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Children under 7 get insights into money management

Pupils from Ballyoran Primary School with Janine Maher, Country Manager (Northern Ireland) for the Money and Pensions Service and Carol Fitzsimons, MBE, CEO Young Enterprise NI.

Northern Ireland Primary schools to be part of UK wide financial education impact study.

The pandemic has highlighted the importance of money management for all of us and being able to have conversations about money from an early age is more important than ever.

Young Enterprise NI has been supporting teachers and schools to have money management conversations with students for over 20 years, with this recently becoming part of their Young Money brand.

Students from P1 onwards get involved with storytelling activities that help them learn more about money from an early age and being able to distinguish between ‘needs and wants’ based on what they can afford.

The charity is delighted to be selected as one of the delivery partners for the Money and Pensions Service Children and Young People Financial Education Innovation and Evaluation Programme which is taking place across the UK. The £900,000 programme, launched in January, tests innovative ways to deliver meaningful financial education to children and young people across the UK, as part of the MaPS 10-year UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing.

The Evaluation Programme will conduct pilots to develop and test new solutions, and existing but untested interventions, to address unmet need and gaps in financial education provision where there is not yet conclusive evidence on the most effective solutions. The pilots will run until September 2021 and focus on three areas: children under seven, children and young people in vulnerable circumstances, and digital delivery of financial education.

Janine Maher, Country Manager (Northern Ireland) for the Money and Pensions Service said, 

“MaPS’ Financial Education Innovation and Evaluation Programme is all about plugging gaps in evidence and knowledge around what works in financial education to support children and young people throughout childhood, adolescence, and in adulthood. We know that one of the most significant areas of need, with gaps in understanding of what works at the moment is in financial education for children under seven.

“Less than half of children and young people in Northern Ireland report having had a meaningful financial education and, overall, children in Northern Ireland appear to do slightly worse than children in the UK when it comes to financial capability. The financial impact of the Coronavirus pandemic means that it’s even more imperative to find out what interventions are impacting financial education to address some of the long-lasting, adverse effects on the financial wellbeing of today’s children and young people.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Young Enterprise Northern Ireland on their exciting pilot as part of our Innovation Programme and are looking forward to finding out what learnings we can share and build upon to support our national goal of 60,000 more children and young people in Northern Ireland (and two million more across the UK) receiving a meaningful financial education by 2030 as part of our UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing”.

Local schools will work with Young Enterprise to assess the impact of the area of Support for children aged under seven years (i.e. early years and early primary school), key ages for financial capability development but for which there is little existing provision and little evidence about impactful solutions.

Following conclusion of the programme, MaPS will be sharing insights and learning from all pilots with the wider sector.

Talking about the programme, CEO of Young Enterprise NI, Carol Fitzsimons MBE said:

“Sometimes people think that children under 7 are too young to learn about money, yet ask any parent and you’ll realise children know lots about how to spend money. What they are less exposed to, as many transactions are now digital, is an understanding of the processes about earning and saving in order to have money to spend.

“The Young Enterprise programmes support teachers and parents through storytelling and linked activities to explore these teachable moments and help give the young people an insight into how financial choices are made. Even under 7, young people can understand the difference between a ‘need’ and a ‘want’ and help to make choices on family budget spend”.

Over 2,000 young people across Northern Ireland will get involved in financial capability learning from P1 to P3 in order to evaluate the impact that it can have on supporting their foundation understanding of financial management and support to schools to deliver this.

It’s not too late for schools to get involved, if interested contact

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