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OSU Extension

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences



Pre-and Post- Tests for Providers

Teacher Resources



As children begin to form opinions and preferences they are specifically targeted by marketing and commercials. Smart Start  is comprised of 4 lessons which provide a foundation of financial concepts and vocabulary for children to build on as they grow and develop.

Behavior experts from the University of Cambridge reviewed previous studies to determine how children learn in general, and how they learn about money in particular. They concluded that money habits are typically formed early in childhood.

Several FCS Educators in Ohio were addressing financial literacy with the K-2 audience and their parents.  We identified a need to make similar information available on a more fundamental level for preschoolers and their families.


Smart Start Teaching Preschoolers about Money is an educational curriculum, developed by OSU Extension Educators designed to teach children ages 3-5 about the beginning concepts of money.  It is intended to be used as a train-the-trainer material for child care providers.  It explores such questions as “What is money?” and “What do we do with it?” 

Parents extend learning in the home by reinforcing concepts with additional activities and by reading recommended books to their children noted on the “ Tips for Parents” handout. 

The goal is to have financial habits of spending, saving and sharing formed before the age of 7.  We can encourage that by suggesting books for parents to read, conversations to have and simple activities to do that encourage conversations about money and the choices we have to use it.  



Session participants will learn how to use  Smart Start lessons to provide training for both center based and in home providers. Topics include:

1.Money Awareness
2.Spending Money
3.Sharing with others
4.Saving Money