Majority of Canadian parents teaching financial literacy at home: Survey

Girls seen as financially savvier than boys, but single women in the workforce struggle with money management

TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2011 /CNW/ - ccording to a new survey commissioned by Visa Canada, 86 percent of Canadian parents of children aged 12 - 18 are teaching their kids financial literacy skills at home. Less than a third (31 percent) of kids receive information to help manage personal finances at school, while 11 percent take advantage of free online educational tools. Over a third of parents polled (35 percent) perceive girls as more financially literate than boys, but Statistics Canada data shows that single women in the workforce are less confident than men.

"Parents are doing their part to provide financial literacy education to their kids," said Melissa Cassar, head of corporate and public affairs, Visa Canada. "That's great news, however financial literacy needs to be part of life-long learning, and this means money management education needs to play a bigger role in all aspects of life - including in the classroom. Right now there's a gap, and parents feel they are left to fill the void."

As a proud sponsor of Plan Canada, Visa commissioned this survey in advance of the 'Because I am a Girl' Youth Summit on September 23, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario. Visa is providing educational material and resources from its Practical Money Skills website and Choices and Decisions teaching curriculum for a financial literacy learning module for girls clubs across Canada.

"We are delighted to join forces with Plan Canada and support them with our financial literacy module," said Cassar. "Through this collaboration, Visa hopes to further help educate Canadian girls about the importance of financial management, budgeting and saving and how these simple skills can lay the groundwork to build a strong and sound financial future."

Former Team Visa athlete and Olympic medalist Jennifer Heil, who is heavily involved with the 'Because I am a Girl' initiative with her own fundraising challenge, has supported Visa in promoting the importance of financial literacy.

"I am very excited to be working on this new sponsorship," says Heil. "With the information provided in the financial literacy learning module, imagine where the strength and confidence from this knowledge will take these girls, and those around them, into the future."

Each month, a new electronic module, on different topics that connect domestic and international issues, are sent to girls clubs across the country. Visa has provided the curriculum for the financial literacy module which is interactive and expected to reach 5,000 girls in year one alone. The clubs are student-led and include girls in middle and high school with the support and supervision of a female teacher or staff member. The format of the clubs allows for the girls to discuss the material, and challenge themselves with workbooks, with the intention to educate and build leadership, teamwork and communication skills.

"Plan Canada is proud to have Visa on board as a sponsor with 'Because I am A Girl', as we promote education, self esteem and global change," said Leanne Nicolle, director, corporate development and youth engagement, Plan Canada. "As a children's organization, committed to breaking the cycle of global poverty, we are delighted to educate Canadian youth on financial literacy and start them on their way to healthy economic futures."

As part of its Clinton Global Initiative commitment, Visa has also pledged to reach 20 million people with financial education by May 1, 2013. Three years in, Visa is more than half way there - thanks in part to its education resources on www.PracticalMoneySkills.ca, which are available free to educators, parents and kids. The Plan Canada sponsorship gives Visa the opportunity to further support its Clinton Initiative pledge.

About Visa

Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

For more information on financial literacy visit Visa's Practical Money Skills - www.practicalmoneyskills.ca - which was built for teachers, parents, students, and consumers of all ages to help improve their personal finance knowledge with free educational resources including classroom curriculum.

About Plan Canada and the 'Because I am a Girl' Initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world's oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. 'Because I am a Girl' is Plan's global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls' rights and lift millions of girls - and everyone around them - out of poverty. Visit www.plancanada.ca and www.becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.

About the survey

From September 8 to September 12, 2011, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1,002 Canadians who are parents of children aged 12 to 18 and who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error on the full base — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 3.01%. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

SOURCE VISA Canada Corporation

For further information:

Visa Canada: Ashleigh Goodbody, 416-860-3939, CanadaMediaInquiries@visa.com

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VISA Canada Corporation

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