Okay.. So I am a SAHM.. But I have actually been taking up freelance jobs to have some spending money (hey, how do you think I can afford to bring MF to indoor playgrounds all the time?). I never thought about childcare subsidies, since I never thought I would be eligible.
Well, the time has come to register MF for nursery! When I saw the price list of preschools in Singapore, I was shocked by 1) how expensive it is and 2) how little is the difference in pricing for full and half day. So I decided to find out if my freelance work makes me eligible for subsidies.
To my pleasant surprise, the criteria for subsidy for working mothers is that we only need to to work 56 hours per month! No, I did not read wrongly, not 56 hours per week, it’s 56 hours per month (I read and re-read many times). So I qualify after all!! How difficult is it to clock 56 hours of work a month? I just need to take up a few more assignments, which is easy if I put MF in full day child care.
So I happily went to register MF for child care… And was told that for freelance workers like me, I need to go to the Supreme Court to declare my working hours before I can apply for the subsidy.
OKAY… I tried to google for more details how exactly this is done but can’t find much info.. I wanted to be sure of the procudures and fees involved, so that i don’t make a futile trip down to the Supreme Court.. I called up MCYS, they redirected me to Supreme Court, who redirected my call to the Commission of Oaths, who redirected my call to voice mail. -_-
So I decided to just go down to the Supreme Court. Thankfully, the lady at the information counter knew exactly what I wanted. The whole process was really easy peasy.. Here it how it goes.
1) Go to Supreme Court (the one near City Hall MRT, NOT subordinate court near Chinatown.. I almost went to the wrong one, lucky I googled for directions.)
2) Go to the Commissioner of Oaths office located at level 3M.
3) Tell them you want to declare your working hours. They will give you a Statutory Declaration form to write down what your job is, how much you earn and you can write down how many hours you work on the form.
4) Pay the fee of $20.
5) Go to the office as directed, take an oath in the office and sign the form in front of the lawyer and you’re done!
Easy peasy! When you register your kiddo for childcare, just remember to bring along this form.
Update (Jan 2016):
Making Statutory Declaration at ECDA Office (Cuppage Road)
[warning]Update (May 2016): ECDA has ceased issuing statutory declaration as of 2 May 2016. You will need to go back to Supreme Court to make the statutory declaration now.[/warning]
Since the writing of the above post, I have been to the Supreme Court 2 times (I think) to make the statutory declaration because MF’s school required a new one from time to time. But when it was time to make the statutory declaration at the start of this year, they told me to go to ECDA office at 51 Cuppage Road instead.
So just to be absolutely sure, I called up ECDA office and they said yes, you can go to ECDA office to do the declaration FOR FREE. When I asked them if I could still do the statutory declaration at Supreme Court, they said yes you can, but if you go there you need to pay $20. Which is why I am still keeping the above information for going to Supreme Court in the post. For those with $20 to spare but no time to waste.
Okay! So here is how you make your statutory declaration at ECDA for the purpose of applying for childcare subsidy if you are self-employed.
The place to go is:
51 Cuppage Road, #08-01, 229469
If you have no idea where 51 Cuppage Road is, it is the old Starhub Centre just behind The Centrepoint at Orchard. Know where it is now? Okay, if you are still unsure, click here for Google Map location.
Hours for making statutory declaration:
10am to 12noon and 2pm to 4pm
Mondays to Fridays (except public holidays)
No appointment is required, you can just go there during the above hours.
Procedure (if there was one)
I reached at exactly 2pm. There were these signs outside the ECDA office asking me to call the officer in charge for statutory declaration. So of course I called the number of the officer yah? But nobody picked up. So I decided to try again 15 minutes later and went for a walk in the meantime.
When I came back at 2.15pm, there were like 5 people standing outside the ECDA office holding statutory declaration forms! So I asked one of them and she said a lady came out to give them the forms and they were waiting for their turns.
Now, there was no queue or number system there. It kind of worked based on the assumption that everyone standing around knew who came before them, which was not possible? I mean… When I came, there were 5 people before me holding forms and bunch of other people who were family members and companions of the 5 people. How would I know who was the person who came just before me?? So unless the 2nd person remembered the 1st, the 3rd person remembered the first 2, the 4th person remembered the first 3 etc etc, you would expect that things were not going to go as smoothly as ‘first-come-first-serve’. Because frankly after waiting for 30 minutes, I couldn’t remember any of the faces of the people who were there when I arrived.
Okay, forgive my ranting. MORAL OF THE STORY!!! If you arrive at 2pm, just hang around, don’t walk away. You can try calling that number, maybe you will have better luck than me and the officer will actually pick up, but don’t count on it. So you just stand there and memorise the faces of everyone else hanging around so that you don’t cut their queue.
Eventually, someone will come out to dish out the statutory declaration forms and ask you to go in one by one. Each time someone comes out, the officer will ask, “Who is next?” If you are pretty sure all the people who came before you have gone in already, say “Me Me!” Just make sure nobody who came after you says “Me!”. When that happens, say “No way! You came after me!” and go make your declaration.
Right, hope you enjoyed my very lor-sor guide to making statutory declarations for free! Now let me use the $20 I saved to enjoy a nice brunch from Lady M across the road.
I finally made it to Lady M at Orchard Central! Gorgeous interior with lovely view of Orchard Road. Not the most kids friendly place because of the stairs. But now that the kids are in school, I am finally here! @ladymsg #bumblebeemumeats #ladym #ladymsg #singapore #singaporetravel #singaporetrip #orchardroad #orchardcentral #singaporefood #sgfood #eatoutsg #hungrygowhere #burpple #instafoodsg #sgfoodies #sgfoodie #whati8today #foodporn #foodstagram #singaporecafe #sgcafe #cafesg #sgcafehopping #cafehoppingsg #sgparentblogger #sgparentbloggers #sgmombloggers #sgmumbloggers