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New Research Reveals: Kids Across Asia Need Better Money Management Skills

2011-09-06 16:42
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Findings Show Parents Believe Children Do Not Fully Understand Core Money Management Skills and Need to Learn Making Responsible Money Choices

HONG KONG, Sept. 6, 2011 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Prudential Corporation Asia today unveiled Cha-Ching Money-Smart Kids, the first multi-country, multi-platform programme to help parents in Asia build money-smart values for children aged seven to 12. Central to the programme is a brand new series of animated musical cartoons focused on financial literacy -- the first of its kind in Asia. The episodes will be broadcast on Cartoon Network in seven markets (Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) starting from the 9th of September. In addition to the TV content, the programme features an interactive website with extensive digital resources for parents, kids and educators.

Need for Financial Literacy Support in Asia

Prudential initiated a regional survey (Note 1) across seven markets (Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) to understand Asian parents' perspectives on their children's money management skills. The results revealed that almost all kids (96 per cent regionally; 80 per cent in Hong Kong) receive regular pocket money. However, few parents (13 per cent regionally; 8 per cent in Hong Kong) believe their children possess very good money management skills, although almost all (95 per cent regionally; 94 per cent in Hong Kong) think it is important to learn them. The majority of parents (94 per cent regionally; 89 per cent in Hong Kong) also say they want to get more involved and are looking for tools to support their financial education efforts, and prefer TV and the Internet as a medium for using these tools.

Barry Stowe, Chief Executive, Prudential Corporation Asia, said: "Prudential has a long-standing commitment to financial education in Asia and has already developed successful programmes for working mothers, high school and middle school children. We saw a need to round out our financial literacy efforts to an even younger audience. Children in Asia are growing up in families with more disposable income than they had previously and there is now a growing interest in and need for financial literacy skills for children. Cha-Ching will provide parents with the tools to teach their children essential and responsible money management skills in a fun and engaging way."

Earn, Save, Spend and Donate

Cha-Ching uses an 'edutainment approach' to build children's understanding of four fundamental money management pillars -- Earn, Save, Spend and Donate -- and provides opportunities to begin practicing these essential skills at a young age. The segments aim to improve understanding of the four individual concepts as well as the way they connect to each other.

The programme responds to particular needs identified in the survey where just around half of parents (44 per cent regionally; 51 per cent in Hong Kong) feel their children are saving only because they had told them to. Very few parents (8 per cent regionally; 12 per cent in Hong Kong) think their kids are keeping track of their spending. And, although parents believe their kids understand money has to be earned (93 per cent regionally; 88 per cent in Hong Kong), they also say their kids would just ask for more money when they need it (58 per cent regionally; 59 per cent in Hong Kong).

To bring the Cha-Ching concept to life, Prudential worked closely with different experts including leveraging the expertise of Dr. Alice Wilder, an internationally-recognised children's education specialist, in developing the content, as well as the strong production capabilities of Cartoon Network, the region's number one channel for kids.

Dr. Alice Wilder, said: "Children are hugely influenced by what they see and when it comes to money, what they mostly see is spending. The principles of earn, save, spend and donate show children that they have choices with their money. The programme helps them learn about the concepts and put them into practice. Ultimately this practice will help to build essential and responsible money management habits."

Sunny Saha, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc., said: "Cartoon Network is delighted to be supporting Prudential in its efforts to educate families about the importance of financial management. As a leader in kids' entertainment and original content creation, the channel serves as a great platform to engage millions of kids and their parents in a way that's informative yet incredibly animated and fun. We're confident that Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids will inspire a whole new generation of kids who know what it means to earn, save, spend and donate."

The four fundamental money management concepts are made relevant to kids through the Cha-Ching band, which is made up of six characters who each have a different approach to money management. 

Each of the 10 animated segments is three minutes long, and features a catchy song in English with lyrics that children can sing along to, which helps aid understanding, memory and learning. The fun and lively characters encourage children to fully engage with the show and connect with the stories in a very personal and aspirational way.

Key topics covered by the 10 segments include:

  • Where does money come from?
  • Money has to be earned before you can save, spend or donate it
  • Opportunities through entrepreneurship; how to manage your allowance efficiently
  • The importance of saving and learning to save for short- and long-term goals
  • The difference between 'needs' and 'wants': instant and delayed gratification
  • Sharing and donating a portion of one's money and time is the right and responsible thing to do

The TV segments extend online to a fully interactive website that features applications, playback of the episodes and a game which allow children to make money management decisions and understand the impact of their choices. A dedicated section for parents on the site will provide activities based on each episode to further consolidate learning. All of the programme elements combined will help children form good habits that lead to responsible money management decisions now and into the future.

For more information, please visit www.cha-ching.asia.

