ Bathing Your Baby

It is important to keep your baby clean and comfortable, especially taking care of his/her belly button to prevent infection. Find out tips on how to handle your baby’s bath.

Step 1:  Ensure fans are switched off, with windows and doors closed.

Step 2:  Prepare a large absorbent towel, new clothes, a diaper, nappy cream and baby moisturiser (if necessary).

Step 3:  Fill warm water in the bath tub to reach between 5 and 7 cm high.

Step 4:  Test water temperature by dipping your elbow into the water, temperature between 32°C and 37°C, water level of 8 to 10cm.

Step 5:  Add a little soap-free baby wash.

Step 6:  Place a muslin cloth beside the tub.

Step 7:  Cradle baby gently and start bathing him/her.

Check this out: Your Guide to Bathing Newborn

♥ Diapering Your Baby

Learn basic steps from BabyCentre on how to change cloth diapers or disposable diapers for your baby. Ensuring good hygiene can protect him/her from getting diaper rashes, a very common symptom among babies.

Don’t panic if your baby develops rashes.  Click here for treatment options available for the common baby skin conditions.

Read also:

♥ Getting Your Baby to Sleep

KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital states that a full-term baby can sleep up to 16 to 18 hours in a day, but it is tough to know their sleeping patterns. You may end up having little or no sleep trying to help him/her sleep. By understanding baby sleep basics, both you and your baby can sleep better through the night.  Read on:

♥ Finding a Caregiver

If you are unable to manage your child on your own, you can consider hiring a helper to relieve your load. Or perhaps, you can consider having a babysitter or finding infant care that suits your needs.

Procedure for hiring a foreign domestic worker

  1. Apply for a work permit either on your own with MOM, or through an employment agency.
  2. Attend an orientation programme (if you are hiring a foreign helper for the first time)
  3. Select a suitable helper and set an agreement on the working conditions
  4. Prepare various documents before and after her arrival
  5. Pay levy within first month of her arrival 

Here are the tips:

Baby Healthcare

♥ Baby Development

While babies develop at a different pace, all babies share the same development milestones.

Here’s what to expect from your baby in the first six months (Baby Development Milestones: 1 to 6 months​) and the subsequent 6 months (Baby Development Milestones: 7 to 12 months).

♥ Health Issues

Listed below are the common infection and medical issues seen in young children.  Do not panic when encountering the situations -- find out what to expect and what you should do, and consult a doctor for detailed review.

» Jaundice

Jaundice in Newborn Babies: Causes and Complications

» Lactose Intolerance

Lactose Intolerance: Symptoms and Causes

» Colic

When Baby Cries: How Do I Know It’s Colic?

Baby Crying: Managing and Treating Colic in Your Baby​

» Skin conditions

Common Baby Skin Conditions: Symptoms & Causes

Treatment for Rash, Eczema & Other Baby Skin Conditions        

» Fever

Things You Should Know About Fever

A Parent's Guide to Fever in Children

Fever in Children: Tips for Parents

Fever Remedies for Children

Children's Fever: When to See a Doctor

» Respiratory problem

Bronchiolitis: a common viral infection

Croup: When Your Child Has Stridor and a Barking Cough​

Croup in Children: Complications, Treatment and Tips

Newborn Babies and the Haze​ in Singapore

» Diarrhoea

Seven Things to Know About Diarrhoea in Babies

Stomach Flu: Practical Tips for Parents

Stomach Flu Puts Children at Risk of Severe Dehydration

♥ Common First Month Concerns

Click here for the first month concerns and related practical advice given by the Khoo Teck Puat - National University Children's Medical Institute, the pediatric arm of the National University Hospital, Singapore.

 

 

Housing Considerations

Getting a house in Singapore as an unmarried mother is not easy. There is a very specific set of criteria to be met and even then, the price of an HDB unit can be challenging for a sole income-earner.

Finding Shelter: Christabel

Christabel’s first attempt at getting a rental flat was rejected because she did not fall within the income bracket. She was told that she exceeded the income level to rent a flat.

Her second attempt at getting a resale flat was highly challenging because her income alone could hardly afford a unit that typically two people would purchase together. And again, her applications for higher loans were rejected because her “income was too high”.

Through months of petitioning, hard work and rejections from HDB, Christabel was finally able to settle down in a flat with her daughter and her mother. Safe to say, the entire process was frustrating and tedious for a person who was merely trying to put a roof over her head.

