The Singapore government announced on March 24 that it significantly expanded Child Development Accounts as of that date. The expansion is an automatic deposit into the CDAs of all newborns in the amount of S$3,000, which is US$2,220 at current exchange rates.
The purpose is to make CDAs fully inclusive, so that all babies are building assets.
Singapore already had the most extensive asset-building policies for children and youth of any country. “This expansion of CDAs, in itself, eclipses the asset-building policy for children of any other country,” said Center for Social Development (CSD) Director Michael Sherraden, who was in Singapore during the announcement.
The focus of CDAs in Singapore, as with much of its social policy, is on human development. These are funds intended to support development and education of the child. Other child development initiatives were also announced March 24 in Singapore’s annual budget message, including plans for intensive early childhood education for all children.
Sherraden is the S.R. Nathan Distinguished Visiting Professor of Social Work at National University of Singapore (NUS). CSD has a sister Center for Social Development Asia at NUS, and Washington University has a special partnership in social innovation with NUS called Next Age Institute.