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Funding the Future: What Parents Should Know About Child Development Accounts (page 2)

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Updated on May 28, 2014

SEED for Oklahoma Kids

In Oklahoma, the Center for Social Development is studying child development accounts with a privately funded pilot program. Called SEED for Oklahoma Kids, it involved randomly selecting 1,350 Oklahoma babies in 2007 and setting up a $1,000 college-savings plan for each of them. Parents can contribute to their children’s accounts on their own, with the state matching contributions from lower-income families, says Tim Allen, Oklahoma’s deputy treasurer for policy and administration.

Meanwhile, about the same number of children in a control group didn’t get accounts. The study tests whether or not having an account affects children’s futures, educational or otherwise, and their parents’ approaches toward education. While children weren’t chosen based on their families’ income, however there was emphasis on choosing African-American, American Indian and Hispanic children, says Clancy.

Allen reports that so far parents of 235 of the children in the study have set up accounts on their own. The program is set to last for four years, and longer if lawmakers decide to extend it. He says programs like SEED emphasize the importance of setting aside money for college once a baby is born. “You’re going to need that much time to save up for college.”

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