Housing Options

If staying with family members or relatives is not possible or may not be an ideal solution, there are other housing options available to you and hopefully you’ll have an easier time finding a suitable home for you and your child.

1. New/BTO flats

BTO (Build-To-Order) flats are newly-built flats by the Housing and Development Board (HDB). These flats are usually cheaper than resale flats with for the same number of rooms in the same estate (i.e. mature or non-mature estates).

To be eligible for purchasing a new 99-year 2-room flexi flat in a non-mature estate under the Single Singapore Citizens Scheme, which is what HDB offers to Singles applying alone, you have to be at least 35 years old and your monthly household income does not exceed $6,000. 

If you prefer to stay in a flat with more rooms or in a mature estate, you can either buy a resale flat or buy an Executive Condominium (EC) under the Joint Singles Scheme. The Joint Singles Scheme allows 2 or more single persons to purchase larger resale flats or ECs.

2. Resale flats

The option of buying a resale flat (i.e. buying from the open market) provides the most flexibility in terms of price, location, apartment types and eligibility. Similar to buying a new/BTO, you need to be at least 35 years old to purchase a resale flat. 

Read about the buying process from getting the right flat to financing it, as well as other factors to take note of.

3. Rental flats

Rental flat is an option if you’re looking for a temporary place to stay or do not have enough money to purchase a flat. There are 2 ways:  

(1) You can rent a flat from an existing flat owner, or a bedroom as a sub-tenant (i.e. renting from the open market). However, renting from the open market tends to be more expensive as the government heavily subsidies rental flats under the Public Rental Scheme (see below).

(2) You can rent a flat directly from HDB under the Public Rental Scheme. However, take note that to rent under the Public Rental Scheme, you need find another single tenant to stay with. Both of you need to be at least 35 years old and your total household gross income must not exceed $1,500 per month. Flats under the Public Rental Scheme are typically 1 or 2 room flats.

Find out more information:

Housing and Development Board (HDB)
 
Buying a flat
Hotline: 1800 866 3066 (Weekdays: 8.00am to 5.00pm)
Email address: hdbsales@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg
Address: HDB Hub, 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, Atrium 1st Storey, Singapore 310480
Opening hours: Weekdays: 8.00am to 5.00pm; Saturdays: 8.00am to 1.00pm
 
Renting a flat
Hotline: 1800 225 5432 (Weekdays: 8.00am to 5.00pm)
Email: hdbrental@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg
Address: HDB Hub, 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, Atrium 3rd Storey, Singapore 310480
Opening hours: Weekdays: 8.30am to 5.00pm; Saturdays: 8.30am to 1.00pm

4. Shelters

If you absolutely cannot find an accommodation (including at your family’s, relatives’ or friends’), the final option would be to stay in a shelter. There are shelters for women and children such as Star ShelterGood Shepherd CentreCasa Raudha, and Pertapis.

As shelter spaces are usually reserved for those who are really in need, only apply to one if you have exhausted all means to find an accommodation or face life-threatening dangers (e.g. domestic violence) at home. 

Housing Grants & Subsidies

For housing grants, subsidies and various schemes (see below) available to you, please approach HDB.

https://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/hdbspeaks/helping-single-parent-households

Employment Considerations

As the main and, sometimes, only caregiver of your child, finding a job that both pays the bills and allows some flexibility in your schedule is essential.

Full-time worker and mum: Jaxe 

In this time and age, it is not common to see blatant discrimination of unmarried mothers at work. Yet, Jaxe feels inevitably penalised because of the restrictions she faces being the sole caretaker of her daughter. While her colleagues can stay for longer hours in the office, she has to leave to pick her daughter from school. While her colleagues can jump at opportunities, Jaxe has to take a moment to think about how each decision she makes might potentially affect her daughter. Not that she’s complaining. The restrictions are simply something she has to learn to work around.

Check out these tips for greater employment opportunities.

Juggling between work and caring for your child may be tough, but with the right information and a persevering mindset, things can and will get better.

Here’s what you can look out for when you’re finding a job or planning your career.

