October 08, 2020
Child Development Account Top-Ups: A Further Collaboration to Support Pre-School Children from Low-Income Families
1. The Ministry of Education (MOE) is partnering EtonHouse Community Fund (ECF) and the Community Foundation of Singapore (CFS) on a Child Development Account (CDA) top-up programme to benefit about 1,300 pre-schoolers from low-income families this year. This initiative is facilitated by the Uplifting Pupils in Life and Inspiring Families Taskforce (UPLIFT), an inter-agency taskforce set up in 2018 to strengthen support for students from disadvantaged families.
2. From November this year, eligible children will each receive a $250 top-up to their CDA each year for up to three years. In total, ECF and CFS will contribute close to $1 million for the CDA top-up programme over the next three years.
3. The Government will provide dollar-for-dollar matching contributions for the top-ups, up to the child’s eligible contribution cap. As such, eligible children can receive $500 each in their CDA this year and up to $1,500 over three years. These funds can be used by their parents/guardians to defray child-raising expenses such as pre-school fees and medical bills at Baby Bonus Approved Institutions (AIs).
4. The 1,300 students are from 57 pre-schools under 7 operators: E-Bridge Pre-School, Iyad Perdaus Child Development, Kidz Meadow Childcare and Development Centre, PPIS Child Development Centre, Presbyterian Community Services, Super Talent Childcare and YWCA Child Development Centre.
5. Second Minister for Education and Chairperson of UPLIFT, Dr Maliki Osman, who visited E-Bridge’s Punggol Large Childcare Centre today to mark the launch of the programme, said: “Pre-school plays a crucial role in laying the foundations for a child’s overall development – building their confidence and social skills and encouraging them to be active and curious learners. I am hopeful that the CDA top-up programme will encourage more lower-income families to send their children to pre-school. We welcome the partnership with ECF and CFS, who have stepped forward to contribute to this initiative, especially during this trying period of economic uncertainty and job losses which have impacted many families. This collaboration also reflects UPLIFT’s commitment to work together with community partners to solve everyday challenges in our society. We strongly encourage more like-minded community partners and corporates to step forward to support such causes, so that we can reach out to even more children from low-income families.”
6. Director of ECF, Mrs Ng Gim Choo, said: “Children are the future pillars of society. With the CDA top-up programme, ECF hopes to improve the lives of children from low-income families through the power of education.”
7. CEO of CFS, Ms Catherine Loh, said: “Most parents see education as their children’s foundation for better lives. This initiative gives parents a helping hand to nurture their children through their early years of development. We have a responsibility to strengthen our social safety nets to ensure no child gets left behind. This is why this collaboration is such a wonderful opportunity for CFS and our donors to uplift children from low-income families.”