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Budget 2016: More support for families with children
The Singapore government will provide more support for families with children, including a pilot that will cost more than S$20 million to help some 1,000 children whose parents "need more support to give their children a good start in life", said Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance.
"There is extensive research which shows that experiences in the early years of a child's life significantly influence his or her physical, cognitive, and social development," said Mr Heng.
This pilot, known as KidSTART, will support children in their first six years, for them to receive appropriate learning, developmental and health support.
The Singapore government will also introduce a new Child Development Account (CDA) First Step grant for all Singaporean children, said Mr Heng. Parents will automatically get S$3,000 in their child's CDA, to be used for children's healthcare and childcare needs.
"This will apply to eligible babies born from today," said Mr Heng.
It will also double the Medisave withdrawal limit for pre-delivery medical expenses, from S$450 to S$900, with immediate effect.
Finally, the Fresh Start Housing Scheme will provide a grant of up to S$35,000 to help certain families with young children to own a two-room flat, with a shorter lease. This scheme is aimed at families with children in rental housing.