The PAP Government is stepping up measures to support parents and give each child a good start, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
“We lowered fees at government supported pre-schools from this January. Further changes will be announced in the coming months,” he elaborated in his 2023 Chinese New Year message on Jan 21, 2023.
He noted that the Total Fertility Rate (TFR) dipped last year. In 2021, the TFR stood at 1.12, recovering slightly from the historic low of 1.10 in 2020.
With more support from the Government PM Lee urged: “So to all our couples, do your best in this Year of the Rabbit!”
A Singapore Made for Families 2025
The Government also dedicated 2022 as the Year of Celebrating SG families and from there came another impactful initiative.
Understanding that it takes a whole of society to support families through all phases of life, the Government also introduced plans for A Singapore Made for Families 2025, he said.
It is Singapore’s plan for how the Government, community partners, businesses and individuals can come together to co-create a Singapore where all families are valued and supported.
“Families are at the core of our social compact, and strong families are central to a stable, resilient society,” PM Lee said.
He then gave examples on how different stakeholders can play their part: companies can institute flexible work arrangements, community partners can pool resources to uplift families, and individuals should also cherish family time and make it a greater priority.
“We can all do our part to build a society where every family is valued and supported.”
Stay vigilant even as we celebrate
PM Lee also took the opportunity to thank our frontline healthcare workers fighting Covid-19.
“Let us not forget the hard work and sacrifices of those fighting at the frontline against Covid-19, and keeping Singapore going. We have thus far maintained our COVID-19 posture, while watching external pandemic trends warily.”
While Singapore’s situation remains stable, new variants may yet emerge.
“Let us stay vigilant even as we celebrate,” he reminded Singaporeans.
And it’s important to look out for one another and exercise social responsibility by taking ART tests when needed and staying at home if positive or unwell during this festive period.
“Most importantly, keep your vaccinations up-to-date, including with the latest bivalent vaccines. This is still the best protection against Covid-19. I encourage everyone to play their part through these simple but effective actions.”
After nearly three years battling the pandemic, we can fully resume our celebrations.
“I am sure this year’s festivities will be especially meaningful for many. The lohei will be tossed extra high, cheers of “Huat ah” will be extra loud, and family gatherings extra joyous.”
Happy Chinese New Year!
Cover photo credit: PM Lee / Facebook