If you’re a working or a self-employed parent, you’ll be eligible for child care leave under the Government Paid Child Care Leave (GPCL) and Extended Childcare Leave (ECL) schemes. These schemes provide you with the quality time you need to spend with your children.
Benefits of GPCL
- You and your spouse can take 6 days of paid leave each over a period of 12 months (in agreement with your employer) if your child is below 7 years.
- The last 3 days of your child care leave will be paid by the government. As in, the government will provide a refund to your employer for up to 3 days of your child care leave over a period of 12 months. The refund amount has a cap of S$500 per day.
- The number of childcare leaves you are entitled for every year will be calculated on a pro-rated basis depending on your employment period. It is calculated in the following way:
- If you’ve been employed for over 3 months but under 5 months – You’re eligible to take 2 paid childcare leaves per calendar year.
- If you’ve been employed for over 5 months but under 7 months – You’re eligible to take 3 paid childcare leaves per calendar year.
- If you’ve been employed for over 7 months but under 9 months – You’re eligible to take 4 paid childcare leaves per calendar year.
- If you’ve been employed for over 9 months but under 11 months – You’re eligible to take 5 paid childcare leaves per calendar year.
- If you’ve been employed for over 11 months – You’re eligible to take 6 paid childcare leaves per calendar year.
Extended Childcare Leave (ECL)
- In case your youngest kid’s age is within a range of 7 to 12 years (inclusive of both), you and your spouse can apply for paid child care leave of 2 days each. You and your spouse can take leave over any 12-month period as per the mutual agreement between you and your employer.
- You’ll be reimbursed for both the days and the amount will be capped at S$500 for a day.
Who Is Eligible for Child Care Leave?
Eligibility Criteria for Government-Paid Child Care Leave Scheme (GPCL):
- Your youngest kid needs to be below 7 years of age.
- In case you’re an adoptive parent, you’ll qualify for this scheme only after an adoption order is circulated.
- Your kid needs to be a Singapore citizen.
- In case you’re employed with a company, you must be associated with your current employer for a minimum of 3 months continuously.
- In case you’re self-employed, you should be active in your profession, trade or business for a minimum of 3 months continuously.
Eligibility Criteria for Extended Child Care Leave Scheme (ECL):
- Your youngest kid should be 7-12 years of age (inclusive of both).
- In case you’re an adoptive parent, you’ll be eligible for this scheme only after an adoption order is passed.
- Your child should be a Singapore citizen.
- If you’re an employee, you should have worked with your present employer for at least a period of 3 consecutive months.
- If you’re self-employed, you should be occupied in your business or trade for at least 3 consecutive months.
How Is the Child Care Leave Calculated?
You can access the Government-Paid Leave (GPL) Calculator via the official website of MSF (Ministry of Social and Family Development). This calculator will give you an estimated amount of Government Paid Leave (GPL) reimbursement you may receive after you submit an appropriate application form.
Please be aware that the GPL calculator is not equipped to check the correctness of the data entered by you. Hence, any calculation you do is going to be an estimate only.
Things to Consider Before Applying for GPCL
- You cannot utilise your childcare leave to balance out your notice period when you quit your job.
- Your childcare leave cannot be transferred to your spouse.
- You’ll have complete flexibility to utilise your leave for any reason that demands your time with your child. However, your leave cannot be transferred or exchanged for cash.
- You need not submit any medical certificate for the kid.
- You need to inform your employer in advance that you’re planning to use your childcare leave.
- Your leave needs to be planned as a mutual decision between you and your employer.
- Your leave approval is dependant on your employer. It is strongly recommended that your employer needs to grant leave for important matters like school registration, child immunisation, to join your kid on the first day of his/her school, etc.
- In case you join a new company, your unused leave cannot be carried over to your new employer.
- For consecutive years, your benefits with respect to your childcare leave will be determined depending on when you utilised your first child care leave:
- Scenario 1: You took your first child care leave in the same year as your child's year of birth.
- Scenario 2: You took your first child care leave when your kid is 1 year old.
- Scenario 3: Your leave benefit will commence when your kid is 1 year old, even though you utilised your first child care leave when your kid was 2 years and above.
- In case you’re having more than 1 kid, your leave benefits for every 1-year concerned period will not be cumulative. It will depend on the age of your youngest child.
