Asset Building Financial Inclusion Report

Statewide Child Development Account Policies: Key Design Elements

Child Development Accounts (CDAs) aim to build assets for postsecondary education. Unlike many asset-building programs, CDAs were explicitly conceived to be universal (every child is included) and progressive (greater support for disadvantaged children). Four states have created statewide CDAs—Baby Scholars in Connecticut, the Harold Alfond College Challenge in Maine, College Kick Start in Nevada, and CollegeBoundbaby in Rhode Island. In this policy report, we describe these CDAs to provide perspective and inform new initiatives. We begin by identifying 10 key CDA policy design elements originally modeled by the CDA in the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment. By modeling key design elements, forging partnerships, and resolving challenges, the statewide CDAs have made significant advancements toward an efficient, sustainable, and fully inclusive CDA policy that reaches all children nationwide.

Projects: Increasing Access to Higher Education: Inclusion in 529 Savings Plans; SEED for Oklahoma Kids


Clancy, M. M., & Beverly, S. G. (2017). Statewide Child Development Account policies: Key design elements (CSD Policy Report No. 17-30). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.