1 Parents in Singapore will be able to more easily access localised, research-backed online parenting information and resources through a one-stop Baby Bonus Parenting Resources (BBPR) portal. An initiative by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), the online portal empowers parents to take a more active role in nurturing their child by curating parenting information on a wide range of topics for parents-to-be, and parents with young children up to six years old.
2 Parents and parents-to-be can refer to resource materials, such as videos, articles and guides, at different stages of their parenting journey to help their children grow and develop holistically. It also enables parents to facilitate their children's learning through play, and support parents to be more hands-on in their nurturing and caregiving of children. (Refer to Annex A for details of the portal.) Since the portal went 'live' in April last year, more than 142,000 visitors have accessed the resources, and we have built up an online community of about 52,000 followers on Facebook (Refer to FAQ for more details). To broaden our engagement with parents, we have also started BBPR's Instagram and Youtube platforms in December 2018.
3 MSF has partnered various local and international experts to develop and curate the portal with a strong focus on localised, research-backed parenting information. One such expert is Dr Shefaly Shorey, who is an Assistant Professor at the National University of Singapore's Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. In collaboration with BBPR, Dr Shefaly developed a series of 'how-to' videos for first-time parents, addressing newborn caregiving experiences that are unique to our local context. For example, she shared practical tips on local confinement practices. (Refer to Annex C for link to Dr Shefaly's video on 'Confinement Practices').
4 Dr Shorey said, "Babies don't come with manuals, and many young parents I know wonder if they are doing what is best for their children or are unsure if resources online are credible. In the course of my research at NUS Nursing, I found that fathers' involvement in infant care has an impact on young children's development. Based on parental needs I found in my research, I collaborated with BBPR to develop a series of videos to support new parents during their transition into parenthood. Such online resources are part of the support system for both mothers and fathers, especially after the babies have been discharged from the hospital. Fathers are encouraged to be directly involved in newborn care-giving tasks such as diaper changing, and can learn the know-how through BBPR, which is free and easily available."
5 An Advisory Panel on Parenting (APOP), made up of 15 members who are local experts in various disciplines such as child health, nutrition, caregiving and early childhood development, advises on the portal's content development. (See Annex B for list of Advisory Panel on Parenting experts and other content partners.)
6 MSF has been engaging preschools to support them in their parent education efforts through the rich repository of resources available on BBPR. Minister for Social and Family Development Mr Desmond Lee joined parents at The Little Skool-House International's experiential learning space today to celebrate the portal's one-year anniversary. By incorporating simple activities from BBPR, such as making hand puppets and a story-telling session, which parents can replicate at home, children can improve on learning and development areas like building language skills and learning about emotions.
7 Minister Lee said, "We want to better support parents throughout their parenting journey. Complementing quality, accessible preschool education, parental leave schemes and Baby Bonus benefits, the Baby Bonus Parenting Resources portal is our latest addition to strengthen the ecosystem of support for parents. Fathers and mothers are our children's best teachers. Over the course of one year, we've seen many parents benefiting from the portal. We hope more parents will make use of the portal to pick up knowledge and skills to parent confidently and raise creative, happy, healthy children."