Finding a Job

Training Programs:

Getting trained is important in finding your job and keeping it. Skills upgrading can also help in your career growth. If you are looking for subsidised jobs training and career guidance, you can take a look at CDAC Workfare Programme (only for Chinese). To be eligible, your monthly gross household income must not exceed $2,100 or per capita income not exceeding $700.

Job Search:

Apart from full-time work, you can also consider flexi work (work with flexible timing) and part-time jobs.

If you wish to use online portals to find a job, Career Mums SG and Mums @ Work SG are for mothers seeking information on freelance, part-time and flexi work.

Other sources of job information include Single Parent Support Group (ad hoc job listings) and SCWO IT Hub (IT courses).

Getting Ready for Work

Dressing well for your interview or your first day of work is important. Not only does it show how professional you are, it also gives you that extra bit of confidence. If you are looking for a nice outfit to make a good first impression, you might want to check out Dress for Success® SingaporeThis non-profit organisation will help you choose the appropriate clothes, as well as coach you on getting ready for the interview. To be eligible for this free service, you will need to get a referral from a non-profit organisation or a community group.

Dress for Success® Singapore is managed by Image Mission Ltd, a registered charity. For more information, please visit www.imagemission.org .

Another organisation you can check out is Daughters of Tomorrow . Registered as a charity under the Charities Act of Singapore, Daughters of Tomorrow runs programmes that support women in their journey towards financial self-sufficiency. One such programme is the Confidence Curriculum, a preparatory course which includes modules like personal discovery, soft skills and communications, coaching and professional development.

Legal Considerations

Like any other mother, there are certain legal issues pertaining to your child that you should take note of. Read below for some common legal matters that unmarried mothers face.

When in doubt, it is best that you consult a lawyer as circumstances may vary and your situation might be different from that of someone else’s.

Birth Registration

There isn’t a hard and fast rule on whether you should add your child’s father’s name in his/her birth certificate (BC). If his name is in your child’s BC, it is highly likely that you will need his consent in certain matters concerning your child (e.g. primary 1 registration, passport application). Regardless of whether or not your child’s father’s name is stated in the BC, the law may still place certain duties or responsibilities (like child maintenance) on him.

To find out more on registering your child’s birth, read this.

Child Custody

Q. Can you claim child maintenance from your child’s father?

A. Yes. Section 68 of the Women’s Charter (Cap. 353) governs the duty of parents to maintain children. The duty applies regardless of whether or not the children are legitimate:

For more information on child maintenance and how to apply for it, read this.

Q. What rights does the biological father have?

A. Under the Guardianship of Infants Act (Cap. 122), both biological parents have equal rights to guardianship, with the welfare of the child as the main consideration. One parent does not have greater rights over the other parent. Apart from welfare factors like which parent is a better carer (in terms of spending time with the child and having the financial capacity), the court also places importance on the stability of your child. If your child has been staying with you all along, and has not been in contact with his biological father for many years, it is likely that custody will be given to you, presuming he has been well taken care of by you.

In matrimonial law, the relationship between parents and children is seen in terms of custody, care and control, and access:

  • Custody: Responsibility over the upbringing and education of the child, i.e. decision-making power over important aspects of the child’s life
  • Care and control: Authority and responsibility over the day-to-day matters of the child, child resides with this parent
  • Access: Regular hours of contact with the child, e.g. one day during the weekend, or partial weekday too, overnight access
  • Benefits & Scheme
  • Employment Leave Schemes
  • Education And Care Schemes
  • Housing Grants And Subsidies
  • Other Types Of Support

Benefits And Schemes

The pregnancy was just the beginning. The first few years of your child’s life is where it starts getting serious.  As a single mother, you will probably face challenges such as having to raise a child on a single income or explaining to your child why he/she is the only one who doesn’t need to write a card for his/her daddy on Father’s Day. Take a deep breath and keep going.

There are a few schemes which only married mothers are entitled to. However, help is still available to single and pregnant mothers through many other schemes and subsidies.

A Helping Hand: Christabel

Her daughter’s medical condition was an area of great concern for Christabel. She knew she wouldn’t be able to pay for her daughter’s prosthetic hand on her income. Fortunately, with help from her social worker and subsequently SGEnable, which funded almost 70 - 80% of the total cost of the prosthetic, she was able to offer her daughter a normal life.

It may seem as if unmarried mothers are highly disadvantaged in Singapore. Regardless, make the best of what you have and tap into the benefits that are available to you. Find out what these benefits are.

