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Financial capability of parents of kindergarteners

Mahasweta M. Banerjee, Terri Friedline and Barbara J. Phipps

Children and Youth Services Review, 2017, vol. 81, issue C, 178-187

Abstract: Financial capability is generally conceptualized as the ability and the opportunity to save, borrow, and invest money in the mainstream economy. But, many families struggle with finding work, saving money, and accessing credit. Thus, it is important to build families' financial capability to enhance their well-being in an economy in which low incomes and unstable employment are becoming commonplace and families are having to make do with less. In order to better understand how to support families' financial capability, this study elicited perspectives on barriers to and enhancers of financial capability through an online survey and in-depth interview with 32 parents of kindergarten children from a mid-sized, Midwestern city. Some parents identified raising young children as a barrier to aspects of their financial capability, and to care for their children many parents were making tradeoffs between working, paying for childcare, and related money management matters. Parents' also reported barriers to finding paid work, earning adequate and stable income, and saving money. In addition to children transitioning to adulthood, some parents believed that having better employment opportunities, earning more income, better money management strategies, lower health insurance premiums, and completing higher education might enhance their financial capability. Theory, and policy considerations are discussed, and emphasize incorporating income-generating work in conceptualizing financial capability, and opportunities to support families with young children by creating steady well-paying secure jobs, providing universal low- or no-cost childcare, and shoring up safety net programs.

Keywords: Financial capability; Parents; Children; Poverty; Employment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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