Publication Date



The United Kingdom introduced the Child Trust Fund (CTF) policy, a children’s savings policy, in 2002. a focus group study conducted on parental attitudes to the CTF (Prabhakar, 2006, 2007) identified main reasons why CTF accounts were left unopened. This paper explores different ways that non-opening of accounts might be reduced. One strategy draws upon recent developments in behavioral economics and points to different ways that the CTF may be designed. an alternative strategy emphasises the role of financial education of parents as a way of addressing their concerns and increasing the opening rates of these accounts. The paper also considers another issue raised during the focus groups, namely parental unhappiness with the treatment of older siblings denied a CTF. This is part of a broader concern about the additional help that may be needed for children from particular backgrounds.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building


Subsequent publication: Prabhakar, R. (2010). The Child Trust Fund in the UK: How might opening rates by parents be increased? Children & Youth Services Review, 32(11), 1544–1547. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2010.03.016

Original Citation

Prabhakar, R. (2009). The Child Trust Fund in the UK: Policy challenges and potential responses (CSD Working Paper No. 09-56). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


CDA Symposium, child development account, CDA, Child Trust Fund, United Kingdom, child savings, financial education, social policy, focus group