Every mother and child deserves the best support they can get to succeed in life regardless of her marital status.

Employment Leave Schemes

Maternity Leave

As a working mother (regardless of the marital status effective from 1 January 2017), you will be entitled to either 16 weeks of Government-Paid Maternity Leave, or 12 weeks of maternity leave (i.e. Government-Paid Maternity Benefit), depending on whether your child is a Singapore citizen and other criteria.

1. Government-Paid Maternity Leave (GPML)

Eligibility for 16 weeks if you meet the following requirements:

  • Your child is a Singapore citizen.
  • You are lawfully married to your child’s father; or you are a single unmarried mother whose citizen child is born or with estimated delivery date (EDD) on or after 1 January 2017.
  • For employees: you have served your employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months immediately before the birth of your child.
  • For self-employed: you have been engaged in your work for at least 3 continuous months and have lost income during the maternity leave period.
  • You have given your employer at least one week notice before going on maternity leave, and informed them as soon as possible of your delivery. Otherwise, you are only entitled to half the payment during maternity leave, unless you have a good enough reason for not giving the notice.

Read more on how to plan your leave.

To find out your maternity leave eligibility and entitlement, take the eligibility test here.

2. Government-Paid Maternity Benefit (GPMB)

The GPMB scheme supports working mothers (including self-employed) who do not qualify for the Government-Paid Maternity Leave scheme, typically those under short-term employment periods, or whose child is not a Singapore citizen.

Paternity Leave (for information)

From 1 January 2017, as a working father (who is or had been lawfully married to the child's mother between conception and birth), you are entitled to 2 weeks of paid paternity leave funded by the Government.

Eligibility for 2 weeks if you meet the following requirements:

  • Your child is a Singapore citizen.
  • You are or had been lawfully married to the child's mother between conception and birth. (Not applicable for adoptive fathers whose formal intent to adopt is on or after 1 January 2017.)
  • For employees: you have served your employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of your child.
  • For self-employed: you have been engaged in your work for a continuous period of at least 3 months before the birth of your child, and have lost income during the paternity leave period.

Read more on how to plan your leave.

Unpaid Infant Care Leave (child below age of 2)

As a working parent you are entitled to 6 days of unpaid infant care leave a year, regardless of the number of children.

Eligibility:

  • Your child is below 2 years of age.
  • Your child is a Singapore Citizen.
  • You have served your employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months.

In addition to 6 days of unpaid infant care leave a year, you are also entitled to 6 days of paid childcare leave if your child is a Singapore Citizen and below the age of 7 (see below).

Paid Child Care Leave (child below age of 7)

As a working parent, you are entitled to 6 days of paid child care leave a year, regardless of the number of children.  Your youngest child must be a Singapore Citizen and below the age of 7.

Eligibility:

  • Your youngest child is below 7 years old.
  • Your child is a Singapore Citizen.
  • For employees: You must have served your current employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months.
  • For self-employed: You must be engaged in your business, trade or profession for a continuous period of at least 3 months.

Extended Child Care Leave (child age between 7 and 12)

As a working parent, you are entitled to 2 days of paid extended child care leave a year, regardless of the number of children.  Your youngest child must be a Singapore Citizen and between 7 and 12 years old.

Eligibility:

  • Your youngest child is between 7 and 12 years old, both inclusive.
  • Your child is a Singapore Citizen.
  • For employees: You must have served your current employer for a continuous period of at least 3 months.
  • For self-employed: You must be engaged in your business, trade or profession for a continuous period of at least 3 months.

What if I am not eligible?

If you are an employee covered under the Employment Act, you are entitled to 2 days of paid child care leave a year as long as your child is below 7 years old. More information can be found at Ministry of Manpower's (MOM) website.

Find out more information:

Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
Website: http://www.mom.gov.sg
Tel: 6438 5122 (Mondays to Fridays: 8.30am to 5.30pm; Saturdays: 8.30am to 1pm)
Address: MOM Services Centre, 1500 Bendemeer Road, Singapore 339946

Education And Care Schemes

Baby Bonus Scheme

What is it:

You would most likely have heard of the Baby Bonus Scheme, which gives out bountiful cash grants to married couples. Although children of unmarried parents are not eligible for cash grants, nonetheless starting from 1 September 2016, they will be included in the Child Development Account (CDA) scheme.

