Balancing caregiving duties with work commitments is not always the easiest of tasks.
That is why the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has expanded the Household Services Scheme (HSS) to include minding services for seniors and children above 18 months old.
According to Minister of State for Manpower (MOS) Ms Gan Siow Huang, there are around 140 HSS companies providing part-time household services to over 21,000 homes.
Under the HSS scheme which began in 2017, companies can hire migrant workers to provide part-time domestic services, such as home cleaning, grocery shopping, car washing and pet-sitting.
But with the expanded scope, it should give households more choices for respite care, said MOS Gan.
Supporting households every step of the way
Hiring a live-in maid might be a popular choice for many Singaporeans. However, there are instances when doing so is not the most economical or logical option.
That is especially so for households looking for domestic support for a few hours a day or week.
Therefore, the expanded HSS aims to fill this care gap with on-demand child- and elder-care services.
With the new HSS scheme, workers can be deployed to households to assist with personal care tasks for children and the elderly or engage them in educational or leisure activities.
In addition, safety measures by HSS companies can make this a better option for those looking for help caring for their elderly family members.
For a start, the Ministry of Health has set out training requirements that all workers providing elder-minding services have to meet.
Meanwhile, those without relevant qualifications would have to attend courses or undergo competency assessments to ensure a minimum standard of care.
With Singapore facing an ageing demographic, the HSS is just one of the many schemes by the PAP Government to ensure our seniors can be adequately cared for by trained staff and live longer and healthier lives.
But more importantly, providing households with more flexible caregiving and domestic support options can help free up time and promote stronger families.
As MOS Gan shared in her Facebook post, “I hope this pilot programme will help more Singaporeans achieve a better balance between work and family commitments.”
Photo Sources: AIC/NTUC First Campus/MOM