Last Updated on January 10, 2023 by Parentology
The Child Development Account is one benefit offered from the Baby Bonus Scheme, which is situated within the Marriage and Parenthood Package from the Ministry of Social and Family Development. The Child Development Account is exactly that: a bank account that anyone can save into for their children’s healthcare and educational needs.
The CDA offers two main benefits: firstly, when the account is opened, a cash gift of $3,000 is credited into the account. This cash gift is provided purely for the opening of the account and can be spent within the guidelines of the Child Development Account. The second benefit provided is the government co-matching that is attached to the Child Development Account. When anyone deposits money into the account, this amount is matched dollar-for-dollar by the government up to a certain cap, in effect doubling the amount of money you are saving and are thus able to spend for your children.
Making deposits in the account
You can start saving into the account as soon as you receive the bank’s letter with the Baby Bonus NETS card included. This indicates that your account has been approved and set up. No activation of the card is necessary, as it usually comes pre-activated.
Deposits can be made in the Child Development Account by anyone and any deposits made are eligible for government co-matching up to the cap, which varies based on child order. Eligibility and cap information can be found, as always, on Baby Bonus Online under the ‘Check Eligibility’ section. Deposits can be made via the same ways you would deposit in a normal bank account – ATM deposits, cheque deposits, cashier or standing orders, and fund transfers via internet banking, phone banking, or ATM banking.
Do note that personal withdrawals will be more difficult, and oftentimes requires an appeal to MSF even for cases in which wrong deposits were made.
Only CDA trustees (the person nominated to handle the account on behalf of the child) are able to approve transactions from the account, including for GIRO payments.
Corporate donors that wish to make donations to CDAs will need to inform MSF to ensure that they follow along with Child Development Co-Savings Regulations (CDCR) and Approved Person/Institution Terms and Conditions (AP/I T&Cs).
Government co-matching amounts are credited into the Child Development Account within 2 weeks after the deposit has been made; trustees can view this information on Baby Bonus Online, under the ‘View/Update My Baby Bonus Details’ section. You can always verify your deposits, co-matching credits, and any transactions against both the monthly bank statements from your banks as well as the statement you find on Baby Bonus Online. You are encouraged to contact MSF via firstname.lastname@example.org should you find any irregularities.
To check any remaining cap amounts (i.e. how much left can you deposit to qualify for government co-matching), you will log into Baby Bonus Online and go into the ‘View Statement’ section via ‘Family View’.
Using the Account
As mentioned above, the Child Development Account is only used for educational and healthcare needs, and generally only with Approved Institutions (AIs). This does include certain MediSave-approved insurance premiums, although not riders – for this case, we recommend that you check with your financial advisor.
You will be able to use the account via NETS or GIRO, usually. You will also be able to use most of the bank’s internet banking features for the Child Development Account, including viewing the transactions on your phone or online application.
Any changes – changes of name, trustees, nominated bank account holder, other details – you may need to make regarding the account will generally go through one of two processes. The first is quite straightforward – you will be able to make the change via Baby Bonus Online. This mostly applies to minor changes, such as a change in the nominated bank account holder. The second process will require you to email MSF at email@example.com alongside any relevant documentation for your specific case. In this latter case, which will include things like name changes and requests to reverse accidental deposits, your email will mostly be assessed by appeal on a case-by-case basis.