This means that your child will receive CDA benefits of (1) a fixed sum of $3,000 (known as CDA First Step Grant); and (2) dollar-to-dollar match, i.e. Government’s matching contributions for each dollar saved into the CDA, up to the maximum amount shown in the table below:

         Birth Order

                                                                           CDA Benefits

              CDA First Step

                  Dollar-for-Dollar matching

 1st & 2nd Child

                 $3,000

                        Up to $3,000

 3rd & 4th Child

                         Up to $9,000

 5th Child and higher

                         Up to $15,000

The CDA is a special savings account that enjoys special interest rates. You can open a CDA with DBS Bank, OCBC or UOB. You will have up to 12 years to save in your child’s CDA.

You can use the savings in the CDA to pay for educational and healthcare expenses of all your children at the following Baby Bonus Approved Institutions (AIs):

  1. Child care centres
  2. Kindergartens
  3. Special education schools
  4. Providers of early intervention programmes
  5. Providers of assistive technology devices
  6. Hospitals and clinics
  7. Pharmacies
  8. Optical shops

You can refer to the list of AIs here.

To be eligible:

You child is a Singapore Citizen born or has an estimated date of delivery on or after 1 September 2016.

You can check if your child is eligible for Baby Bonus using the eligibility check tool here.

How to apply:

To apply, click on this link. Enter your SingPass details and fill up the online form.

Find out more information:

Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
Baby Bonus and Leave Branch
Website: http://www.babybonus.msf.gov.sg
Address: Family@Enabling Village, 20 Lengkok Bahru, #04-02, Singapore 159053
Office Hours: 8.30am to 5.30pm, Mondays to Thursdays; 8.30am to 5.00pm, Fridays

Infant Care / Child Care

What is it:

The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) provides 2 types of subsidies to help parents lessen the cost of infant care (for children aged 2 to 18 months) and child care (for children aged above 18 months to below 7 years old) services.

The 2 subsidies are Basic Subsidy and Additional Subsidy.

Basic Subsidy:

Basic Subsidy is available to all Singapore Citizen children enrolled in an ECDA-licensed child care centre.

The amount of subsidy (up to $600 for infant care / up to $300 for child care) will depend on the applicant’s employment status and the programme type that the child is enrolled in (e.g. infant care or child care, full day or half day, etc). Working mothers will receive more subsidies than non-working mothers.

Are you a stay-at-home/non-working mother? If you are one, you will be eligible for Basic Subsidy of up to $150 per month. However, you will not be eligible for Additional Subsidy (see below), unless there are extenuating circumstances (e.g. retrenched, actively looking for employment, taking care of sickly family members, having special needs children) which may warrant full subsidy support (see further below).

Additional Subsidy:

Additional Subsidy is available to parents working at least 56 hours per month and whose monthly household income does not exceed $7,500. 

The amount of subsidy (between $200 and $540 for infant care / between $100 and $440 for child care) will depend on the programme type that your child is enrolled in and the household income level.

If you are a stay-at-home/non-working mother with extenuating circumstances (e.g. retrenched, actively looking for employment, taking care of sickly family members, having special needs children), you will still benefit from Additional Subsidy.  You can approach your child’s child care centre personnel to assist you to submit an application to ECDA.  ECDA will assess each application carefully and consider granting full subsidy support on a case-by-case basis.

For larger families with 5 or more family members(*) with more than 2 dependents(**) who are not earning an income, they may apply for Additional Subsidy through Per Capita Income (PCI) if the family’s PCI does not exceed $1,875.

Per Capita Income (PCI) is computed as follows: 

                Total gross monthly household income of family members 

PCI =  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 Number of family members living in the same household

Note:

*       All family members must be related by blood, marriage and/or legal adoption and living in the same residential address as reflected on the NRIC of the main applicant.

**    Dependents refer to persons living in the same household who are not earning an income.

To be eligible:

  • Your child must be a Singapore Citizen.
  • Your child must be enrolled in an ECDA-licensed child care centre or infant care centre.
  • You must be working at least 56 hours per month; and your monthly household income does not exceed $7,500. (This condition is only relevant for Additional Subsidy.)

How to apply:

Download this form and submit it to the child care or infant care centre personnel during registration. Bring along your child’s birth certificate, your NRIC and employment documents (e.g. latest pay slip or a letter from your employer stating your monthly income).

