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Budget 2014: More kindergarten fee subsidies for families

SINGAPORE — Measures to promote social mobility were announced in today’s (Feb 21) Budget Speech.

Pre-school children at PCF Sparkletots Punggol West. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong

Pre-school children at PCF Sparkletots Punggol West. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong

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SINGAPORE — Measures to promote social mobility were announced in today’s (Feb 21) Budget Speech.

The Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme will be made available to all anchor operators and Ministry of Education kindergartens, and more help with fees will be given to lower-income families. Support will also be given to middle-income households.

With the changes, more households earning up to S$3,000 a month will pay just S$3 a month in fees, down from as much as S$75 previously. A lower middle income household earning S$4,800 will pay S$85 a month, down from about S$130 previously.

Students at Institutes of Higher Learning will also receive a boost, with an increase in bursaries for those in universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education. Two-thirds of all households here will benefit, with the per capita monthly household income threshold for the bursaries raised from S$1,700 to S$1,900.

The measures are part of efforts to strengthen social safety nets and to mitigate social inequalities, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in his Budget speech.

“It is a determined, multi-year effort to keep up social mobility and do all we can to avoid becoming a society of permanent tiers,” he said. “Equally, we are enabling a better system of care and financial security for the elderly and Singaporeans with disabilities.”

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