Starting from 1 Apr, families of children with developmental needs will pay between 30 and 70 percent less on average as subsidies for early intervention programs increase, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) announced on 28 Jan.
Two new programs will be introduced. EIPIC Under-2s, which is meant for children under two, will involve a parent or caregiver’s attendance. The other program, DS Plus, is intended for children, who have made progress, adapt to a mainstream preschool setting.
A total of $60 million – 30 percent more than $45 million currently, is being channeled to cover current subsidies and fund the two new programs.
At least 4,500 children are expected to benefit from the new programs. EI fees will also decrease, from $5 to $780 per month to $5 to $430 per month, following the revised subsidies.
As the current early intervention model is deemed as “one-size fits all”, this two programs aims to better meet the children’s needs as they change over time, said Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee.
He added that the programs are more inclusive as they cater to children with a variety of developmental needs and that they will be rolled out in phases, with 13 EI centres providing these services by Jul, and the remaining 8 by early 2021.
What is even more important is the support, love, and care from family members. Hang on tight while the programs are being launched.