Notes to Editors

About the Survey: 'Financial Literacy Among Kids in Asia' conducted by Oracle Added Value

  • Survey, which was conducted from March to May 2011, included over 3,500 parents with kids in school between the ages of seven to 12 years old
  • Interviews were conducted face-to-face
  • Respondents were from the middle 60 per cent income brackets

Survey Highlights

  • Late kindergarten/early primary years are the time when kids start saving money (average age regionally is six; average age in Hong Kong is five)
  • Majority of parents say when it comes to children's day to day money management, they offer advice or do not interfere (74 per cent regionally; 72 per cent in Hong Kong)
  • One in four parents (26 per cent regionally; 8 per cent in Hong Kong) say they would oblige children's request for more money when they ask for it
  • Parents say kids already have a habit of saving (59 per cent regionally; 74 per cent in Hong Kong) based on their parents telling them to save
  • Parents do not regularly track their children's money (38 per cent regionally; 71 per cent in Hong Kong)
  • Parents say their kids understand the importance of helping through donations (59 per cent regionally; 79 per cent in Hong Kong)
  • Parents frequently use TV and print to teach their kids about money matters (61 per cent regionally; 52 per cent in Hong Kong)
  • Very few parents (8 per cent regionally; 12 per cent in Hong Kong) think their kids keep track of their spending

About Prudential Corporation Asia

Prudential Corporation Asia comprises the life insurance, asset management and consumer finance operations of Prudential plc in Asia. Our businesses span 13 markets, covering Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.

In Asia, Prudential is the leading Europe-based life insurer in terms of market coverage and number of top three positions, and has more than 350,000 agents and employees across the region serving over 12 million customers.

Prudential's Asia asset management business is also one of the region's largest and most successful, with operations in ten markets and £52.5 billion in assets under management (as at 30 June 2011).

Prudential facilitates numerous corporate responsibility initiatives in Asia that build value and contribute to the communities across the region. As Prudential's presence across Asia grows, the company continues to engage with its communities through programme that go beyond its business, particularly focusing on the area of financial literacy.

Most notably, Prudential facilitates financial literacy workshops in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam for young, working-age women. Since 2004 over 18,000 women have participated in the programme.  In addition, Prudential also partners with Government and regulators in China to facilitate an insurance education curriculum for public high schools in target cities across the country. Over 8,000 students have participated in the programme since 2007.

For further information: www.prudentialcorporation-asia.com

About Cartoon Network

Cartoon Network, the number one kids' channel in Asia Pacific, offers the best in original animated entertainment while drawing from the world's most iconic cartoon library of Warner Bros., MGM and Hanna-Barbera titles. Original series showcased on Cartoon Network include the globally popular Ben 10, Ben 10 Alien Force, Ben 10 Ultimate Alien, Generator Rex, Chowder, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, The Powerpuff Girls and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack. Cartoon Network is available in 23 territories throughout the Asia Pacific and is currently seen in close to 64 million cable homes in the region. Online, Cartoon Network reaches nearly six million unique visitors a month in Asia Pacific.

Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Inc., a Time Warner company, is a major producer of multiplatform news and entertainment content around the world and the leading provider of programming for the basic cable industry.

About Dr. Alice Wilder

An expert in educational and child psychology, Alice Wilder, Ed.D. has written numerous articles for journals related to the field and frequently presents at national conferences, college and graduate school courses and workshops for parents. Her groundbreaking work was cited in The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell.

For over 10 years, Dr. Wilder worked as a Producer and the Director of Research and Development for Nick Jr.'s Blue's Clues and Developer of Blue's Room. As part of the creative team, she was responsible for all content and creative decisions related to every aspect of the series. In this capacity, she co-authored the curriculum on which Blue's Clues and Blue's Room were based, and wrote scripts, books, educational workbooks, and columns for the magazine and online. Dr. Wilder has been nominated for Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Preschool Children's Series as well as Outstanding Writing in a Children's Series.

Currently Dr. Wilder is Co-Creator and Head of Research and Education for Super Why!, the only preschool property created to help kids learn the fundamentals of reading through interactive storybook adventures. She is also the co-creator of Think It Ink It Publishing, a venture that is designed to promote creative writing for children from the ages of four to 12 years old. In addition, Dr. Wilder is developing a National Science Foundation (NSF) pathways funded pilot with National Geographic Kids Entertainment focusing on water. The goal of the pilot is to provide children aged three to six with the foundational knowledge, skills and habits to become informed scientists and water stewards of the planet.

Note 1: Conducted by Oracle Added Value, June 2011

Media Enquiries:

Jemini Patel
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
+852-2884-8233
jemini.patel@ogilvy.com

Source: Prudential Corporation Asia
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