- In case you’ve a new-born in the concerned 12-month period where you qualify for a child care leave of 6 days, the leave utilised by you in that period will be considered to have been used with respect to your elder kid. In case you’ve a new-born in the concerned 12-month period where you qualify for an extended child care leave of 2 days, the leave utilised by you in that period will be considered to have been used with respect to your elder kid or the youngest kid based on how many child care leaves you’ve taken. Take a look at the table below:
- Consider, your elder kid’s year of birth is 2010 and your youngest kid’s year of birth is 2018.
|Your kid was born in 2010||Your kid’s age||Year|
|1st child care leave was utilised||0 years||2010|
|Expiry of GPCL scheme||6 years||2016|
|Initiation of ECL scheme||7 years||2017|
|Expiry of ECL scheme||12 years||2022|
|Your child’s year of birth is 2010||Your child’s age||Year|
|1st child care leave was taken||1 year||2011|
|GPCL scheme (Expiry)||7 years||2017|
|ECL scheme (Initiation)||8 years||2018|
|ECL scheme (Expiry)||13 years||2023|
|2010 is your kid’s birth year||Age of your child||Year|
|1st child care leave was used||2 years||2012|
|End of GPCL scheme||7 years||2017|
|ECL scheme commences||8 years||2018|
|End of ECL scheme||13 years||2023|
|Youngest kid (<7 years old)||Eldest kid (Between 7 and 12 years)||Child care leave benefit|
|Number of child care leave utilised in 2018||Leave used with respect to||Child care leave benefit|
|2 days||Older kid||You’ll be entitled for GPCL of 6 days per concerned period with respect to youngest child between 2019 and 2025|
|2 days plus||Youngest kid||You’ll be entitled for GPCL of 6 days per concerned period with respect to youngest child between 2018 and 2024|
- Collect GPCL1 (declaration form) and relevant documents from your employee.
- You can also choose to utilise your own system or form to collect the declaration from your employee.
- You need to submit the claims of your employee online through the GPL Portal. Claims are to be submitted within 3 months after the relevant 1 year period has passed.
- You need to log in to the GPL Portal to verify the status of your application. Your employee and you will receive a notification after your application gets processed.
How to Apply for GPCL and ECL
If you’re an employee:
- Make sure you’ve only taken the child care leave you’re eligible for.
- Intimate your employer in advance regarding your leave so that your employer can make other alternative arrangements for the work that was allocated to you.
- With an early intimation, your employer will get sufficient time to check if you’re eligible to take leave.
- You need to submit GPCL1 (declaration form) along with your mandatory documents to your employer.
- Your employer can either use its own system or a declaration form for you in order to determine your eligibility. You’ll need to enquire about this with your concerned employer.
- You can request for child care leave based on the leave application policy of your employer.
If you’re self-employed:
You’ll be provided with a refund from the government for the number of days you had taken as child care leave. This will be calculated depending on your NOA (Notice of Assessment) from the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).
- You need to maintain a record that has the details of your child care leave dates.
- Submit your claim online via the GPL Portal no later than 3 months after the last day of the calendar year.
- Your claim needs to be submitted online through the GPL Portal in less than 3 months post the calendar year's final day.
- In order to check the status of your application, you need to log on to the GPL Portal. You’ll receive a notification soon after your application is verified.
Q. How will my child’s age be determined?
A. It will be determined based on your child’s year of birth.
For example, if your kid is born in 2011, your kid’s age will be considered as 8 years in 2018, irrespective of the day or month your kid was born.
Q. When should I submit my claim?
A. You can make a claim only after you’ve taken your childcare leave. You need to submit your claim in less than 3 months post to the final day of the 1-year relevant period. Also, you need to make sure to submit your claim on time because any claim that is submitted late will be rejected.
Q. Can I carry forward my unused leave?
A. No, after every agreed 1-year period ends, your unused leave will lapse.
Q. Can I exchange my unused childcare leave for cash?
A. No, it is not possible to encash your unused leave.
Q. What if I don’t meet the eligibility criteria?
A. You may be eligible for a child care leave of 2 days on a yearly basis if you’re an employee who is covered under the Employment Act. However, your child needs to be less than 7 years of age.