Prudential's Award-winning Financial Literacy Programme For Children Launches "Season Two"

"Cha-Ching" adds three new episodes to focus on budgeting, credit and investing
Asia - 30 October 2012

Prudential Corporation Asia ("Prudential") today announced the launch of Season Two of its award-winning Cha-Ching programme featuring three new episodes that will focus on budgeting, credit and investing with the first episode, "Back to the Budget", airing on Cartoon Network on 30th October. Together with the initial 10 episodes, the programme builds on Prudential's commitment to enhance financial literacy among children in Asia, making them better prepared with sound money management skills to meet the challenges ahead.

"Asian children lack the opportunity to learn and practice the concepts of 'earning' and 'budgeting', as they rely heavily on parents to meet their money needs. We live in an increasingly sophisticated financial environment and it is critical that our next generation acquires well-rounded financial skills and practical experience from an early age," said Sean Rach, Regional Director of Brand & Corporate Affairs at Prudential Corporation Asia.

Financial Education for Children – Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids

The global financial crisis made one thing clear: consumers are in need of greater financial literacy. Against the backdrop of rising affluence in Asia, healthy financial habits are even more critical for families.

In an effort to address this need, Prudential launched an innovative financial education programme for children, Cha-Ching Money Smart Kids, in September 2011 that is broadcast on TV and supported by an interactive website and digital applications.

Cha-Ching is currently aired in seven Asian countries on Cartoon Network, the number one children's channel in Asia. As a corporate social responsibility initiative, Cha-Ching sought to engage with children aged seven to 12 using a unique musical edutainment approach. In Season One, launched in 2011, the series of 10 three-minute "music videos" with sing-a-long subtitles, taught children about four key money management concepts – Earn, Save, Spend and Donate – through a band of six characters, each with a relatable personality and a different approach to money.

Over the last year, Cha-Ching has received tremendous support across the region with more than 15,000 children and educators benefiting from the programme to-date. In April 2012, the Philippines' Department of Education signed a Memorandum of Agreement to incorporate Cha-Ching into the curriculum of public primary schools, and NGOs such as Junior Achievement have organised Cha-Ching workshops for children in Hong Kong and Thailand. Cha-Ching's influence has even extended into the skies with Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia incorporating the episodes into their in-flight entertainment content for travelling families.

"We are delighted to see the positive response to Cha-Ching from educators and parents across Asia, giving them a unique tool that helps address an unmet financial education need," said Mr. Rach. "To date, this programme has helped thousands of children and parents discuss and learn about the fundamental money concepts, and we are committed to continuing our efforts in enhancing financial literacy in Asia."

The Next Phase of Cha-Ching

Starting today, Prudential will begin adding three new episodes aiming to build children's understanding of the concepts of budgeting, credit and investing. In Season Two of Cha-Ching, the first of the new episodes, "Back to the Budget", will begin airing on 30th October. The second episode teaching children how credit cards work will air in December 2012. The last episode introducing the key principles of investing will premiere in January 2013. The episodes air daily on weekdays after school and on weekend mornings.

Children's questions answered in the new episodes include:

  • How can I plan so I do not spend more money than I have?
  • How does a credit card work? Is it free money?
  • What is another way to save? How does investing work?

In addition, a new online game, Cha-Ching Saver World Tour, will be launched on the website today to encourage children to learn through play.

Helping Children Gain Well-rounded Money Management Skills

The new episodes were developed in response to findings from a new Prudential survey, Financial Literacy in Children, conducted in August 2012 by research specialists Cimigo among children* in Hong Kong and the Philippines aged seven to 12 to assess their understanding and habits when it comes to using and managing money. The results showed there is a need for more education to build responsible money management skills in children.

The survey found that although pocket money is often making its way into children's wallets and children have developed good saving and spending habits, they lack the opportunity to learn and practice the important concepts of "earning" and budgeting", as they rely heavily on parents to meet their money needs.

"Asian parents tend to be overprotective of their children. But too much leniency in handing out pocket money or meeting their purchasing desires could be a missed opportunity to teach children sound money management skills, and to practice 'delayed gratification'. Parents need to balance their need to indulge their children with teaching them lifelong money skills that will be important for their future," Dr. Timothy Leung, registered psychologist specialising in child development and Founding Member of the Association of Psychological and Educational Counsellors of Asia.

*Face-to-face interviews with 206 children that were conducted at extracurricular classes

For more about Cha-Ching, please visit: www.cha-ching.com

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