We want to hear from you!
COVID-19 has challenged couples and families in many ways, affecting our plans to get married, start or grow our families. The Government wants to understand how COVID-19 may have affected your marriage and parenthood journey so that we can build a Singapore that is Made For Families.
Ms Indranee Rajah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Social and Family Development, and Education, will be leading a series of conversations from April to September 2021 with individuals to better understand their experiences and thoughts on getting married and raising families. The conversations will also explore what new challenges or opportunities have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how this has affected their aspirations and priorities.
The sessions are part of the Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations. They will be jointly organised by the National Population and Talent Division in the Strategy Group, Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and the Ministry of Culture, Community, and Youth.
Here’s how you can join the Conversation:
The conversations will be held online between April and September 2021. For a start, six online sessions will be organised for participants in the following life-stages:
i. those who are dating/ engaged/ married without children;
ii. parents with children aged up to 6 years old; and
iii. parents with children in primary school
There will also be an online session for those who would like to share their views on issues related to fertility, such as awareness, screening and treatment.
If you are interested in joining any of these sessions, please sign up by clicking on the green button below. All Singaporeans, their partners, and parents of a Singaporean child are welcome to register.
Together, we can build a Singapore that is Made For Families!
If you are unable to attend the Conversations but would like to share your feedback, please connect with us below!
1. What is the scope of the conversations? What will I be asked to share my views on?
Discussion topics may include (but are not limited to):
- Key concerns and challenges, as well as new opportunities, that you experience in your marriage and parenthood journey, and how these may have changed following the pandemic.
- Your hopes for a Singapore that is Made for Families, what aspects are important to you and improvements you like to see.
2. Who can participate in the conversations?
We invite individuals who are i) dating/ engaged/ married without children; ii) parents with children aged up to 6 years old and/or iii) parents with children in primary school, to sign up. There will also be a session for those who would like to share their views on issues related to fertility, such as awareness, screening and treatment. All Singaporeans, their partners, and parents of a Singaporean child are welcome to register.
3. When will the conversations be held and how can interested individuals sign up?
The conversations will be held from April to September 2021. Individuals who are interested to participate can apply using this form: go.gov.sg/families-signup. Closer to date, shortlisted applicants will receive an e-mail with details on the online session and to confirm your attendance.
For those who are unable to join us, please feel free to share your feedback here.
4. What is expected of participants?
Participants will be invited to share their personal views and experiences on the topic with other participants, and with political office holders at the session. We would like participants to be respectful of one another and the different views each may have, so that the conversations can be made in an open and safe space. To make the session meaningful for fellow attendees, we would like to request that participants attend the full 2-hour session once their attendance is confirmed. Should there be changes to your schedule after confirming your attendance, and you are no longer able to participate, please inform us at Made_For_Families@pmo.gov.sg.
5. How will I know if my registration is successful?
You will receive an e-mail acknowledgement once you have signed up. Closer to date, shortlisted applicants will receive an e-mail with details on the online session and to confirm your attendance.
6. How will participants be shortlisted?
Organisers will shortlist participants to ensure a diverse representation across the different life stages and demographic profiles.
7. Do I sign up as an individual or as a couple/family?
We want to ensure that each participant is meaningfully engaged, and has sufficient opportunity to share their views and perspectives. We therefore seek your understanding that only one person per couple/family would be allowed to register. This will also allow for more couples/families to participate.
8. Can I attend more than one session?
Thank you for your interest! We regret that each individual can participate in one session only. This will also allow for more couples/families to participate.
9. I do not fall under any of the participant categories for the conversations. Can I participate in the sessions?
This series of conversations has a specific focus on getting married, and raising children. If there is no session available for you to sign up for, you may still share your feedback here.
If you are interested in participating in conversations on other topics, please access this www.singaporetogether.gov.sg to find out more about upcoming Singapore Together Emerging Stronger Conversations.
If you have feedback or ideas related to marriage and parenthood and are unable to attend a conversation session, you may share your feedback and ideas at go.gov.sg/families-feedback
10. I cannot make it for the available session dates, but would still like to contribute my suggestions and feedback, how can I do so?
You may share your feedback and ideas at go.gov.sg/families-feedback
11. Are there sessions that would be conducted in other languages?
This series of conversations will be conducted in English only.
12. What measures are currently in place to support Singaporeans in fulfilling their marriage and parenthood aspirations?
Supporting Singaporeans to start and raise families has been a national priority. The Marriage & Parenthood Package, which has been enhanced several times over the years, provides extensive support for Singaporean children and families in areas such as:
- Support for child-raising expenses: Together, the Baby Bonus Cash Gift, Government contributions to the Child Development Account, and MediSave Grant for Newborns, provide parents with up to $18,000 in financial support for their firstborn, to up to $32,000 for fifth and subsequent children.
- Healthcare assistance: All newborns receive a $4,000 MediSave Grant, and free childhood vaccinations (for vaccinations in the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule) and developmental screenings at all polyclinics and Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) General Practitioner clinics.
- Preschool subsidies: Working mothers receive basic childcare subsidies of $600/month for infant care and $300/month for full-day childcare. They also receive an additional means-tested subsidy of up to $710 for full-day infant care and $467 for full-day childcare, if their gross monthly household income is $12,000 and below. This helps to make quality preschool more affordable for parents.
- Educational subsidies: The Government subsidises over 90% of the cost of education from Primary school to Junior College/ITE, about 85% for polytechnics, and about 75% for autonomous universities.
- Parental and Childcare Leave: Mothers and fathers of Singaporean children are entitled to 16 weeks of paid Maternity Leave and two weeks of paid Paternity Leave respectively. Each working parent can also tap on six days of paid Childcare Leave per year if their youngest child is below seven years, and two days of paid Extended Childcare Leave per year if their youngest child is aged between seven and 12 years. This is in addition to other leave provisions such as Unpaid Infant Care Leave.
- Work-life harmony support: The Tripartite Standards on Flexible Work Arrangements and on Unpaid Leave for Unexpected Care Needs contain the workplace practices that all employers should implement to support their employees in managing their family and work responsibilities.
- Marriage Preparation Programmes: Couples who are getting married or newly married would benefit from Marriage preparation programmes (MPP) to help you understand issues relating to marriage and learn skills that help prepare for life together as husbands and wife. MSF provides couples a $140 rebate upon completion of the Prevention and Relationship Education Programme, an evidence-based MPP 12-hour workshop. MSF also supports MPP which are conducted by approved Social Service Agencies by providing couples a $70 rebate. https://www.msf.gov.sg/policies/Marriages/Preparing-for-Marriage/Pages/default.aspx
- Parenting resources: MSF has appointed ten Parenting Support Providers (PSPs) to deliver parenting support services on a regional basis. PSPs work closely with schools and community partners in their allocated regions to support parents through evidence-based parenting programmes and referrals to services depending on parents’ needs. The PSPs offer two evidence-based programmes -Positive Parenting Programme (Triple P) and Signposts. To sign up, parents may contact the PSPs serving their region or approach their child’s school Teacher-In-Charge of Parenting Programmes.
More details on the Marriage & Parenthood Package may be found at go.gov.sg/mpbooklet.