Early childhood education and development have a tremendous impact on life outcomes
Early childhood education is about honing and molding holistic children, which will eventually form the basis of their lifelong journey. Early financial and entrepreneurship education builds strong lives, families, and communities.
The importance of early childhood development and education
The greatest and most enduring benefits of a major investment in childhood education are those stemming from its direct impact on children. The evidence is clear: Children with high-quality early childhood educational opportunities grow up to be more likely to work and less likely to interact with the criminal justice system. They grow up in better health and earn higher wages. They pay more taxes and draw on fewer government resources. While many of these benefits only become apparent once the first wave of children enter adulthood, these benefits are significant - and they persist and grow in successive generations so long as the investment effort is maintained.
The importance of early childhood experiential learning
Experiential learning brings together observation, creativity, and active interactions into early years education. It allows children to see a purpose and encourages them to be exploratory, expressive and communicative and to enjoy their learning experience. They pursue their own areas of interest and they work through problems when they arise in real-life situations. With financial and entrepreneurship education, experiential learning is extremely important because it lets children experience the realities of ‘failure’ while learning how to overcome setbacks and challenges. Children will feel pride and confidence when they eventually find ways to overcome those failures and achieve the goals they set for themselves.
The importance of early childhood financial education
Research shows that children are “developmentally capable” of saving by age three to five. A money bank and/or savings account gives them a hands-on way to build a savings mindset that may lead to acquiring a taste for financial planning that lasts well into adulthood. The same research shows that children who grew up with a savings account were more likely to hold diverse asset portfolios and to accumulate more savings as young adults. Children also learn financial skills more efficiently and benefit when they have opportunities to make their own financial decisions, while still receiving guidance and support.
The Importance of youth entrepreneurship education
Early exposure to business and entrepreneurship education can play a vital role in developing the characteristics that are critical to becoming not only a successful entrepreneur but also an effective worker and employee. Self-confidence, autonomy, a strong work ethic, ambition, empathy, and “an internal locus of control” are essential characteristics of an entrepreneur and employee, giving them the drive and personal ability to make their goals a reality. Teaching young children business and entrepreneurship skills can increase innovative thinking skills, self-control and self-esteem, yet, seldom are these skills taught to children prior to college.
Why are practical hands-on learning and real-life experiences over many years vital?
Experts say knowledge-based classroom instruction, online courses, programs, video games, educational events and seminars are useful but alone, are insufficient. Early age practical hands-on engagement using real money and finances on a daily basis over many years is crucial to positive behavior formation, lasting outcomes, and true impact.
Early childhood engagement and education is vital
Early childhood development and education are vital to positive learning outcomes.
Krista Neeley - Vice President - Appreciation Financial
Teaching children from a young age about the importance of spending, saving, and earning provides an empowering baseline for their growing into financially responsible adults. Starting young means building a healthy relationship with money beginning at age 3.
Cambridge University - United Kingdom
Studies show that most children's financial habits are formed by the age of seven. Children grasp all the main aspects of how money works. They form the core behaviors which they will take into adulthood and which will affect the financial decisions they make during the rest of their lives.
Elaine Weiss - National Coordinator - Bolder Approach to Education
High-quality child care and early childhood education have substantive, long-lasting benefits for children and for society at large. Children who have had these opportunities early in life go on to do better in school and eventually do better in the labor market.
Knowledge-based instruction and games are useful but insufficient
Knowledge-based classroom instruction, online courses, programs, video games, educational events and seminars are useful but insufficient as the sole means of delivering effective education and therefore lasting outcomes.
Kate Stokes - Director of Financial Planning - J.E. Wilson Advisors
Like most life skills, learning financial literacy is cumulative. You can't expect a high school student to take a semester-long course in economics and come out financially literate. Literacy knowledge is important, but without real-world application, that knowledge is stale and not committed to long-term memory.
Vince Shrob - CEO - National Financial Educators Council
Nationwide testing demonstrates that the average person lacks the basic financial knowledge he or she needs to make qualified financial decisions. Testing is just an indicator of content knowledge. But unlike other subject matters taught in school, financial literacy requires more than just understanding the content. It requires learners to be able to adjust their daily financial behaviors and have enough knowledge to make confident decisions.
Alicia Dowd - Director - Center for Urban Education USC
Educational researchers emphasize the importance of active learning and projects with real-world problems - this applies to learning financial concepts as well. You simply cannot learn what it's like to manage your own money in a classroom or with a game and so I underscore the importance of practical experience with financial education.
Practical education with real Money is crucial
Knowledge-based education is important, but practical hands-on engagement is crucial to positive behavior formation and effective learning.
Richard Thaler - Professor of Behavioral Science and Economics
It's naive to think that we could give high school students one financial course and then make them financially literate consumers. Consumers must learn budgeting and savings as early as possible.
Andreas Schleicher - Education Director OECD
The best way of teaching financial literacy is not necessarily by instruction in the classroom. Far more important indicators of proficiency are a personal experience with financial products. The volume of exposure to financial literacy in the classroom has no relationships with performance. That is very different for math or science teachings.
Laura Ewing - CEO Texas Council of Economic Education
Financial literacy isn't about the theory, it's about the practical - the information children will learn that will actually give them the knowledge and resources to make astute decisions around credit cards, car loans, home loans and budgeting.