Guide on ECDA Childcare Subsidies for Preschool Children in Singapore

The time has come for you to make a decision on childcare services in Singapore for your children.

After narrowing down your options, one of your main concerns is the cost of childcare in Singapore. Preschool expenses can range from a couple of hundred dollars to over a thousand in a month, which is at the higher end of the scale. 

The rising costs and higher standards of living in Singapore have made it an expensive affair to have children on this island. Dual-income households are not spared from the difficult task of budgeting for affordable preschool education for their children.

Fortunately, the Singapore government has put in place several schemes to help parents afford childcare services. This allows most families to enrol their children into preschools without sacrificing too much of their disposable income. 

ECDA: The Early Childhood Development Agency in Singapore

The Early Childhood and Development Agency (ECDA) is Singapore's regulatory and developmental authority for the early childhood sector, overseeing children's development below the age of 7 in kindergartens and childcare centres. It operates autonomously, jointly overseen by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), hosted under MSF.


The Government has ensured preschools remain affordable by providing preschool subsidies to all Singaporean children and imposing fee caps at government-supported preschools. ECDA increased Additional Subsidy amounts across all eligible income tiers and raised the income ceiling for Additional Subsidy and Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme from $7,500 and $6,000 respectively to $12,000 in 2020. 

Around 95,000 children now receive preschool subsidies, almost doubled compared to around 48,000 children in 2019. Over the last 10 years, the number of educators has doubled from 12,000 to over 24,000. The Singapore Preschool Accreditation Framework (SPARK) was introduced to the sector in 2011 and it has continued to be enhanced to assist preschools in raising their quality. Today, more than 50% of preschools are SPARK-certified.

A good support for caregivers, the ECDA subsidies are easily accessible to families, and in turn, provides every child access to quality preschool education.

The benefits of sending your children to a good preschool are extremely enticing, especially when you know they will be engaged by skilled educators to help develop their growing minds.

What are some of the subsidies that you can have access to? 

Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse

Higher Preschool Subsidies for Childcare in Singapore

More families will come to enjoy the higher preschool subsidies as outlined by the government. At the moment, children who are Singaporean citizens will receive a basic subsidy. 

To be eligible, they must be enrolled in a preschool centre that is licensed by the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA). The amount of basic subsidy depends on the income of the working applicant.

Under ECDA’s definition, a working applicant refers to a mother or a single father who works at least 56 hours per month, which includes both freelance and full/part-time work. 

On top of the basic subsidies, parents can now access more additional subsidies if your gross monthly household income does not exceed $12,000. 

For larger families with 5 or more people living in the same household where at least 3 dependents are not working, you can receive the additional subsidy if your per capita income does not exceed $3,000. 

Childcare subsidies from ECDA: Basic and Additional 

Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse

Infographic is taken from ECDA website

Based on the table from ECDA, a working applicant is entitled to a basic subsidy of $300 when you enrol your children (18 months and above) into an ECDA-licensed preschool. On top of the $300, depending on your family’s income, you may receive an extra subsidy up to $467 that can help reduce the total cost per month. 

A non-working applicant is entitled to a basic subsidy of $150 for the same enrolment, but you will not receive any additional subsidy. 

How do I apply for ECDA subsidies? 

• Complete the Subsidy Application Form (Form 1) with the relevant supporting documents and submit it to ECDA through your childcare centre
• Provide your telephone numbers and email address
• ECDA will send you an SMS and email to acknowledge your application and its outcome

How will I receive the ECDA subsidies?

The subsidies will be disbursed directly to your preschool centre. You will just need to pay the net fees after subsidy.

Am I eligible for the ECDA Additional Subsidy if my child is enrolled in half-day and flexi-care programmes in childcare and infant care centres?

Yes. Subsidies for half-day and flexi-care programmes in childcare and infant care centres are available. Details can be found on the ECDA website here

Kindergarten Fee Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)

For families who wish to put their children in a kindergarten programme instead of childcare, there are subsidies available as well.

