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Written Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo to PQ on return to work mothers and childcare opening hours

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1888 OF 2019 FOR SITTING ON 5 NOVEMBER
QUESTION NO. 1496 FOR WRITTEN ANSWER

MP: Mr Christopher de Souza

To ask the Minister for Manpower what is being done to support mothers re-entering the workforce who may experience difficulty matching their employment hours with the opening hours of childcare services.

Answer

  1. To cater to the needs of working parents, including mothers re-entering the workforce, child care centres are required to operate from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. This arrangement meets the needs of most parents, without extending the working hours of child care centre workers. 
  2. For families working shifts or on weekends, many of them arrange for other caregivers, such as grandparents and relatives, to help out. Some centres may extend their services, taking into consideration demand and resources. Currently, around 55 centres operate beyond 7 p.m. on weekdays.
  3. Mothers, including those re-entering the workforce, may prefer some flexibility in their work hours to meet their caregiving needs. Through the Work-Life Grant and Tripartite Standard (TS) on Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs), the Government encourages employers to provide FWAs such as flexible start and end times or telecommuting to help employees better manage work and family responsibilities. As at end-September, around 1,900 employers, covering around 450,000 employees, have adopted the Tripartite Standard on FWAs. Jobseekers who require FWAs may find a better job fit with an employer that has adopted the TS on FWAs.
  4. Mothers looking for employment can also tap on Workforce Singapore (WSG)’s Adapt and Grow initiative, which offers a suite of employment services and programmes to help jobseekers to enter into new jobs. For more information, jobseekers can visit WSG’s Careers Connect and NTUC-e2i’s career centres to find out more.