Govt's plans to boost births

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Govt's plans to boost births

Postby caroline3sg » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:35 am

Plans on boosting birth rate to be announced after National Day Rally

By Valarie Tan, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 11 August 2008 2009 hrs


SINGAPORE: Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, said on Monday that more details on how Singapore plans to boost its birth rate will be announced after the National Day Rally on August 17.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in his National Day Message last Friday that the government will be taking steps to address practical problems faced by couples in starting families.

One of the areas which the government will be looking at is the role of fathers.

Dr Balakrishnan said: "Our society has changed. Women have so many more opportunities now, and if we don't change the stereotyped gender roles, then the opportunity costs for women will be too high – they're not going to have children or even if they do, they're not going to have very many.

"So beyond just money and schemes, what's really needed is a mindset and attitudinal change, and a significant shift in the relationship.

"Basically, if we don't do our fair share of parenting and domestic duties, some things are going to give. And in our society, it's going to mean fewer children.

"This is something we are going to work at, but this is not something the government can mandate or legislate, or even provide incentives for. It's something which each family, each couple will have to work out."


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So much talk in the ST Forum about attitudes / mindset change of employers, flexi hours, cost of bringing up children etc etc. Govt is again missing the nail in the head. They are looking into paternal aspects. They do not want to touch the sensitive issue affecting employers' bottomline (ie thereby affecting govt coffers).

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Re: Govt's plans to boost births

Postby jedamum » Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:41 am

My husband's company have not bad children incentives...eg more childcare leave than the mandated 2 days. While dads can apply for it, there is somehow an unspoken fear that it will affect their appraisal. So even if the government mandate more paternity leave, dads may not fully utilisied it if they do not want to affect their yearly appraisal.

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Postby tamarind » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:02 am

I am entitled to claim 10 days of childcare leave, if I can produce the medical certificate of my kids :D Both male and female employees are entitled to this benefit. I think all companies should have this benefit :D

But I think no point granting Daddys more paternity leave to take care of the baby after the wife gave birth. There are many Daddys who do not help or don't know how to help, they will end up watching soccer games at home, or playing computer games. Taking care of a new born can be very difficult, even to mommies. Anyway most mommies have confinement ladies to help out.

What we really need is a good arrangement to care for the kids. Childcare centres are expensive, and the quality is bad unless you send to those very expensive ones like Pat's schoolhouse etc($1600 a month). The quality of childcare teachers are bad, since their salary is very low, and the turnover rate is high. The quality of the food is also very bad. I have visited a CC which charges more than $800 a month(after subsidy). The food they serve is fish cake, chicken nuggets, etc which are very unhealthy.

I hope that the government can look into giving more subsidies to childcare centres so that they can provide good quality childcare.

Mommies who are working full time also cannot be expected to do the full load of housework. Let's face the facts. Few Daddys will help out with housework even if they can take leave to stay at home. So mommies need maids ! I hope that the government can further reduce the maid levy, which is currently at $170 a month.

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Postby raysusan » Fri Aug 15, 2008 10:17 am

my company has nothing
yes nothing at all if your wife is giving birth

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Re: Govt's plans to boost births

Postby ChiefKiasu » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:56 pm

jedamum wrote:My husband's company have not bad children incentives...eg more childcare leave than the mandated 2 days. While dads can apply for it, there is somehow an unspoken fear that it will affect their appraisal. So even if the government mandate more paternity leave, dads may not fully utilisied it if they do not want to affect their yearly appraisal.


If the boss is a family man himself, the fear may be simply reflect the irrational thinking of kiasu employees :).

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Postby Gmum » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:26 am

Yes.. I agree with tamarind! Most impt is to solve our childcare needs, expenses/money is the BIGGEST problem most parents facing now. Especially when standard of living so high, expensive daily products, increasing of transportation fee and etc... (to be fair, not all companies do practise increment, meaning some parents are not getting more to spend on higher price needs)

I am very lucky that my husband has been contributing since day one... and I also believe nowadays most modern husbands/daddies do their part too and I dont see why we still focusing on that particular "help".

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Postby caroline3sg » Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:50 am

Not just money, but also time & effort. These increase with no. of kids. With the education system so stressful, it is really 2 is enough.

Not all companies have child MC. And both our companies strictly 14 days per yr, don't have incremental 1 day every yr after that.

There are 4 days of PSLE marking in Oct. After taking this from annual leave, how about mid yr exams? Minus running errands, really not much left for holidays. And this is just for one kid. The company that I work is very "niaw".

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Postby matrix0405 » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:06 pm

SINGAPORE: More tax breaks, cash payouts and parental leave will be given to encourage Singaporeans to welcome the stork.


They are among a broad range of measures to be delivered from 1 January 2009 in the hope of boosting the Republic’s flagging birth rate — one of the lowest among developed countries. Total fertility rate in the city—state was just 1.29 last year.

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