Asset Building Briefs & Summaries

Child Development Accounts at Scale: Sample State Legislation

Statewide Child Development Accounts (CDAs) provide assets and encourage saving for postsecondary education through deposits into investment accounts. Several states have adopted CDA policies, some by legislation and others by administrative rule, all using their 529 plans as the financial platform. This summary is intended to inform states interested in enacting universal, automatic, statewide CDA legislation. It presents select examples of legislative language from Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Illinois, and California.

Delivering CDAs at scale—to all newborns in families across the full socioeconomic and geographic (rural and urban) spectrum—and in a financially sustainable way requires a sound policy structure. This publication illustrates essential and now well-established design elements required to create statewide CDA policy.

Project: College Success; SEED for Oklahoma Kids (SEED OK)


Clancy, M. M., Sherraden, M., & Beverly, S. G. (2019, November). Child Development Accounts at scale: Sample state legislation (CSD Policy Summary No. 19-46). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.