Children Development Account

MP Faisal Manap

Mr Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap (Aljunied): Sir, the Child Development Account (CDA) was introduced in April 2001. The objective is to assist parents to lighten their financial commitment in raising children.

The CDA scheme consists of two components: First Step Grant and Government co-matching. In this year’s Budget Statement, it was announced that there would be an increase in the First Step Grant from $3,500 to $5,000. Secondly, the co-matching caps have been increased to $4,000 for the first child and $7,000 for the second child, an increase of $1,000 respectively. CDA funds can be utilised at approved institutions for approved expenses, which includes basic educational fees, medical fees, purchases of vitamins and health supplements, optical appliances and payments for assistive technological devices.

I would like PMO to consider extending the use of CDA for purchasing milk formula and diapers. Parents are spending a substantial amount monthly on these two essential items. According to a recent report in The Straits Times, the price of a tin of infant milk formula can go as high as $113.35 for a 1.8kg tin. In April and May 2017, many parents had voiced concerns on the price hikes for infant milk formula, asking for regulation of price and fair pricing. These calls were also heard in this Chamber. The cost of infant formula has not gone down since then.

I understand that the Government would like to encourage breastfeeding of newborns and infants, but many parents have to rely on infant formula for various reasons.

Sir, for many low-income families, diapers and infant formula are a significant financial burden. Adding milk formula and diapers to the list of approved items would be much welcomed and bring relief to many parents, especially those from low-income households. 

Prime Minister’s Office
24 February 2023

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