To calculate the amount of subsidy you’re eligible for, click here.

For more information (e.g. amount of subsidies, eligibility, determination of household income, application procedure, etc.), refer to FAQ for Centre-based Infant and Child Care Subsidies.

To locate a child care centre, click here.

Find out more information:

Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA)
Website: https://www.ecda.gov.sg
Address: 51 Cuppage Road, #08-01, Singapore (229469)
Tel: 6735 9213

ComCare Child Care Subsidies

What is it:

ComCare Child Care Subsidy is a further child care financial assistance given to low income families with extenuating circumstances.

Applications can be made through the child care centre if the families are unable to afford childcare fees even after the Basic and Additional Subsidies. They can also apply for a one-time grant to cover the initial start-up costs of enrolling a child in the centre.

For more information, please approach the child care centre your child is enrolled in.

Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)

Given Basic and Additional Subsidies are only applicable for children enrolled in ECDA-licensed child care centres, you may be wondering if there are any equivalent subsidy enhancements for kindergartens.

What is it:

ComCare Kindergarten Subsidies, also known as Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS) is a subsidy scheme for parents whose gross monthly household income does not exceed $6,000 and whose Singapore Citizen child is enrolled in kindergarten, nursery or pre-nursery (K2, K1, N or pre-N) programme in kindergartens operated by Anchor Operators (e.g. PCF kindergartens) or the Ministry of Education (MOE kindergartens).

KiFAS provides a subsidy of up to $170 per month.  The actual amount of KiFAS depends on the family’s monthly household income level and the actual kindergarten fees charged.  Similar to most subsidies, families from lower income tiers will receive higher subsidy amounts.

Find out how much subsidy you’re eligible for here.

To be eligible:

  • Your child must be a Singapore Citizen.
  • Your child must be enrolled in kindergartens operated by Anchor Operators (AOP such as PCF kindergarten) or the Ministry of Education (MOE kindergarten).
  • Your gross monthly household income must not exceed $6,000. For larger families, the per capita income does not exceed $1,500.

How to apply:

Download this form and submit it to the kindergarten during registration. Bring along your child’s birth certificate, your NRIC and employment documents (e.g. latest pay slip or a letter from your employer stating your monthly income).

Start Up Grant (SUG)

What is it:

For additional financial assistance, parents whose Singapore Citizen child is enrolled in an AOP or MOE kindergarten may apply for Start Up Grant (SUG) which can be used to pay for items such as the deposit, registration fee, uniforms and insurance fee.

Application should be made through your child’s kindergarten.

ComCare Student Care Financial Assistance (SCFA)

What is it:

The ComCare Student Care Financial Assistance (SCFA) provides subsidies for parents with children enrolled in student care services up to $285 monthly. As with most subsidies, families from lower income tiers will receive higher subsidy amounts.

Find out how much subsidy you’re eligible for here.

To be eligible:

  • You are working at least 56 hours per month or unless otherwise with valid reasons*.
  • Your gross monthly household income does not exceed $4,000 or the per capita income per family member is not more than $1,000.
  • Your child is between 7-14 years old.
  • Your child attends a registered Student Care Centre.
  • Your child is a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident (at least one immediate family member in the same household must be a Singapore Citizen)

*       Valid reasons can include looking for work, medical leave, incarceration, being a certified full-time caregiver for a dependent, etc.

How to apply:

Obtain an application form at any registered Student Care Centre.  Bring along copies of your child’s birth certificate, your NRIC and employment documents (e.g. latest pay slip or a letter from your employer stating your monthly income).

Need extra financial help? Some subsidy schemes like KiFAS, SCFA and those under ECDA have a Start-Up Grant you can apply to pay for administrative costs.

If you need more subsidy, request for the student care operator to make an appeal to a social worker from any Family Service to obtain a Letter of Recommendation.

Find out more information:

ComCare and Social Support Division (MSF)
Website: www.msf.gov.sg/ComCare
Tel: 1800 222 0000 (Mondays to Sundays, 7am - 12 midnight)
Address: 512 Thomson Road, #15-00 MSF Building, Singapore 298136

MOE Financial Assistance Scheme / Independent School Bursary scheme

What is it:          

The MOE FAS scheme provides many subsidies and benefits to help low income families provide for their child’s Primary to Pre-University education. The ISB Scheme is similar but catered for children attending Independent schools (Non-government funded schools). See the full list of benefits and conditions below: 

(Source: MOE)

How to apply:

Download either the MOE FAS form or MOE ISB form and submit it directly to the school with the relevant documents.

