Kids’ financial literacy in focus as new school program kicks off

“This scares me. I’m worried they’ll start tapping. I will try to make sure they only withdraw minimal amounts attached to a card. They have not gone through any money programs. It would be really beneficial for them right now while they are still in high school.”

Ecstra CEO Caroline Stewart says ensuring better access to quality, independent financial education is critical.

The prevalence of tap and play payments has some parents concerned about their children’s perceptions of money.Credit:Louise Kennerly

“In a challenging economic climate with rising cost of living concerns; Giving young people basic money skills at certain key stages of life will help them now and prepare them for their financial future,” she said.

The latest HILDA report published by the University of Melbourne found that there are worrying declines in financial literacy among the Australian population, and these are most pronounced among young people.

Ecstra’s workshops are aligned with the Australian Curriculum and the National Framework for Consumer and Financial Education, and are delivered free of charge. They are taught by trained facilitators in person in the classroom, without commercial links or promotion of products involved.

Feedback from students and teachers has been very positive, with 88% of teachers saying their students’ knowledge of money improved after attending the workshops.

“The course content aims to engage students of different ages and backgrounds. Years five and six begin with ‘talking about money,’ such as having conversations about money, learning how to develop saving habits, the difference between needs and wants, and digitizing money,” adds Stewart.

The older years cover the many influences on spending, available payment options, and strategies for setting and reaching your financial goals.

Allan Dougan, chief executive of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers (AAMT) and a member of the advisory group, said financial education is an essential part of learning for young people and something we need to do well.

“Programs like talk about money enable students to explore the financial thinking and decision-making required in their complex world. Teachers can choose the resources and workshops that best fit their schedules and student needs.”

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