If you’re an unmarried pregnant mum, you will soon get 16-week maternity leave. Your baby will also get a Child Development Account (CDA), which helps pay for childcare and healthcare needs.
The maternity leave benefits will kick in early next year as Parliament will need to change the law first. But the children of unwed mothers will likely be given the CDAs by September this year, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin announced the extension of these benefits yesterday (April 12) in Budget 2016.
“We can do more to support their efforts to care for their children, and reduce the disadvantages that their children may face at birth,” Mr Tan said.
“I, too, am sympathetic to this group. Unwed parents may be vulnerable if they are younger and lower-educated. Some may have been rejected by their own families. It can be difficult to raise a child single-handedly, without family support. Some may have hoped to have a child within marriage, but ended up as unwed parents by circumstances.”
A version of this article appeared in The Straits Times.