Publication Date



Holding assets is increasingly acknowledged as yielding positive effects and enhancing opportunities. In Assets and the Poor, Sherraden proposed that Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) should be opened for every person from birth in order to provide them with the lifetime potential to accumulate assets and to experience the effects of assets from a young age. a few countries have recently implemented or are proposing policies that build assets for every child starting from birth. Among these countries are Singapore, the United Kingdom, Canada, Korea, and the United States. The purposes and strategies adopted by each country are distinctive. This paper provides an overview of the Children Savings Account policies and proposals in these five countries and explicates some of their key elements.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building

Original Citation

Loke, V., & Sherraden, M. (2006). Building assets from birth: A comparison of the policies and proposals on children savings accounts in Singapore, the United Kingdom, Canada, Korea, and the United States (CSD Working Paper No. 06-14). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


Global Assets Project


CDA, child savings account, child development account, GAP, comparative perspective, child savings, international, social policy