4th Jan 2021
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Ng Ling Ling
MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC
Question No. 399
To ask the Minister for Health regarding the Caregiver Training Grant, (a) whether there has been an increasing number of caregivers tapping on the caregiver training grant given our ageing population and increasing caregiving needs; (b) whether there is a need to increase the annual grant cap of $200; and (c) whether there are plans to increase touch points for training provision given that caregivers are usually very time challenged.
The Caregivers Training Grant (CTG) provides an annual subsidy of $200 for caregivers to attend approved courses to improve their caregiving skills. Since its launch, we have seen a general increase in utilisation, from around 7,000 caregivers in 2013 to nearly 9,000 in 2019. In particular, recipients of the Foreign Domestic Worker Grant (FDW Grant), which had a mandatory training requirement for foreign domestic workers, made up the bulk of CTG applications.
In October 2019, the Home Caregiving Grant (HCG) replaced the FDW Grant. The HCG provides financial support which can be used flexibly to defray caregiving expenses for persons with permanent moderate disability, and it is not tied to any training requirement. Since then, and given the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we have seen a drop in the number of caregivers tapping on CTG. From Jan to Nov 2020, around 2,000 caregivers have utilised the CTG. We encourage caregivers to make full use of their annual CTG allowance, to improve their skills and knowledge.
Caregivers can easily access training opportunities through the multiple touchpoints currently. Specifically, there are more than 200 different approved courses offered by more than 50 CTG training providers. These courses are conducted via different modes, e.g. in the care recipient’s home, at a training centre or online, and allow caregivers to learn at their own convenience. Caregivers may find out more from AIC’s e-course catalogue. We welcome new CTG training providers, as well as new course types and models to cater to the varied needs of caregivers and their care recipients.
Currently, caregiver training remains affordable with the help of the CTG. Over 70% of the CTG approved courses cost $200 and below. This means that with the CTG, caregivers need only pay the minimum co-payment of $10 for these courses. We will continue to review various aspects of training support to ensure that caregivers can be better equipped in their role.