Matched Savings Plan For Children
The Centre for Social Development (Asia) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) introduced the Matched Savings Plan in September 2008. The study led by Dr Sudha Nair of Social Work Department (NUS) aimed to help children to build up personal savings and learn the importance of preparing for the future with the help of parents and other caring adults in the community. Behavioural changes are desired outcome as young children would be more confident, improve self-esteem and grow more bonded with the community.
CSDA designed the research program, worked closely with the local agencies and concerning partners to implement the scheme. Each month, the child and the parents would deposit $2 and $3 respectively to a bank account set up for the child. All the children would be assigned individual mentors who would contribute $5 a month and encourage them as they participate in this scheme. Appointed community organisations would make a contribution of $30 at the start, and give another one-time bonus of $100 when the savings reached $200.
The two year project engaged 200 parents and children aged 6 to 9 years old who were in second year of kindergarten, Primary 1, or Primary 2, with a household income of between $800 and $1,500 in Teck Ghee Constituency and Admiralty Constituency. The Family Service Center would provide casework and counselling services should it be identified that the family needed it. Through financial literacy programmes, the children acquired and enhanced their decision making skills and learnt the value of planning and saving for one's future.
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