Background

     The Child Support Grant scheme for [newborn] children is a key national policy in the integrated life-span human development plan. As the scheme creates a social protection system by providing welfare support to children in poor households or households at risk of poverty, it not only reduces social inequality by guaranteeing that children receive their rights directly but also provides an opportunity for children to access other rights. The Child Support Grant is a means so that parents bring their children into the state services system in order that children will receive care so they have a better quality of life. The Child Support Grant can be used to pay for the costs associated with having a [newborn] child whether health, nutrition, clothing, or other items used to stimulate the development of the child.

     The Cabinet Resolution on 31 March 2015 approved the Child Support Grant scheme for [newborn] children. For 1 year (12 months), the scheme provided a 400 Baht per month grant to poor households and households at risk of poverty who had a child born between 1 October 2015 and 30 September 2016. The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security is the main agency together with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Public Health who are working together on the scheme. On 22 March 2016, the Cabinet approved a scheme which will be for a child up to age of 3 in a poor household and household at risk of poverty. The grant was increased to 600 Baht per month. The scheme commenced in October 2016. Expanding the scheme and increasing the payment amount was supported by information from the Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). The research found that for the Child Support Grant the highest level of child development was achieved when the grant was provided for children at least up to the age of 3. Hence, there should be an increase in the funds available to be adequate and consistent with the results of the research and in the future it should be a permanent project. This scheme fulfils the government policy of providing welfare, assistance, and quality of life for a child. It is line with the strategy to strengthen and develop human capital of the draft 12th National Economic and Social Development Plan as well as the strategy to develop and empower people of the draft 20-year National Strategic Framework (2017-2036).