SINGAPORE – Basic child-minding and elder-minding services will be included in the Household Services Scheme (HSS) under a two-year pilot programme, the Ministry of Manpower said.
From Wednesday, companies under the pilot can hire more migrant workers to provide these part-time services to households. Currently, 140 companies provide household services to more than 21,000 homes under HSS, which was piloted in 2017 and made permanent in September 2021.
As part of the expanded programme, basic minding services for children, who must be above 18 months old, will include assisting with feeding, dressing and diapering. Other tasks allowed include engaging the child in educational and developmental activities. Tasks for the elder-minding workers include assisting in personal care such as bathing, dressing and feeding, along with engaging them in healthy activities. For elderly persons who are wheelchair users, tasks for workers include safely lifting, positioning and moving them.
MOM had sought proposals from commercial companies for the pilot, and selected 25 of them based on their track record and relevant experience in home cleaning or care services. These companies must put in place safety measures before deploying workers. They must conduct an assessment of the household’s care needs, and fully disclose their workers’ relevant experience and qualifications to the household.
In addition, the companies must ensure that their eldercare workers meet the training requirements set by the Ministry of Health. If they do not have the relevant qualifications, they must attend training courses or undergo competency assessments. Those interested in engaging services from these companies are advised to ask the provider for the experience, qualification and training of the worker deployed, and assess his or her suitability for the care needs of the household.
Minister of State for Manpower Gan Siow Huang said: “With the expanded scope, selected companies will have additional manpower to offer part-time basic caregiving services. This will give households more choices for respite care.
“We hope this will help Singaporeans better balance work and family commitments.” Ms Gan also added that the pilot programme will be monitored, and feedback from households and pilot companies will be taken to decide if it is effective, or whether any changes should be made.