TL;DR – Those starting and raising families will also benefit from new parent support groups led by Families for Life.
Have you heard about the newly-launched family plan? No, we are not talking about the subscription plans for phones (or cable TV), but the national plan from the government.
If you haven’t, here’s a quick guide on what it is about!
What is it?
The plan, titled “A Singapore Made For Families 2025” (MFF 2025), aims to build a Singapore where all families are valued and supported across different chapters of life in the next three years. As with every national plan unveiled, the plan was drawn up after taking in feedback from citizens and community partners.
Who can play a part?
Well, the short answer is everybody, including you and me.
But the longer answer is: Government, community partners, businesses and individuals can all work together to fulfil the plan. Here’s the general idea about how it all comes together:
Employers: To commit to nurturing family-friendly workplaces
Individuals: To make family time a priority
Friends / Colleagues: To support one another in balancing family and work
Community: To celebrate and uplift families
Speaking at the Consortium of Institutes on Family in the Asian Region (CIFA) Regional Symposium and Ministry of Social and Family Development’s (MSF) Asian Family Conference 2022 at the Hilton Singapore Orchard, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, who launched the national plan said that the plan reflects a whole-of-society effort.
Mr Heng also said the plan will strengthen families by focusing on three areas: culture, empowerment and upliftment.
When women face challenges in the workplace, who can they turn to?
He added that nurturing a culture that celebrates and supports families is important, and employers can play a big role in this area,
“Creating a supportive and flexible environment for their workers to achieve work-life harmony is not just pro-family, it is also pro-business. Workers who are able to balance their work and family are able to better contribute at work.”
All the policy specifics and big ideas aside, some of you might be wondering:
What are some exciting highlights?
There are many new initiatives that will be rolled out, but here are some interesting ones:
- Couples can look forward to a new solemnisation site at the Family Zone@Gardens by the Bay
- Working parents may receive more caregiving help after the operating hours of the childcare centres, through child-minding services
- Families can better enable persons with disabilities to live independently with alternative housing, disability care and employment services
- New parents can commemorate the birth of a child by planting trees
Undeniably, family plays a major role in our lives. Our family members are the ones we seek comfort from, and we know that they will always be around for us. As far as Asian culture goes, we may not shower each other with hugs and may feel awkward saying ‘I love you’.
But in true Asian style, we know it’s love when our parents stuff us with food, when we choke up during our wedding speeches, or when we wake up in the middle of the night to check on our children.
Now here’s hoping that everyone plays their part (hey employer, we are looking at you to nurture family-friendly practices), and for all of us to have a happier family!