Like many Singaporean couples, Mr and Mrs Ng both head out to work while their two young daughters Rachel* and Ruby*, aged four and six, attend kindergarten, at NTUC First Campus’ My First Skool (MFS). With their combined take-home salaries, the pair were able to comfortably support their two daughters and a relative.
Things were going well for the family until Mr Ng was diagnosed with a severe lung infection in 2013.
The illness affected Mr Ng’s health badly and his condition made even basic daily activities like walking difficult. This resulted in Mr Ng being unable to work, homebound and in need of a caregiver. As the sole breadwinner, Mrs Ng had to bear the family’s financial burden alone. Her family’s needs also meant that she could only work from home.
To cope with the sudden slump in household income, Mrs Ng decided to seek financial assistance from the MFS principal via the Bright Horizons Fund.
Pitching In To Help
Acting on the principal’s referral of the Ngs’ plight, the Child Enabling Unit (CEU) of MFS appealed through Early Childhood Development Agency for higher childcare subsidies for Rachel and Ruby’s school fees. Following the successful appeal in view of the family’s predicament, the subsidy amount both children’s school fees was increased to $474, $174 more than the original basic subsidy of $300.
Further aiding the Ngs, CEU also helped loan a wheelchair for Mr Ng from their Community Centre. They also requested for emergency food rations with delivery services from the Social Services Office @ Woodlands for the family, which they received on an ad-hoc basis. Mrs Ng was also advised to contact various helplines for emotional support.
On The Road To Recovery
Presently, Mr Ng’s condition continues to improve. His improved mobility allows him to walk around the house, and take care of his personal needs, freeing up Mrs Ng to go back to work full-time.
As for their children, Ruby has made a smooth transition to Primary 1 while Rachel is still at MFS and benefiting from the school’s close attention and protection.
Expressing his gratitude at the assistance received, Mr Ng shares, “I appreciate all the help given to us because it has lightened my wife’s load and I do not have to worry about her or my children as I know they are in safe hands. The principals, the CEU, everyone has been interacting with us and have touched us on a personal level.”
*Names have been changed to protect the family’s identity.