Pru Life UK’s Cha-Ching kicks off Season Two

Three new episodes on budgeting, credit, and investing

7 November 2012/ Manila British life insurer Pru Life UK today launched Season Two of Cha-Ching in Manila, which will feature three new episodes that will introduce the concepts of budgeting, credit, and investing to its young audience. The multi-country, award-winning landmark Financial Literacy for the Youth program of regional headquarters Prudential Corporation Asia (PCA), Cha-Ching aims to broaden the money-smart learning of Asian children using various platforms, including musical cartoon ‘edutainment’ episodes. Season Two’s first episode, “Back to the Budget,” began airing over Cartoon Network on October 30.

From teaching the money cycle of earning, saving, spending and donating in Season One, to introducing new money management concepts in Season Two, Pru Life UK and Hong Kong-based PCA aim to help Asian parents in nurturing money-smart children to grow up as financially savvy adults.

“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 and Corporate Affairs at PCA.

“Our goal is to make Cha-Ching a continuing financial literacy program for the youth in the Philippines. While our school children regularly receive allowances from their parents, majority are not aware of the concepts of budgeting and investing, for example. To them, money is something their parents or elders give – to use how their parents told them to use it, or even sometimes, to use freely, on their own. Through Cha-Ching, we can contribute to the next generation’s development by teaching them money management skills in a fun, entertaining way,” said Pru Life UK President and CEO Antonio Manuel De Rosas.

Cha-Ching Financial Literacy for the Youth Program

Cha-Ching is an award-winning financial literacy program for children. The musical edutainment cartoon series was launched in September 2011 and was released in seven Asian markets – Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. The first multi-country, multi-platform Financial Literacy for the Youth initiative, it was developed in partnership with leading children’s channel Cartoon Network and internationally-renowned children’s education expert Dr. Alice Wilder. The cartoon series is supported by an interactive website and digital applications.

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, the series of 10 three-minute “music videos” with sing-along 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.

The Philippines became the first country to integrate Cha-Ching in the grade school curriculum when the Department of Education (DepEd) signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Pru Life UK last April 2012 to implement the Cha-Ching Financial Literacy for the Youth Program in the 2012-2013 curriculum of two pilot schools – Tagaytay Central School in the Southern Tagalog Region and Upper Bicutan Elementary School in the National Capital Region (NCR) - which will initially run for two years. The Cha-Ching program is currently on its second quarter of implementation in the pilot schools.

Following the partnership with DepEd, the Cha-Ching Financial Literacy for the Youth Program is at present also being implemented in the grade 2 curricula of College of the Immaculate Conception in Cabanatuan, Makati Hope Christian School and Montessori Integrated School – Antipolo. It will also soon be integrated in the syllabi of Hope Christian High School in Manila, Southville International School and Colleges in Las Piñas and St. Paul College Foundation, Inc. in Cebu.

“Cha-Ching is truly at the core of our advocacies in Pru Life UK,” shared Pru Life UK Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Belle Tiongco. “Our financial literacy program fills a gap in our educational system. It is our hope to reach out to as many of the 1.2 million grade 2 youngsters who are waiting to be educated on money smarts.”

Across the region, Cha-Ching has received tremendous support with more than 15,000 children and educators benefiting from the programme to date. Non-government organizations (NGOs) such as Junior Achievement have organized Cha-Ching programs 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 traveling 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. 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,” said PCA’s Mr. Rach.

Season Two

For Season Two, three new episodes aiming to build children’s understanding of the concepts of budgeting, credit and investing will be aired in the next few months. On October 30, the first new Cha-Ching episode, “Back to the Budget,” started airing over Cartoon Network. 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, was launched on the website 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 PCA survey, Financial Literacy in Children, conducted in August 2012 by research specialists Cimigo among children aged seven to 12 in Hong Kong and the Philippines 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 while Filipino children are generally not clueless about budgeting, they tend to go with what their parents tell them to do – save half their allowance, and spend the rest. Saving is a means to obtain their “wants” – big items such as gadgets, shoes, bags and clothes – rather than a way to grow and multiply money. While the majority will save to buy the things they want, a number of them request their parents or grandparents to purchase the items for them. In addition, most children have “limited knowledge of credit cards and minimal exposure to online transactions.”

“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.

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

-ends-

About Pru Life UK

Established in 1996, Pru Life UK is a subsidiary of British financial services giant Prudential plc. Pru Life UK is the pioneer and current market leader of unit-linked or investment-linked life insurance products, and is one of the first life insurance companies approved to market US dollar-denominated unit-linked policies in the country. Pru Life UK is a life insurance company and is not engaged in the business of selling pre-need plans.

Pru Life UK and Prudential plc are not affiliated with Prudential Financial, Inc. (a US-registered company), Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company, Prudentialife Plans, Inc. or Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc. (all Philippine-registered companies).

Pru Life UK is a member of the Philippine Life Insurance Association.

For more information: www.prulifeuk.com.ph

About Cha-Ching

Produced in cooperation with the Cartoon Network, the leading children’s channel in Asia Pacific, and with the expertise of Dr. Alice Wilder, an expert in educational and child psychology, ¬Cha-Ching takes an engaging and age-appropriate musical narrative approach to teach children about four key fundamental money management concepts – Earn, Save, Spend and Donate.

Cha-Ching addresses findings from its June 2011 survey, which showed that parents want to educate their children on money management using fun, interesting and catchy tools. It was rolled-out in seven Prudential markets across Asia: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines in September 2011.

Cha-Ching is a series of three-minute animated television musical episodes for children aged seven to 12 years old that were produced by and aired over the Cartoon Network. Other elements of the programme include a website (www.cha-ching.com) with games and applications featuring real-life money management scenarios, online resources and activity plans which parents and teachers alike can work through with children and a mobile application for iPod touch, iPhone and iPad users that helps children track their money cycle. To date, the website has received more than 40 million page views, with visitors spending an average of 15 minutes on the site.In 2012, local language versions of the first ten episodes were made available online in Bahasa Indonesia, and will be produced in Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai within the year.

Cha-Ching has gained international recognition as an exemplary programme for promoting effective financial literacy in the communities it serves. It was named Education Program of the Year in the Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Awards in Orlando (April 2012), and was honored as the Best Interstitial Series (Educational) in the Cynopsis: Kids!magination Awards in New York (June 2012).In Asia, Cha-Ching received the Certificate of Excellence (Corporate Social Responsibility) in the Campaign PR Awards 2011 (March 2012) and the Award for the Most Innovative Financial Education Programme by the Institute of Financial Planners Hong Kong (September 2012).

About Prudential Corporation Asia

Prudential Corporation Asia is a business unit of Prudential plc**, comprising its life insurance operations, and its asset management business, Eastspring Investments. Prudential is a leading life insurer that spans 13 markets in Asia, covering Cambodia***, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. With more than 400,000 agents across the region, Prudential has a robust multi-channel distribution platform providing a comprehensive range of savings, investment and protection products.

Prudential facilitates numerous corporate responsibility initiatives in Asia that build value and contribute to the communities across the region. Most notably, Prudential facilitates financial literacy workshops in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam for young, working-age women. Since 2004, over 34,000 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 43,000 students have participated in the programme since 2007.

**Prudential plc is listed on the stock exchanges of London (PRU.L), Hong Kong (2378.HK), Singapore (K6S.SG) and New York (PUK.N). Prudential plc is not affiliated or related in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc. a company whose principal place of business is in the United States.

***received in-principle approval of insurance license

For more information: www.prudentialcorporation-asia.com

 

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