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Evaluation of Campaign for Learning’s ‘Love Learning about Money Together’ pilot

Evidence type: Evaluation i

Description of the programme

The Children and Young People Financial Education Innovation and Evaluation Programme was commissioned by the Money and Pensions Service in October 2020. It aimed to address gaps in the wider understanding of effective financial education by developing and evaluating new, innovative solutions or by evaluating existing but untested interventions.

Campaign for Learning (part of NCFE)’s Love Learning about Money Together (LLAM) programme was one of seven pilot projects funded and was one of three that focused on children under seven years. In recognition of the important role parents play in developing their children’s understanding and awareness of managing money, the LLAM pilot aimed to enable parents to understand the importance of starting young when talking to children about money, and their role in influencing children’s attitudes and behaviours towards money.

The pilot aimed to develop a scalable proof-of-concept model to improve the financial capabilities of families of children under seven years old.

The programme reached 102 practitioners through online training workshops, and 141 parents.

The study

Ecorys conducted a developmental, process and outcomes project-level evaluation of Love Learning about Money Together between January-September 2021. In summary, the evaluation aimed to investigate:

  • the extent to which the programme increased practitioners’ awareness of the importance of starting young when talking to children about money
  • whether the pilot assists practitioners to support parents/carers to learn the importance of starting young when talking to children about money, through increased confidence, knowledge and ability, and, supports whole family financial capability development and
  • the difference participation in Love Learning about Money Together made for practitioners, parents, and children.

The evaluation took a mixed methods approach, collecting quantitative data (via a three-point pre, post, and follow-up survey with practitioners and a pre and post survey with parents/carers) and qualitative data (via in-depth interviews with practitioners and Campaign for Learning’s stakeholders).The practitioners’ survey received 59 pre responses, 40 post responses, and 23 follow-up responses. The parents’ survey received 21 pre responses and four post responses. The post survey was completed immediately following training.

There were 12 interviews with practitioners, three delivery lead interviews at the start of the project and two at the end, and one reflective session with two members of the project team.

Key findings

Pilot Outcomes

  • The evaluation identified a significant change in practitioner confidence after delivering or considering delivering LLAM compared to pre-training and immediately following training. A key enabler was the informal nature of the programme, which helped to remove any stigma around talking about money with parents/carers.· Practitioners with low levels of confidence in delivering family financial capability programmes reported feeling more confident after delivering Love Learning about Money Together.
  • There was some evidence to suggest the pilot influenced particular practitioners’ mindsets towards starting conversations about everyday spending and the use of money with children at a younger age, helped reinforce positive attitudes to financial education for children for some practitioners and provided new, fun ways to engage families. Key enablers included the flexibility of the resources for different learners and settings, and the quality of resources.
  • The pilot appeared to have positively influenced parents/carers’ views of the importance of financial education and raised awareness of the value of supporting children to think about what to do with their money at a younger age.
  • A small proportion of practitioners engaged felt less confident delivering online. The additional support provided by Campaign for Learning so that practitioners could observe Campaign for Learning-led sessions, and in some cases, Campaign for Learning delivered sessions on behalf of practitioners, helped mitigate this issue.
  • There was evidence to suggest that peer support and the informal, fun nature of the pilot helped to reduce stigma around talking about money, for both parents and practitioners. The focus on parents/carers learning with and through their children also enhanced this aspect.
  • There was some indicative evidence on anticipated outcomes for children around increasing their understanding and awareness of key concepts relating to money, such as saving, and needs versus wants.

Pilot implementation

  • The engagement target for practitioner training was met (102 practitioners trained), and the pilot outputs were developed and digitised as planned.
  • The target number of parents/carers reached was not met due to delivery delays stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the reluctance among some practitioners and parents to take-up digital options, preferring to wait until face-to-face delivery could be resumed.
  • Familiarisation training, via online training workshops, introduced practitioners to the core sessions and resources. The evaluation suggests that familiarisation training may need to be integrated into future delivery (rather than being optional), to ensure all practitioners are familiar with resources prior to delivery. · Stakeholders interviewed suggested that a six-month design and development phase would ideally be required to allow sufficient time for consultation, development, review and refinement. This would allow for greater involvement from delivery partners and parents/carers in content design.
  • The evaluation noted the importance of focusing on flexibility in resource design and development, and explicitly seeking practitioner feedback, to ensure that resources can be adapted for use across settings and contexts. Findings around the advantages of flexible delivery models and blending physical and digital resources potentially offer valuable insights for future delivery of related programmes and approaches.
  • Activities involving physical and arts and crafts elements were seen to be particularly valuable in engaging parents/carers and children. It may be beneficial to consider how families can be provided with ‘starter kits’ to ensure they can engage with such approaches in the home environment. In particular, parent/carer budgets need to be considered, given that practitioners reported this as a potential barrier to participation.
  • Timelines and practitioners’ lack of confidence to deliver sessions online proved to be challenges for implementation. Campaign for Learning were responsive in introducing alternative delivery models to overcome practitioners’ barriers to delivering the pilot.
  • Practitioner feedback indicated it may be worth including additional practical support into the delivery of related programme in different settings, ensuring practitioners can view resources in advance and see demonstrations of different programme elements, such as the home learning activities. Ongoing peer support may also help to reinforce learning, encourage the sharing of best practice, and help practitioners identify what works well in different settings and contexts.
  • Practitioners largely worked solely or predominantly with parents/carers, rather than whole families, but findings from this pilot evaluation around the benefits of parents/carers learning together with their children, for example in reducing stigma, suggest there is potential for practitioners to expand their delivery through family-based sessions. One suggestion was to split sessions into parent/carer only content and family-based activities which involve children.

Points to consider

  • Methodological strengths/weaknesses: Barriers, including delivery timelines, meant that many practitioners had not yet delivered all the core content of LLAM by the time they completed the follow-up survey. This meant many practitioners had limited experience of using LLAM and this may have impacted on the extent to which they felt LLAM had changed their abilities to support parents/carers to talk to their children about money (i.e., through increased confidence, knowledge and ability).
  • Generalisability/ transferability: The flexible programme design means that it could be well placed for transferability to other family learning settings and parenting support programmes, particularly in the UK.
  • Relevance: This intervention relates to supporting parents to talk to children about money, as part of supporting the development of financial capability.
  • This study will be of interest to people developing practitioner-led financial interventions which are aimed at young people and their families.

Key info

Activities and setting
The Love Learning About Money Together pilot involved consultation with practitioners on the design and content of the programme; the creation of resources; the delivery of short training workshops to practitioners across 5 core sessions; and ‘extension activities’ (e.g. home learning activities). All resources were available online via Padlet, enabling the project team to update without disruption.
Measured outcomes
Programme delivered by
Campaign for Learning (CfL). In 2020, the charity was acquired by NCFE.
Year of publication
England, Scotland, Wales
Contact information