Promising practices and lessons learned for Child Savings Account programs
Most parents and caregivers aspire to save for a child’s future. The Bureau is releasing four briefs for use by government, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities considering starting or expanding child savings opportunities through a child saving account program.
Child Savings Account (CSAs) programs offer participants opportunities to save for post-secondary education in dedicated accounts. These include conventional savings accounts and tax preferred 529 savings plans. Many programs offer initial starter deposits and a variety of incentives to help encourage savings and boost the savings accumulated by the families. Programs such as these help consumers accumulate assets that help families achieve their long-term financial goals.
Collectively, the four briefs illustrate how CSA programs have been designed to engage parents, children, and caregivers to increase enrollment and completion of post-secondary education. The briefs include significant input from existing CSA programs and illustrate how various program design decisions may affect or influence progress towards these goals.
The topics of the four briefs include:
- Engagement strategies to increase inclusion
- Using incentives to encourage participation
- Integrating financial education into children’s savings account programs
- Using technology to engage participants and administer programs
Child Savings Account programs are being implemented in a number of states and communities around the country. In fact, most CSA programs are relatively young. Seventy-five percent of existing programs have started within the past five years. By providing these briefs, the Bureau hopes to help inform the field, identify promising practices and highlight lessons learned for those seeking to start or expand child savings programs in their community.
These briefs build upon the work done through the Bureau’s child savings account initiative. The goal of the initiative is to identify, document, and advance promising and proven practices that can increase child savings opportunities for more families with low incomes and low wealth, and that can be taken to scale.