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Financial Wellness Essentials

In-Person • Live • Online • 3 PD Hours

This Financial Wellness course introduces money smart strategies for the Head Start workforce so staff can focus on what they love.


Financial stress is the most common and persistent form of stress Americans face, impacting our physical and mental health, the health of our communities, and our satisfaction in our work. Early childhood educators—long under-valued and under-compensated for the critical work they do—know this stress all too well.

Understandably, financial stress is also a key driver of staff turnover. In addition to the financial cost, turnover has significant and lasting negative consequences for the quality of children’s achievements. This course is for Head Start programs that are serious about the financial health and wellbeing of their staff. While we keep working towards systemic change to compensate early educators fairly, there are tools your staff can use to alleviate financial stress today.

Financial Wellness Essentials supports your entire program with one year of effective financial care. Learners will be introduced to the principles of Money + Life Balance, build their own cash flow plan using a hands-on, evidence-based technique called Visual Financial Planning, receive one year of access to The Beans financial care app, and have access to monthly office hours with trained financial professionals.

This course consists of one self-paced learning module that lays the groundwork to break free from financial stress and one live workshop where your staff will create their own visual financial plan. All participants will be mailed a personalized kit with materials necessary for the workshop.

Start Date: Self-paced work can begin immediately. Live instruction sessions will be scheduled 30 days or more from the date of registration.

Course Level: Beginner

Requirements/Prerequisites: None

Target Audience: Instruction and Effective Practice, Leadership and Management, Program Operations, Support Services

Completion Timeline/Duration: One month to complete self-paced coursework; one 90-minute workshop: one full year of support including monthly office hours via Zoom and live chat via text.

Head Start Alignment: This course supports programs in meeting Head Start Program Performance Standard 1302.93 Staff health and wellness in which “a program must make mental health and wellness information available to staff regarding health issues that may affect their job performance, and must provide regularly scheduled opportunities to learn about mental health, wellness, and health education.”

Course Outline


The Beans introduced these concepts during their Build Your Visual Financial Plan session at NHSA's 2021 Parent and Family Engagement Conference. Attendees said:

  • "Wow, what a great session. Eye-opening activities I will now use in my life for a better financial future!"
  • "I'm a very hands-on, visual learner, and that's exactly what this session was all about. It taught me financial planning in a way that made sense to me!"
  • "The visual representation of my finances really helped me to see how I am spending my money and where I can change spending habits."
  • "I really enjoyed the session. I was able to obtain tools and knowledge that will help me improve my finances."

Investing in your staff’s financial wellness is proven to support staff retention.

  • "We combined ARP salary supplements, incentive pay based on goals, with education and tools from The Financial Wellness Essentials course to improve staff financial wellness and promote retention. Prior to implementing these strategies, our turnover rate was 33.4%. In August 2022, we offered the Financial Wellness Essentials course and aligned it with the distribution of goal-based incentive pay. From September 2022-January 2023 our turnover rate has dropped to 6.6% and we have seen 9.5% growth in staffing within the Head Start program."
    - Heather Decker, Senior Director of Early Childhood Development, Regional Economic Community Action Program, Inc

Course Facilitators

Melissa Pancoast

Melissa Pancoast

Melissa Pancoast is the founder and CEO of The Beans, a financial care company changing the way hard working Americans relate to their finances. She started her career as a teacher, where she saw the impact of financial stress firsthand in her community. After completing graduate work at the University of Oxford, she served as a researcher in the University of Oxford’s Center for Evidence-Based Interventions. Her work, a series of “Economic Strengthening” workshops has been shared with 300 million people worldwide as a pillar in the global emergency response to COVID-19. Melissa has a MS in Evidence-Based Social Intervention from the University of Oxford and a BS in Political Science from Stetson University.

Alex Orozco

Alex Orozco

Alex Orozco is the founding Designer and Head of Product Design at The Beans. As a Head Start alumna, she knows the power of Head Start first hand. In college, she taught English to teachers in Mexico and recruited educators. She earned her MSEd in Teaching English as a Second Language and started her career as a 5th grade ESL math teacher. She also coached basketball and chess to help pay down nearly 90k in student loans. She is responsible for the design and user experience of the app, The Beans brand, and the Customer Success team.

Ready to book?


  • Online, Self-paced Coursework
  • Live Financial Planning Workshop
  • One-Year Access to Monthly Office Hours with Certified Financial Advisors
  • Personalized Welcome Kits from The Beans with all materials needed for the live session
  • One-Year of Access to Online Course
  • One-Year Premium Access to The Beans app ($500 Value)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • 24/7 Access to Transcript

Developed in partnership witih

The Beans is a financial wellness company built by former math teachers and University of Oxford researchers to help educators feel less stressed about their everyday finances. The Beans’ workshops and app use Visual Financial Planning (VFP) and other evidence-based strategies that are proven to reduce financial stress. The Beans works with and vets financial experts that carry a wide range of background knowledge and certifications. They help guide conversations and questions around credit score, debt consolidation, interest rates etc..

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