Asset Building Report

Annual Report on the Head Start Family Financial Capability Program: 2015–2016

This report presents results from a mixed-methods evaluation of the third year of implementation of a financial-capability program with Head Start families in the St. Louis, Missouri, metropolitan area: The Head Start Family Financial Capability (HSFFC) Program. The program combined savings incentives, budget and credit counseling, and one-on-one coaching with 10 hours of financial education on debt management, banking, budgeting, saving, and credit. The results reported here come from analyses of data on 339 adult program participants from Head Start families, 107 Head Start staff who participated in the program, and administrators and staff implementing the program at Head Start sites. The analyses of Year-3 quantitative data suggest that participants’ understanding of core financial concepts, financial attitudes, and financial behavior increased after participation. Qualitative results indicated that participants gained insight on effective ways to recruit participants and connect to resources. Participants identified a shift toward a financial oasis: The HSFFC Program helped their center to make a cultural shift toward increased openness to discuss money management and financial goals. Also included are results from analysis of survey data from a subset of participants pursuing higher education. Results suggest that their status as student-parents exposed them to heightened levels of financial stress, including stress over student loan debt.

Project: ASSET Project


Curley, J., & Robertson, A. S. (2017). Annual report on the Head Start Family Financial Capability Program: 2015–2016 (CSD Research Report No. 17-32). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.