Lower-income families with children having developmental needs may face increased financial challenges. Thanks to the Temasek Cares – Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) Bursary, these parents can now apply for a bursary to help defray the transport costs of ferrying their kids to and fro to their schools.
Administered by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), and funded by Temasek Cares, this programme aims to support lower-income families with children aged six and below and with special needs who require therapy and educational support. There are currently 17 EIPIC centres run by voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), serving about 1,500 children.
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About Who is Eligible for the EIPIC Bursary
To be eligible, the children must be Singapore citizens or permanent residents. Up to $100 per month is available for the child in households with per capita net income of $450 or less per month. The bursary may be used to help with the cost of transport to and from the EIPIC centres. This 2-year programme supports 315 children each year and is administered by the NCSS.
About What Additional Support is Available for Children with Special Needs
Special Education encompasses a range of specialised teaching programmes in special education (SPED) schools, which cater to children with autism, or intellectual, sensory, physical or multiple disabilities. Depending on the degree of their disability, some of these children may still be able to cope with parts of the mainstream school curriculum with some support, while others may benefit more from special curricula taught by suitably qualified teachers. SPED schools are operated by voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), with the support of the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).
Did you know…
The number of new autism cases diagnosed in Singapore has risen at an annual rate of 11 per cent since 2005. According to MOE, this is due in part to increased awareness of special needs among teachers and parents, and better identification of the condition at pre-school or lower primary school levels. Today it is estimated that globally, about 15 to 20 children in every 10,000 children are autistic, and boys are up to four times more likely to develop autism than girls.