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Child Development Accounts and Parental Educational Expectations for Young Children: Early Evidence From a Statewide Social Experiment

Parental expectations for their children’s education can have positive effects on child development, and thus they are appealing targets for interventions. We posit that a universal and progressive Child Development Account (CDA) started at the child’s birth may help to develop and maintain parental educational expectations. As a first step in assessing this proposition, we analyze data from SEED for Oklahoma Kids (SEED OK), an experiment designed to develop and maintain parental educational expectations for very young children. We assess the level and durability of expectations from birth to age 4, finding that SEED OK positively affects parents’ expectations for their children’s education at age 4 (N = 2,67) and that the proportion of mothers whose expectations remain constant or increase between birth and 4 years old is higher among those in the treatment group than among those in the control group.


Kim, Y., Sherraden, M., Huang, J., & Clancy, M. (2015). Child Development Accounts and parental educational expectations for young children: Early evidence from a statewide social experiment. Social Service Review, 89(1), 99–137. doi:10.1086/680014