Proposals for Child Development Accounts (CDAs) have been around for more than ten years. They are now widely accepted as part of the mainstream discourse on potential Federal tax policy initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to address the primary design issues and political opportunities facing advocates of CDAs. The first part of the paper provides a brief overview of the history and current status of CDAs. The second part describes the emerging consensus on core CDA policies, potential design trade-offs, and the implications of recent experimental and pilot programs. The third part addresses the political framework for CDAs, and offers recommendations for enacting a universal, permanent, and progressive platform of CDAs.
A draft of this work was presented during Child Development Accounts: Research and Policy Symposium, a November 2008 conference, and was developed for publication in Child Development Accounts: Theory, Evidence, and Policy Potential, a special issue of Children and Youth Services Review. Released in November 2010, the special issue was edited by Michael Sharraden, Youngmi Kim, and Vernon Loke.
Project: College Success