To enable and encourage young Singaporean parents to raise their children successfully while concurrently pursuing their careers and other life goals, the PAP Women’s Wing (WW) proposed five key recommendations to the Government in a Position Paper released today (30 July 2019).
Titled “Supporting Parenthood and Young Families”, the Position Paper highlights issues frequently raised by young families and couples seeking to start a family, such as affordability, inclusiveness and workplace arrangements.
In it, WW also looked at policies and societal norms to understand the issues facing Singapore parents. The findings in the paper are grouped in the following four broad categories:
• Supporting Families with Young Children
• Supporting Caregiving through the promotion of Flexible Workplace Arrangements
• Supporting Families with Special Needs Children
• Supporting Couples undergoing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) by improving access to In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) A consistent and important feedback glimpsed from young families was the concern with pre-school affordability and the ability to maintain work-life balance.
The five recommendations are:
1. Expand the Anchor Operator and Partner Operator Preschool Scheme so that at least 80% of pre-schooler households can access affordable and quality full-day childcare within a 10-minute walk.
2. Target to reduce out-of-pocket expenses on preschool fees to 5% of household income per child.
3. Adopt an industry-based and job-specific approach to promote flexible workplace arrangements (FWA).
4. Enhance inclusivity of children with special needs, through expanding learning opportunities, therapies and treatments within the school system.
5. Remove the age limit of 45 years for females to access In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and equalise the cap of fresh IVF cycles for women of all ages.
Ms Sun Xueling, MP for Pasir Ris Punggol GRC, who led the group of Women MPs on this initiative said, “We believe that young families deserve a stronger signal of support, both from the government and the whole of society. We have to make it easier for our young families, for them to raise children successfully while continuing to progress in their careers and pursue other life goals.”
The PAP Women’s Wing believes that young families deserve a stronger signal of support, both from the Government and the whole-of-society. This will establish firm foundations for a happy and cohesive society and preserve a Singapore core in our workforce.
Read the Position Paper