The scheme, which currently targets lower-income families, will be extended to the middle-income group. The monthly household income ceiling of those eligible will be raised from $3,500 to $6,000.
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Here is the press release from the Early Childhood Development Agency:
Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing outlined enhancements to the Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS) today. The changes will make Kindergarten education more affordable for low and middle income families, and help them provide a strong start for their children.
From January 2015, the Early Childhood Development Agency will extend KiFAS to families of Singaporean children with gross household income of up to $6,000, who attend Kindergartens run by Anchor Operators or the Ministry of Education. Lower-income families will receive a higher quantum of support, of up to $160 in fee assistance per month, compared to $108 today. Families receiving the highest tier of support could potentially pay as little as $1 per month. See Annex A for details.
With the enhancements, KiFAS is expected to benefit about 17,000 Singaporean children each year. About $20m per year will be set aside for KiFAS, which is double the amount today.
To be eligible for KiFAS, the family must meet the following criteria:
i) The child is a Singapore citizen attending a kindergarten, nursery or prenursery (K2, K1, N or pre-N) programme conducted in an AOP kindergarten (e.g. PCF kindergarten) or MOE Kindergarten; and
ii) The family's gross monthly household income does not exceed $6,000 or, for larger households with at least 5 family members, gross monthly per capita income (PCI) does not exceed $1,500:
PCI = Family's gross monthly household income/Number of family members living in the same household
The amount of fee assistance receivable is based on the maximum percentage of fees that can be covered by KiFAS capped at the maximum fee assistance.
i) A family of 4 has a child attending an eligible kindergarten programme with fees of $130 per month. Based on the family's gross monthly household income of $3,000 (or gross monthly per capita income of $750), the maximum fee assistance is 98 per cent of the fee, capped at $155. The family will receive $127 per month in fee assistance and has to pay the remaining $3 per month.
ii) A family of 6 has a child attending an eligible kindergarten programme with fees of $160 per month. Based on the family's gross monthly per capita income of $1,200, the maximum fee assistance is 35 per cent of the fee, capped at $55. The family will receive $55 per month in fee assistance and has to pay the remaining $105 per month.