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All about Childcare Leave in Singapore: A Parent's Guide

A quick guide to childcare leave in Singapore

With the recent news that vaccination for those five to eleven years old is now possible, many parents are scrambling to arrange childcare leave. But as the country adjusts to post-pandemic working arrangements, many of us may wonder how many days or hours of childcare leave are allowed legally? We’ve put together a quick guide to help you figure out childcare leave in Singapore.

What can I use childcare leave for?

If you are a working parent in Singapore, childcare leave allows parents to spend time with their children. Such activities include:

  • Attend child immunisation appointments

  • Accompany children on their first day of school

  • If the parent is unable to make alternative childcare arrangements during school closures.

  • Staying home to care for their sick children.

The goal is to let working parents take care of their children and build their families with peace of mind. This underlying principle applies to the current situation when parents have to take leave to bring their children to vaccination appointments.

How many days of childcare leave am I entitled to?

If your child is a Singapore Citizen, you are entitled to 6 days of paid childcare leave annually.

Your childcare leave can also be pro-rated according to how long you have worked, or if you know you will leave your employer this year.

If you work part-time or are a temporary, contract, or probationary employee, your childcare leave entitlement is adjusted based on your working hours.

However, if your child is not a Singaporean, you get two days of leave following the Employment Act.

You are also entitled to part-time childcare leave per the Employment Act. This is calculated according to the number of hours that you have worked. You can find out more about pro-rated childcare leave here.

To calculate the exact number of childcare days that you are entitled to, you can also check out the MOH childcare leave calculator.

Is my childcare leave paid?

If your child is a Singapore citizen, the government pays for childcare leave partially to ease the financial burden of the employer. You can apply for government-paid childcare leave (GPCL) if you meet these requirements:

  • For employees: you have served your employer for at least three continuous months.

  • For self-employed: you have been engaged in your work for at least three continuous months and have lost income during the childcare leave period.

It is a good idea to discuss your childcare leave plans with your employers early so your company can make alternative work arrangements.

Employees will need to download and complete the Government-Paid Childcare Leave (GPCL) declaration form and submit it to their current employers, along with any other necessary supporting documents when applying for childcare leave per company procedures.

Childcare leaves claimed under a previous employer(s) will be deducted from their overall yearly childcare leave entitlement.

If you are self-employed, you will need a log of your leave days to submit an online claim after your leave is taken via the Government-Paid Leave Portal no later than three months after the last day of the calendar year.

The government will reimburse you for up to 3 days of paid childcare leave and/or 2 days of extended childcare leave based on their Notice of Assessment submitted to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS).

More information and application procedure is available on the website.

When can you not use childcare leave?

MOM website has stated the guidelines for the limitations of your childcare leave. In summary, you cannot use or apply for childcare leave for any other purpose other than caring for your children.

In addition, parents cannot transfer childcare leave days to each other. Any outstanding childcare leaves unused within 12 months cannot be converted to cash or brought over to a new company. You can also not apply for no-pay leave, and childcare leaves simultaneously.

What happens if you do not use up childcare leave?

It is important to note that any unused childcare leave will lapse at the end of 12 months. You cannot carry these days forward. You cannot claim allowance or exchange the unused leave days for cash.

If you know you are leaving your employer, you will also not be allowed to use unused leave days to offset any notice period for the termination of employment.

What if your employer denies you childcare leave?

It is always good to communicate with your employer early that you wish to take childcare leave. Your employer may need to make additional arrangements to accommodate your request. Childcare leave is subjected to the employer’s approval. Still, legally, an employer who unreasonably denies childcare leave will be fined up to $5,000 or imprisoned for a term of up to 6 months or given both punishments.

The Singapore Legal Advice site encourages that if working parents feel they have been unfairly denied childcare leave, they may contact the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM) for mediation and advice on dispute management.

What should I do if I cannot take childcare leave?

Work responsibilities may not allow you to take childcare leave, and you may need to look for alternative childcare arrangements. Even with work from home opportunities readily available, you may feel distracted by having your child at home. You may worry about your child’s learning progress if not with them. At the same time, work calls require you to multitask. Balancing family and work commitments can be stressful.

Instead of taking frequent childcare leave, it is essential to look for a good childcare centre to supervise your child and help them develop.

More importantly, childcare options such as preschools allow your child to socialise with others of the same age. In today’s world, having strong social skills will be crucial to help your child succeed in the future. You can read here to find other advantages of leaving your child in a school.


We hope you have a clearer picture of applying for childcare leave in Singapore now.

As the world starts to ease pandemic measures slowly, your responsibilities at work will increase.

If you’re looking for a childcare centre in Tampines or Tampines preschool that provides quality education supported by loving and nurturing teachers, then you should contact our Childcare Tampines.

Genesis Tampines Childcare believes that every child is unique and precious. In our childcare centre, our holistic curriculum creates meaningful learning experiences that highlight your child’s strengths.

We are excited to start working hand-in-hand with you to bring out the best in your child today.

What matters most to parents? Our most-read articles:

As one of the best childcare Tampines, Genesis Childcare 1989 provides a comfortable, clean, well-ventilated and conducive learning environment for your child to learn, explore, discover and be creative. Our Preschool Tampines have over 30 years of experience in caring for your beloved child. At our Tampines Childcare, we advocate that every child is unique and precious who needs to be loved and cherished.

As a leading early childhood centre in Singapore since 1989, we are committed to nurturing our early learners holistically through various learning areas and positive learning dispositions. We place a strong emphasis on the way our teachers facilitate and interact with the children.

Check out our Tampines childcare parent’s testimonials regarding the care that parents’ children have received at our Tampines childcare centre.

The children in our Tampines childcare get to learn English, Chinese, Maths, Science, Music and Movement, Arts, Outdoor Play and cookery lessons. Our Childcare Tampines also provides balanced and nutritious meals for the children and helps the children to cultivate healthy eating habits.

Our professional team of preschool teachers has a good understanding of child development and learning principles. We apply them efficiently and set the stage to create a meaningful learning experience that supports your child's discovery.

We consistently create a positive and cozy environment that will give your child a sense of security which builds their self-confidence to explore the world around them.

So if you are looking for a good preschool in Tampines or Tampines Playgroup near Tampines Central, do consider Genesis Childcare Tampines.

Located alongside our childcare in Tampines is our Nurture Infant House. If you are looking for Tampines infant care or infant care in Tampines, do visit Nurture Infant House. It is for infants aged 2 months to 18 months old. You can learn more about our infant care Tampines here.

Book a school tour now! Click here to read our Google reviews too!

Genesis Childcare 1989 (Playgroup to Kindergarten 2)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 S(520433)

Nurture Infant House (2 to 18 months Infants)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 S(520433)

Opening hours: Monday to Friday (7am to 7pm) & Saturday (7am to 2pm)

Public Bus services: 8 / 21 / 28 / 29 / 293


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