Building Financial Basics In Your Program

Developing financial skills is an important part of every child's education, and chances are children in your program are already doing this. Every day, children are making choices and learning that people, things, and money have value. These concepts continue to form the foundation for understanding the importance of spending, sharing, and saving. Whether you're in an early childhood program, family child-care program, or school setting, this guide offers simple, fun activities that can easily fit into your daily routines.

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Making Choices Everyday

Learning to make good choices leads to making thoughtful decisions about money. In your program, children are already making many choices. They can choose an activity during free play, select which crayon colors to use, and decide how many building blocks to use.

Through modeling, group discussions, and simple activities, you can help children become aware of how and why they are making certain selections. This awareness can guide them as they grow up and begin to make choices about spending, sharing, and saving money.

People, Things, and Money Have Value

Recognizing the value of things helps children understand what something is worth, or how important something is. It can also help determine how much a person is willing to pay for an item. Children can understand this concept early on because they already have items they value, such as a treasured teddy bear. They can begin to understand the way other people value things, too.

There is also value in working hard and earning money. You may already be exploring this idea through teaching children about community helpers.

Simple Steps to Spending, Saving, and Sharing

Money is a regular part of young children's lives. As an educator, you can help children understand more about money by exploring the ideas of spending, sharing, and saving — basic skills that help people make choices about money. Practicing these skills now will help children learn to be financially responsible with their money as they grow up.