Evaluation Scotland Wales
The UK Strategy for Financial Wellbeing is taking forward the work of the Financial Capability Strategy Opens in a new window


Evaluation of Talk, Learn, Do: a financial capability intervention for parents

Evidence type: Evaluation i

Description of the programme

As the Money Advice Services seeks to help children and young-people receive well-delivered financial education, the importance of parents in their children’s financial capability development has been repeatedly highlighted. Between January 2016 and May 2017, the Money Advice Service piloted Talk, Learn, Do (TLD) in Wales, a 2-hour parenting intervention intended to encourage parents of 3-11-year olds to talk to their children about money and create opportunities for their children to experience managing money. The overall aim of TLD was to help parents improve children’s financial capability so that they are equipped to manage their money well in the future. It intended to fill a significant gap in evidence around what might work to support parents in helping children learn about money in the home.

The study

The process evaluation aimed to understand how Talk, Learn, Do (TLD) is being delivered on the ground, and to understand how delivery could be improved in the future. Multiple sets of in-depth interviews, observations and training evaluation forms were delivered to participants and practitioners to understand how TLD could be improved.

The impact evaluation then aimed to measure the impact of the TLD module on parents’ attitudes and behaviours by comparing any differences in the levels of change in views of parents who attended a TLD module with a similar group of parents who attended the parenting programme but did not attend a TLD module. 138 Talk, Learn, Do participants and a control group of 130 took part in the survey over a 12-month period.

Researchers tracked the differences in the levels of change between the two groups. If the views of the TLD group had changed considerably between the pre-survey and 6-month or 12-month survey, and the views of the control group had not, this would indicate that the TLD course content had had a positive impact.

Key findings

When compared to the control group at the 12-month survey, researchers found the following among those who received treatment.

Talk - Willingness to talk to children about finances:

  • Children are more likely to be included in basic family spending discussions than the control group by 12% (38% compared to 26% in the control group).
  • Parents discuss the fact that companies try to sell them things through adverts with their children 14% more often than the control group.

Learn - Belief in children’s financial understanding:

  • The percentage of parents who felt their child understood why they were sometimes told they couldn’t buy something for ‘the sake of saving up to buy something better’ increased by 14% (25% compared to 11% in the control group).
  • Parents believe they can start teaching their children the importance of saving at a younger age than the control group by 14%.

DO - Ability of children to handle money:

  • Parents knowledge on how to talk to their children about money increased by an additional 14%.
  • The prevalence of parents giving their children pocket money increased by an additional 13% (31% compared to 18% in the control group).
  • Children are believed to be able to manage their own money day-to-day without supervision earlier than the control group by 13%.

Points to consider

Methodological limitations:

  • Other factors, separate from Talk, Learn, Do, including financial education from other sources or example behaviour from peers may have impacted observed behavioural changes.
  • Other family members or adults may also impact the financial socialisation of children rather than the parent who attended Talk, Learn, Do.
  • Sample attrition may have been a result of multiple surveys.

Transferability / Generalisability:

  • Lessons learned by this programme would be of value to other practitioners operating in the field of parent/child financial education.
  • The findings from the evaluation are overwhelmingly positive and show that TLD was effective in meeting its objectives. These positive findings add substantially to the financial capability evidence base and help fill current evidence gaps, particularly for interventions targeting families.

Key info

Client group
Activities and setting
Talk, Learn, Do is a 2-hour parenting intervention in Wales intended to encourage parents of 3-11 year olds to talk to their children about money and create opportunities for their children to experience managing money.
Programme delivered by
The Money Advice Service and Big Lottery Wales
Year of publication
Contact information

IFF Research and Belmana Consulting