Eligible families can receive subsidy from KiFAS which ranges from $17 to $161 monthly through means-testing, with disadvantaged families receiving more to support their children's education.

To be eligible for KiFAS, one of the requirements would be for your child to be enrolled in a kindergarten under an Anchor Operator or the Ministry of Education (MOE), with a monthly household income of up to $12,000 or monthly household income per capita of up to $3,000 for larger families. 


How do I apply for KiFAS ECDA subsidies? 

• Complete the KiFAS Application Form (KF1) with the relevant supporting documents and submit it to ECDA through your kindergarten
• Provide your telephone numbers and email address
• ECDA will send you an SMS and email to acknowledge your application and its outcome

Special Approval Subsidies

What happens if you require more support, but you do not meet the requirements listed by ECDA? 

You can apply for a special approval grant which will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with relevant documents supporting your circumstances. 

Special approvals include parents who are not working due to the following circumstances:
•    Looking for a job
•    Studying/Training/On course for at least 56 hours a month
•    Pregnancy
•    Medically unfit for work 
•    Taking care of sick or special needs family members
•    Caring full-time for a child under 24 months
•    Incarcerated

Alternative caregivers like grandparents, legal guardians and foster parents can also apply for the special approval grant.

Children under HDB’s Public Rental Schema or ComCare Short-To-Medium Term Assistance (SMTA) or Long-Term Assistance (LTA) automatically qualify for maximum preschool subsidies upon application for Special Approval. 

Other EDCA Subsidies: KidSTART, Early Intervention (EI), KiFAS Start-Up Grant (SUG)

As the Singapore Government maintains its commitment to investing in preschools for the benefit of all families, prioritising targeted assistance for children from lower-income families and those with developmental needs remains a key focus.


In 2016, ECDA launched KidSTART for 1,000 children, a programme supporting pregnant mothers and children aged 0-6 years from lower-income families. The initiative promotes child development, coordinates holistic family services, monitors children's developmental progress, and encourages preschool enrolment by age 3. KidSTART now supports over 6,200 children and aims to scale up nationwide to cover 80% of eligible lower-income families, up from the current 20%.

Early Intervention

For children with developmental needs, there are a range of programmes available to support them. The early years of a child’s life represent the most critical period of their early years. Early intervention (EI) harnesses growth potential to enhance the skills of children with developmental needs (DN), fostering independence. Government-funded EI Programmes offer intervention for children under 7 years. Since 2015, the count of children benefiting from ECDA-funded EI services has risen from around 4,000 to about 7,100 in 2022.

• Subsidies and introduction of fee caps for Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) in 2023
• Enhance inclusion and support for children with developmental needs, guided by the Inclusive Preschool Workgroup’s recommendations released in 2021
• Expanding the Development Support-Learning Support (DS-LS) and DS-Plus programmes in preschools (2021)
• Piloting the Inclusive Support Programme (InSP) (2021) to integrate early childhood and early intervention services at selected preschools
• Appointing an Inclusion Coordinator in every preschool (2023) to provide baseline support for children with developmental needs
• Developed a Parents’ Guide (2022) for parents who have children with developmental needs

KiFAS Start-Up Grant (SUG)

This is a yearly grant covering the initial costs of enrolling into a Kindergarten – such as: registration fee, deposit, school uniform, insurance, fees for educational material etc. Children who are Singaporean citizens, in families with monthly gross income of up to $1,900 or gross capita income of up to $650 are eligible for the grant. 

Eligible families will receive up to $240 per year. Submit the KiFAS Application Form (KF1) with the relevant supporting documents and submit it to ECDA through your child’s kindergarten. 

Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse

Cost of childcare fees at KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse 

At KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse, we provide quality preschool education for an affordable price and all nationalities are welcomed to join us. 

The costs of our full-day and half-day programmes are clearly listed on our websites at:

Book a tour with us!

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge of the subsidies that you are entitled to, why not book a tour with us? 

KiddiWinkie Schoolhouse welcomes all parents to enquire further about our programmes and availability for your children. Come and have a look at our campuses, located island-wide, before you enrol your children with our star-studded education team!


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