Cha-Ching – instilling financial literacy

We have a long-standing commitment to financial literacy and Cha-Ching, a pioneering financial education programme for children, was launched first in Asia in 2011 by the Prudence Foundation. It is a multimedia programme built around musical cartoons, to help parents instil money-smart skills in children aged seven to 12. The Cha-Ching programme now reaches 26 million households a day, is available in nine languages and has expanded to three continents, including the US and Africa. Prudential has always seen it as a priority to educate and inform and to ensure that the next generation has the necessary tools to make informed choices. This programme is designed for the digital-savvy child of the 21st century.

The programme, developed with the Cartoon Network and children’s education specialist Dr Alice Wilder, has become one of the top-rated children’s television shows in Asia and gained international recognition for promoting financial literacy.

Through the Cha-Ching School Contact programme, we also work with schoolchildren across Asia to improve their financial knowledge and capabilities. To date, the programme has reached 157,000 schoolchildren in nine countries. We are now working with Junior Achievement to develop a standardised school curriculum for Cha-Ching.

In the Philippines, the Ministry of Education has made the Cha-Ching financial literary programme part of the public school curriculum for Grade 2 and 3 students. In 2014, more than 200 educators from the public sector attended the first Cha-Ching Educators Congress on Financial Literary, held in collaboration with the Department of Education.

The principal of a school in the Philippines said: ‘Cha-Ching opened our minds… it is not enough that our pupils know the content of every textbook in the curriculum. They have to be money-wise and that's where Cha-Ching entered and played an important role in changing the minds of our pupils and even our teaching force. Financial literacy is an important skill that our kids can now have to function as better citizens of our country. We thank you for bringing Cha-Ching to our school.’

Cha-Ching has also gained huge momentum in Malaysia. The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tan Sri Dato’ Haji Muhyiddin Haji Mohd Yassin, who is also the Minister of Education, commented: ‘Prudential’s initiatives are complementing the Ministry of Education’s efforts to promote financial literary and instil the right values in our children, which will go a long way in creating a Malaysian society that is both financially savvy and responsible’.

In Cambodia, Cha-Ching has been endorsed by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports for its educational values and been approved for further dissemination in the region.

In the US, Cha-Ching was successfully launched in Rhode Island on the public television station, Rhode Island PBS. Social media was a component of the launch, emphasising the partnership with Jackson and the educational value of Cha-Ching. Plans are in place to model the success of Rhode Island PBS in other markets. Molly Garrison, Director of Development at Rhode Island PBS, said: ‘Thanks to the support of Jackson, Rhode Island PBS has been able to broadcast the Cha-Ching financial literacy learning episodes into 1.5 million households. It is never too early to begin financial empowerment lessons; preschoolers are ready to learn the difference between wants, needs and the basics of pricing. Teaching money choices including Earn, Save, Spend and Donate, help families reach their goals. The better educated Rhode Island's students are about their finances, the stronger financial citizens they will become.’

In Africa, we are introducing Cha-Ching through a literacy programme designed to improve access to information and activities that support the growing and critical need for financial literacy education for African youth. The programme will ensure students acquire critical and essential financial concepts to help them make wise money management decisions. They will use the different platforms that the Cha-Ching programme offers to consolidate and enhance their learning, and will also benefit from our employee volunteers’ personal and professional experience.

Programme reached 157,000 school children in nine countries