Singapore to roll out pilot Moments of Life (Families) app in June 2018
Speaking in the Singapore Parliament at the Committee of Supply 2018, Minister-In-Charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Dr Vivian Balakrishnan provided updates of Singapore’s Smart Nation Strategic National Projects.
The Moments of Life (MOL) initiative is one of the five strategic projects. It is aimed at providing personalised and pro-active support to citizens at key junctures of their lives. By bundling relevant government services across different agencies to the citizens at key moments of their lives, the need for them to transact separately with multiple government agencies will be reduced.
One such key life moment is when parents with newborns or young children have to adjust their lifestyles or make important decisions for their children’s well-being. The first MOL initiative that will be implemented will focus on proactively supporting families with children aged 6 and below by bundling streamlined services and information.
The pilot MOL (Families) app will be rolled out from June 2018, to support every young child from birth. Families that use the app will no longer need to approach multiple agencies to physically fill up forms to complete the procedures. Parents with children aged 6 and below can use this one-stop, convenient option to seamlessly access the following services:
- Online birth registration: This is a new service available for the first time ever. Initially, citizens who have their child in the public hospitals, namely the KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, the Singapore General Hospital and the National University Hospital can use this service. Parents are still required to collect the birth certificate in person. Birth registration will be completed only after the birth certificate is collected.
- Submitting a single online form to apply for Baby Bonus together with the birth registration: The Baby Bonus application will be processed only after the birth certificate has been collected in person, i.e. the birth registration is completed.
- Searching for and indicating interest to be waitlisted for suitable preschool facilities and locating Baby Bonus Approved Institutions: This will be done through the use of geolocation technology, with accompanying information on school fees and vacancies. The geolocation capability within the app will be an enhancement over the current search functions on Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) and Baby Bonus’ webpages respectively. The factsheet explains that vacancy information displayed is an indication of estimated waiting time and not representative of the actual number of places available at each centre. Register Waitlist webform in ECDA can now be pre-populated with data from MyInfo. As per the current process, the childcare centres will contact parents directly for actual placement of the child. Parents will also be expected to contact kindergartens directly for placement.
- Accessing a child’s medical appointments and immunisation records: Parents will have to access Health Hub to make any changes to their appointments.
The MOL (Families) app will also serve a one-stop repository of credible and up-to-date Government content on applicable schemes and benefits, related general information and events, as well as customised recommendations. Hence, it will be useful to parents-to-be and caregivers as well.
At their point of need, users can access information on available Government schemes and benefits for parents with young children and evidence-based parenting information.
In the pilot phase, the MOL (Families) app will feature the applicable services by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA), the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), and the Health Promotion Board (HPB).
The app was developed based on insights gathered through citizen engagement sessions to identify and better understand parents’ challenges and needs at different key moments. The app will be progressively enhanced and the suite of services and information available on the app expanded, based on user feedback and suggestions.