The goal of this financial research project is to find out if setting goals and having access to financial literacy information can help improve financial outcomes. As part of this project, UW-Madison Division of Extension gathers survey information from Head Start families who agree to participate. A baseline survey is given out in fall, and a second follow-up survey is given out in Spring.
Extension staff gives each survey a code, then removes the contact information from the survey so that an individual’s responses will not be matched with their name or address. Extension then enters information from the coded survey into a confidential database. Contact Peggy Olive for more information on coding and recording the surveys.
Here is the pre survey and contact information form, information letter and pre survey in Spanish) that should be used for Head Start families. (Edit for correct dates when you are ready to hand it out.) The longer version of the consent form and pre survey were used to collect initial data on this project, but have now been replaced with the short-form.
Surveys can be distributed to families in a variety of ways. In general, having personal contact with each household is helpful for explaining the project and ensuring that surveys are completed.
- Surveys could be sent home with children or mailed directly to the home.
- Head Start staff could distribute surveys during home or classroom visits with parents. This Head Start staff survey checklist may be used by the Head Start staff when sharing the survey with families.
- Extension staff could ask families to complete a survey at a family night or open house.
Additional educator resources available on Sharepoint.
Between the first and second survey (a time interval of 6-8 months), participating families could receive financial capability-building services through the UW-Madison Division of Extension in up to three forms (1) newsletters, (2) workshops, and (3) financial coaching. The same questions are asked on both the first and second survey so that we can compare any changes in financial practices, knowledge, and confidence that might have occurred during the school year. These comparisons will give us insight into which, if any, of this financial information and support has been useful for families.
This Money $tart for Head Start Financial Post Survey (financial survey in Spanish) should be distributed near the end of the school year either through direct mail or through Head Start staff to families who completed a baseline survey and participated in financial literacy activities. UW-Madison Division of Extension staff mark each survey with the families’ unique code so that baseline and follow-up responses can be matched while protecting each individual’s privacy. (The previous longer follow-up survey used to collect initial data on this project is still available, but has now been replaced with the shorter survey.)
Edit the survey for correct dates and any incentives provided. It’s also helpful to send out a postcard a few weeks before mailing this survey to encourage participants to be on the lookout for the second survey.