Review Underway to Ensure Preschool Affordability

The Early Childhood Development Agency will review the framework for preschool subsidies, Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee said yesterday (1 July) at a community screening programme for families living in rental housing blocks at Boon Lay.

Currently, eligible families can receive up to $740 in monthly subsidies, depending on their income. Such reviews are done from time to time to ensure that childcare remains accessible, affordable and of good quality, Minister Lee said. The last review in 2013 saw an increase in subsidies of at least $100.

He also addressed the recent debate on inequality in the country and how best to help those who need assistance the most. He said he was encouraged to see many different people stepping forward with ideas on how to offer a better safety net for Singaporean families. 

"We will be open to views, but we need to have an understanding of... how our policies on education, housing, healthcare and early childcare have uplifted many families across many generations, and how we can better tackle those who remain beset with difficulties.”

"We need to find a more integrated approach to help these families... The ongoing discussion done in good faith will better help us in assessing how to do better."

In his Facebook post, Minister Desmond Lee added that the review of preschool subsidies is part of ongoing efforts to ensure preschool affordability, especially for low and middle income families with young children. The Ministry of Social and Family Development will provide an update on the review next year.

Sources: “Pre-school subsidies to be reviewed: Desmond Lee”, (The Straits Times, 2 July 2018) and “Supporting families with holistic early childhood development programme” (Desmond Lee’s Facebook Post, 1 July 2018)

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