MANCHESTER, England, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Reading, writing and arithmetic are widely regarded as the essential building blocks of learning, but during these days of economic turmoil it seems another R is now being added to children's education - recession.

According to research carried out for The Co-operative Child Trust Funds, half (51 per cent) of all parents are actively teaching their kids about the economic downturn alongside helping with homework and reading bedtime stories.

The findings confirm that the financial crisis is taking modern parenting to another level with six in 10 (62 per cent) of Mums and Dads believing it is important for their children to understand the UK's unprecedented economic situation.

Zack Hocking, head of Child Trust Funds at The Co-operative, said: Parents clearly don't want to shelter their children from the realities of the credit crunch and are making extra efforts to improve their financial education.

It's possible that one good thing to come from the current downturn will be a generation that's financially wiser and better equipped to manage their money through times of economic uncertainty.

Further proof that today's children are fast becoming the 'credit crunch' generation is evident, with 49 per cent of parents confirming their kids have actively asked them about the economic situation.

While the greatest interest is shown from older children, it seems even the young are keen to gain an understanding with one in three (35 per cent) of 6 to 9 year olds seeking information from Mums and Dads.

Parents also feel financial knowledge equals financial power with more emphasis needed on educating children on their financial foundations.

64 per cent think children should be taught about savings and investments whilst Interest rates need greater attention from teachers according to 37 per cent of parents as does tax and national insurance (41 per cent) and government support such as child tax credits (28 per cent).

However, seven per cent of parents do not feel that they understand the economy enough to explain it to their children and, in some instances, have had to ask their older children to explain the economy to them.

Zack Hocking added: If children are taught about money from an early age, future financial decisions are likely to be better considered. One of the easiest ways to set children off to a good financial start is to utilise the Government child trust fund voucher and supplement it with regular contributions, which will give young adults a fantastic head start when they turn 18.

The Co-operative Investments, with The Children's Mutual, the UK's only specialist in savings for children, offers the UK's first Ethical Child Trust Fund stakeholder account .

Notes to Editors:

ISDN facilities are available for broadcast media interviews.

Research carried out by Opinium on behalf of The Co-operative Bank amongst a representative sample of 2,020 adults

For further information contact: Jenna Beever / Andy Hammerton, The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office, Tel: +44(0)161-903-3831 / 3835, +44(0)7595-567-465, Fax: +44(0)161-903-2751, e-mail : /