Last Updated on June 27, 2023 by Parentology
Who is Eligible for Baby Bonus, and What Are the Benefits?
If you’re looking at Baby Bonus information, you might be planning for a family and to that end, you might want to know a little more about what benefits they provide as well as their related eligibility conditions, especially in regards to more complex family unit types.
The Baby Bonus Scheme is a part of the Marriage and Parenthood Package from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) in Singapore and is aimed at offsetting the financial burdens of having a child locally. Its benefits are twofold: the first is the provision of a cash gift (which varies based on the child’s order of birth – the more children you have had, the greater the cash gift up to a cap).
This cash gift is provided in instalments from the moment of birth up until the child turns 18 months, and is used to pay for immediate needs directly after birth. The first instalment comes within 7 – 10 working days of birth or registration (whichever is later), and the rest come every few months.
The second is the Child Development Account – on top of the additional cash gift you are provided for opening this account (once again increasing with the order of birth up to a cap), any money you save into the account is co-matched by the government until a certain amount. This CDA lasts until your child is 12, at which point it is closed and a new account, called the Post Secondary Educational Account (PSEA) is opened. A portion of any leftover amounts in the CDA is transferred over to the PSEA, and if you have not met the co-matching cap while saving under the CDA, you can continue under the PSEA until the cap is met. In this way, the government helps you save for your child’s health and education until they are eighteen.
The CDA cash gift (called the First Step Grant, which is different from the cash gift provided at birth), is credited to the newly-opened CDA account within 2 weeks of opening. No initial deposit is needed. When you deposit money into the account, government co-matching will then be credited to the account within 2 weeks of the deposit as well. You can check these benefits on Baby Bonus Online by selecting the ‘View/Update My Baby Bonus Details’ and then selecting ‘View Statement’ – this will show transactions related to your child’s CDA account.
You do not need to return this amount (unless there are issues of payment error or fraud), even if your child chooses to surrender Singaporean Citizenship after they are 21.
|Birth Order||CDA components||Total CDA Benefits|
First Step Grant
(no initial deposit from
|1st Child||$3,000||Up to $3,000||Up to $6,000|
|2nd Child||Up to $6,000||Up to $9,000|
|3rd & 4th Child||Up to $9,000||Up to $12,000|
|5th child and higher||Up to $15,000||Up to $18,000|
Joining the Baby Bonus Scheme is quite straightforward: you simply log into Baby Bonus Online first, which is the one-stop portal for everything related to the scheme, and you check your child’s eligibility with the ‘Check Eligibility’ tool. Generally, birth order follows the mother – i.e., if this is the father’s first child but the mother’s second child, then the child’s order is 2. Baby Bonus is also generally only applicable to Singaporean Citizen children, or children who will become citizens through adoption or otherwise. The tool will also be able to tell you what benefits apply to your child.
If your child (not you) is eligible, you may then register for the scheme on the same website by logging in using your SingPass and filling out the online application form.
As part of this form, you will need to decide who the ‘CDA trustee’ is – this is the person who oversees the CDA account, and will be able to nominate a bank account holder (can be the same as the CDA trustee, but can be different) to receive any cash gifts or reimbursements later. The CDA trustee is generally the adult that has direct care of the child who the CDA is for; this applies to divorced parents as well. As long as they are above eighteen and not bankrupt, they can be a CDA trustee.
MSF has released quick videos on how to navigate the online portal under the tag #BiteSizedBabyBonus, which you can find here.
Single/Unwed Parents, Divorced Parents, and Adoption
It is important to note that the Baby Bonus Scheme is generally centred around the child and mother – for instance, it is the child that has to be a citizen to qualify for the CDA, regardless of parental status. To that end, this concept also applies in the above cases regardless of their parents’ situations.
Children of unmarried parents can still join the Baby Bonus Scheme as long as they were born after 1 September 2016 and are Singaporean Citizens. They will receive the First Step Grant of $3,000 when the Child Development Account is opened, and will also receive co-matching benefits similar to all other children who qualify (up to $3,000 for the first child, and more for subsequent children).
Furthermore, unwed mothers of Singaporean Citizen children born from 1 January 2017 and later are also eligible for Government-Paid Maternity Leave as well as other benefits including social assistance, MediSave benefits and grants, subsidies for childcare, and levy subsidies if hiring foreign domestic workers. This is to encourage proper care and support for all children.
This applies in cases of divorce as well. The only changes that might be made would be a change in the listed CDA trustee and potentially the nominated bank account – as mentioned, it is generally the child’s direct caregiver who should be listed. You will also not need to pay anything back.
Children who have been given up for adoption will still receive Baby Bonus benefits if they are eligible (are Singaporean Citizens, etc.) – however, as mentioned above, the trustee of the account will also need to change to the new caregiver, as the money is meant for the child’s support and growth.
To that end, the government recognises that raising a child is no easy feat, and thus has pulled out all the stops in ensuring that children get whatever support they may need in Singapore. Singaporean Citizen children who are eligible do not need to worry about having this support rescinded!