In recent years, birth rates in most of the developed countries’, particularly in Europe and Asia, have been in decline. Talk about first world problems!
Because of that, some countries are using long-term strategies in tackling this problem. Here are 6 creative ways to increase the birth rates.
A few short and impactful ads went viral. Did these ads help increase the birth rate? One thing is for sure, the ads created conversations on fertility.
Spies Travel launched “Do It For Denmark” (2014) which encourages Danes to book a romantic city holiday. They were asked to book with their “ovulation discount”. If they conceived during vacation, they would win a three-year supply of baby goodies and a child-friendly vacation.
On August 9, 2012, Mentos ran the “National Night” campaign to encourage Singaporean couples to let their “patriotism explode”. Pretty catchy tune if you asked me.
In February 2016, I Love Children ran a Fertility Awareness campaign by plastering sperm and egg all across City Hall MRT, pretty bold and sure got the conversation going. And I Love Children have been doing it every year since then.
In Vietnam, there is a private program to help low-income couples facing infertility, pay for the costs of in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment.
The Singapore government announced a range of subsidies on 28 August 2019 to support marriage and parenthood. Starting 1 January 2020, the age limit of 45 for women to undergo ART procedures, including in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment, will be lifted. And there will no longer be caps on the number of cycles a couple can go through for ART treatments.
Raising a child can be as expensive as you want it to be. Juggling between a branded and non-branded product, a baby really can’t tell the difference, what is important is that the child is comfortable in the clothes they are in.
To help new parents defray the costs of raising their baby, Singapore introduced the Baby Bonus Scheme which comprises a Cash Gift and a Child Development Account (CDA), a special co-savings scheme for children where savings deposited by parents are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Government, up to a specified cap depending on the child’s birth order. The CDA savings funds can be used to pay fees in child care centres, kindergartens and even medical expenses at healthcare institutions such as hospitals and GP clinics!
Some working parents find it a challenge to send their children to child care that is not located near their workplaces and some can’t afford expensive child care fees.
Major companies in the US set up on-site child care facilities to provide emotional security and convenience for parents. They offer programs that foster the children’s growth and development.
In South Korea, a multinational electronics company, has its own on-site child care centre to support employees’ work-family balance. It also allows working parents to spend time with their children at the child care centre during their breaks.
In Singapore, the government has encouraged companies to set up more child care facilities so that more mothers could return to work.
The support for child care could encourage working parents to consider having another child.
Like men, women are also the sole bread-winner in contributing to themselves and their loved ones.
The Swedish family policy promotes “dual-bread winner model of Sweden” to strengthen women’s attachment to the labour market and to promote gender and social equality.
It focuses solely on the individual, not the whole family. It supports the individuals in pursuing their family and occupational tracks without relying on other individuals or being constraint by institutional factors.
Hungarians are hungry for babies! Besides including waivers on personal income tax for women raising at least four children for the rest of their lives, Hungary is getting the grandparents involved too by giving grandparents a childcare fee if they look after their young grandchildren instead of their parents.
In Singapore, a working mother whose parent, parent-in-law, grandparent or grandparent-in-law is looking after any of her Singapore Citizen children aged 12 years and below, will be eligible to claim the Grandparent Caregiver Relief (GCR) of $3,000.
It really does take a village to raise a child!
What other creative approaches do you think Singapore should adopt to increase the country’s birth rate?