The first step toward college.

California Kids Investment and Development Savings Program (CalKIDS)

CalKIDS, the nation’s largest CSA program, aims to launch in 2022 and jumpstart college savings for over 4 million children statewide.

Enacted in the 2019–20 State Budget, CalKIDS was designed to expand access to higher education through savings with tools like ScholarShare 529, California’s official tax-advantaged college savings plan. CalKIDS is administered by the ScholarShare Investment Board, an agency of the State of California, and was initially established to automatically provide newborns in California with college savings accounts, including seed deposits and other potential financial rewards. In 2021, however, CalKIDS was expanded significantly to include 3.7 million low-income public school students enrolled in grades one through 12 who qualify for free or reduced lunch, are homeless, or are in foster care.

The investments provided in CalKIDS accounts can be a steppingstone to building a new savings behavior for families and serve as a tangible demonstration of the state’s commitment to supporting children in reaching the goal of higher education.

Each CalKIDS account will be seeded with a minimum deposit held in the ScholarShare 529 college savings plan or another investment mechanism in which money can potentially grow and eventually be used for a range of postsecondary expenses. This statewide program—which is part of a growing child savings accounts (CSA) movement—provides universal eligibility, automatic enrollment, investment growth potential, and opportunities for progressive subsidies for our most vulnerable Californians.

Stay tuned for updates.

"The research is clear on the need for financial empowerment and programs like CalKIDS to promote higher education and to help families build assets."

Fiona Ma, CPA, California State Treasurer

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Image of a quote from California State Assembly-member: “By creating a savings account for each child, we can jump-start our children’s financial independence.

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