Find out more information: (link to “Where to get help database”)

Ministry of Education
Website: https://www.moe.gov.sg
Hotline: 6872 2220 (Mondays to Fridays: 8.30am to 5.30pm; Saturdays: 8.30am to 12.30pm)
Email address: contact@moe.gov.sg
Address: Customer Service Centre, Podium Block of MOE Building, 1 North Buona Vista Drive, Singapore 138675

Housing Grants And Subsidies

The Central Provident Fund (CPF) provides subsidies that you can apply for when you’re purchasing your flat. However, to qualify for subsidies you need to be:

  • a single Singapore Citizen
  • at least 35 years old

Additional Housing Grant (New/BTO and Resale)

What is it: The Additional Housing Grant (AHG) is a $2,500 to $20,000 subsidy for any single person belonging to the lower-income group buying a BTO or Resale flat. Subsidy amount is higher for lower income tier.

To be eligible:

  • Average gross monthly household income not more than $2,500
  • You must be in continuous employment for the past 12 months and still employed at the time of application

How to apply: Obtain and submit the relevant forms to the HDB

Special Housing Grant (New/BTO only)

What is it: Similar to the AHG, the Special Housing Grant (SHG) is a $2,500 to $20,000 subsidy for new/BTO flat buyers who do not qualify for the AHG due to income ceiling. For those in lower-income group, this grant can be applied on top of the AHG.

To be eligible:

How to apply: Obtain and submit the relevant forms to the HDB.

Single Grant (Resale only)

What is it: The Single Grant is a $20,000 to $25,000 subsidy for any single person buying a resale flat.

To be eligible:

  • Average gross monthly household income not more than $6,000 (for application under Singles Scheme)
  • First time flat buyer

How to apply: Download the application form and submit to the HDB.

Proximity Housing Grant (Resale only)

What is it: The Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) is a $15,000 subsidy (previously $10,000 prior to Budget 2018 announcement on 19 February 2018) for any single person buying a resale flat to live together with his/her parents.  Further to Budget 2018, there is a new PHG of $10,000 for singles buying an HDB resale flat to live near (within 4 km radius) their parents.

To be eligible:

  • You have not received the PHG previously
  • Your parents are living with you in the resale flat; or living in an HDB flat within a 4 km radius

How to apply: Download the application form and submit to the HDB during your flat booking appointment.

Step-Up CPF Housing Grant (Second-time flat buyers only)

What is it: The Step-Up CPF Housing Grant is a $15,000 subsidy for low-income second time flat buyers looking to upgrade from a 2-room subsidised flat to a 3-room subsidised flat.

To be eligible: 

  • Second time flat buyer
  • You must be in continuous employment for the past 12 months and still employed at the time of application
  • Gross average monthly household income not more than $5,000
  • Remaining lease of current flat at least 30 years

How to apply: If eligible, you will be given the application form for the Step-Up CPF Housing Grant during the flat booking appointment for your new 3-room flat in a non-mature estate. Bring along all relevant income documents as proof.

Find out more information:

Housing and Development Board (HDB)

Website: http://www.hdb.gov.sg

Buying a flat
Hotline: 1800 866 3066 (Weekdays: 8.00am to 5.00pm)
Email address: hdbsales@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg
Address: HDB Hub, 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, Atrium 1st Storey, Singapore 310480
Opening hours: Weekdays: 8.00am to 5.00pm; Saturdays: 8.00am to 1.00pm

Renting a flat
Hotline: 1800 225 5432 (Weekdays: 8.00am to 5.00pm)
Email: hdbrental@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg
Address: HDB Hub, 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh, Atrium 3rd Storey, Singapore 310480
Opening hours: Weekdays: 8.30am to 5.00pm; Saturdays: 8.30am to 1.00pm

See also:

https://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/hdbspeaks/helping-single-parent-households

Other Types Of Support

Here are other grants and subsidies that are automatically given without the need for application:

Medisave Maternity Package 

The Medisave withdrawal limit for pre-delivery expenses is $900 (doubled from $450 previously) for mothers who delivere on or after 24 March 2016.

