Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Not Just Babies; Kids Too

With a birth rate of just 1.20 children per woman, it’s no surprise that the Singapore government has been trying hard to get more Singaporeans to have more babies. On Monday, the Singapore government introduced a new package of measures to boost population growth.

The package includes increased cash bonuses for parents of newborn babies and introduced paternity leave for fathers. Parents of Singaporean babies born since August 26 last year will receive a cash gift of $6,000 which will increase to $8,000 for the couple's third and fourth babies.

Personally, I feel these measures are great. The cost of raising a child in Singapore is great and help for parents is always welcomed. However, I’ll question why these measures are only for new babies. What about parents with young babies right now?

In many ways, this is a bigger issue for parents. The cost of having a child doesn’t stop after the first year, it increases and I feel in many ways helping parents with babies between 1 to 5 years of age would be more effective than coming out with new packages for newborn babies.  

Right now, the general feeling is that the government wants people to have babies but once that is done, the parents are on their own. This is something that needs to be addressed. Frankly, parents with young kids need help more help than parents with babies. Babies are cute. People are more than willing to pitch in to help parents when they just had a baby. Small kids however are walking engines of destruction. They destroy things like no one’s business and grow so fast, they outgrow their cloths in months!

If the Singapore government want Singaporeans to have more children, then that’s the target group they need to help. After all, sooner or later, babies grow up to be kids. 

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