Pre-delivery expenses generally refer to pre-natal consultations, ultrasound scans, tests and medications, on top of the Medisave Withdrawal Limits for delivery expenses, incurred at both public and private healthcare institutions.

To claim for pre-delivery charges from Medisave, you need to present the bills incurred for pre-delivery medical care to the hospital where your baby is delivered. The hospital will help you submit these bills, together with the delivery expenses, for Medisave claims under the Medisave Maternity Package.

Q: What is the average amount that Singaporeans spend on pre-delivery expenses? On average, how much would a Singaporean couple see their out of pocket (OOP) costs reduced, by the policy change?

A: The amount of pre-delivery expenses can vary significantly, depending on the type of care that the couple chooses and whether it is subsidised or not. Basic subsidised pre-delivery care in KKH, including consultations, investigations and scans, costs about $900. This can be fully covered by the enhanced Medisave Maternity Package.

For more information on the Medisave Maternity Package, please visit MOH’s website.

MediSave Grant for Newborns

Eligibility

The MediSave grant for newborn is a $4,000 grant given to all Singapore Citizen newborns born on or after 1 January 2015, or have an estimated date of delivery (EDD) on or after 1 January 2015. These include children who are adopted as well as children who are born to divorced or unwed mothers. Simply put, eligibility for the grant is not affected by the marital status of the parents.

Children who are born overseas can qualify for the grant upon registering their birth with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) directly, or through the Singapore Mission Overseas. Newborns who are Permanent Residents (PRs) or foreigners are not eligible.

A CPF MediSave account will be opened for each newborn and the grant will be credited automatically.

Uses

The Medisave Grant for Newborns can be used in the same way as the rest of Medisave.

The Medisave Grant can be used for the MediShield Life* premiums for the child. MediShield Life is a basic health insurance scheme that will cover all Singaporeans, for life.

Medisave can also be used to pay for medical expenses incurred from hospitalisations, approved day surgeries and approved outpatient treatments, including recommended vaccinations on the National Childhood Immunisation Programme.

* MediShield Life is a mandatory basic health insurance that helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments. All Singapore Citizen babies are automatically covered by MediShield Life from birth, including those with congenital and neonatal conditions, for life. The MediSave grant is intended to pay for the child’s MediShield Life Premiums till he or she is 21 and also to support other healthcare expenditures such as childhood vaccinations, hospitalisation, approved outpatient treatments, etc.

FAQs

For FAQs, click here (To select: Top Level > Policies > Marriage and Parenthood > Medisave Grant For Newborns). Examples of FAQs:

For additional queries regarding the Medisave Grant for Newborns (e.g. check your child's Medisave balance), you can contact the Central Provident Fund Board (CPF Board) at 1800-227-1188 or member@cpf.gov.sg to submit an enquiry.

Find out more information: 

Ministry of Health (MOH)
Website: http://www.moh.gov.sg

CPF Board
Tel: 1800 227 1188
Email address: medgrant_newborn@cpf.gov.sg

Levy concession for Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW)

If you are intending to hire a FDW to take care of your Singapore Citizen child, you will be eligible for a concession of $205 off the monthly foreign domestic worker levy fee of $265.  This means that under the Young Child Scheme, you are automatically eligible for a reduced levy rate of $60 per month.

Find out more information: (link to “Where to get help database”)

Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
Website: http://www.mom.gov.sg
Tel: 6438 5122 (Mondays to Fridays: 8.30am to 5.30pm; Saturdays: 8.30am to 1pm)
Address: MOM Services Centre, 1500 Bendemeer Road, Singapore 339946

Child Development Credits & Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA)

Child Development Credits are credited time-to-time into your child’s CDA by the government. These credits can be used for your child’s education and medical expenses. Any leftover credit in the child’s CDA is transferred to his/her PSEA account, which will also similarly receive top-ups, when he or she turns 13.

Find out more information: 

Ministry of Education (MOE)
Website: https://www.moe.gov.sg
Hotline: 6872 2220 (Mondays to Fridays: 8.30am to 5.30pm; Saturdays: 8.30am to 12.30pm)
Email address: contact@moe.gov.sg
Address: Customer Service Centre, Podium Block of MOE Building, 1 North Buona Vista Drive, Singapore 138675

X