Child Savings Account Grant Program
UPDATED: January 22, 2020
- On January 21, 2021, the Commission approved funding for eleven CSA groups. Click to view final CSA grant awards.
- The application period is closed. CSAC is no longer accepting grant applications.
The Child Savings Account Grant Program (CSA Grant Program) was enacted in the 2019-20 State Budget (Education Code Sections 70115-70115.2, added by Stats. 2019, Ch. 53, Sec. 18) to support local governments and nonprofit organizations that sponsor or collaborate on one or more comprehensive citywide or regional child savings account programs.
The Budget Act of 2020 appropriates ten million dollars ($10,000,000) in one-time General Fund dollars to the CSA Grant Program. The amount of each grant award shall be at a minimum, one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). Of the ten million dollars ($10,000,000):
- Up to 74 percent or seven million four hundred thousand dollars ($7,400,000) of the funding shall be used to initiate new local child savings account programs.
- A minimum of 24 percent or two million four hundred thousand dollars ($2,400,000) of the funding shall be used to expand existing local child savings account programs.
- Two percent or two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) shall be used by the Commission to provide outreach and administration of the program, and to provide technical assistance to applicants.
Who can apply?
- New Programs – CSA programs that are in planning or under discussion, and do not have children enrolled in the program with open accounts at the time of the application submission.
- Existing Programs – CSA programs that are in operation and have children enrolled in the program with open accounts at the time of the application submission.
Request for Applications (RFA)
All completed applications must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 20, 2020 by 3:00 PM PST. Due to COVID-19, the Commission will not accept physical applications.
RFA Amendments (as of October 30, 2020)
On page 18 of the CSA RFA, item (e) under “To find the mean and median incomes of families in the program’s geographic region” (1) “Number” should be “Households” and (2) item II has been added to mirror instructions provided during the Webinar.
“Married-couple families”, and “Nonfamily households”.
II. De-select “Margin of Error” under “Families”.
Your customized table should look like this:
Questions & Responses
- Responses to questions about the CSA Grant Program and Request for Applications are now available. Please click on link to view: Questions & Responses
Technical Assistance Webinar (October 16, 2020)
- CSAC hosted a Technical Assistance Webinar on October 16, 2020 via ZOOM for potential applicants to learn about the CSA Grant Program, walk through the application components, and ask questions.
- CSAC currently does not anticipate on hosting another Technical Assistance Webinar.
- The webinar can be viewed here.
- The PowerPoint Presentation can be viewed here.
Questions to CSAC (due October 23, 2020 at 3:00 P.M. PST)
- Questions about the CSA Grant Program and Request for Applications must be submitted to email@example.com by October 23, 2020 at 3:00 P.M. PST.
- Responses will be posted on this webpage on October 30th, 2020. CSAC will send notice (through the CSA mailing list) when the responses are available.
Child Savings Account Resources
CSA Coalition Roster
- The California CSA Coalition is made up of CSA providers and stakeholders from all over the state who work together to develop the CSA network and programs. Click to view
CSA Starter Kit from Prosperity Now
- Find resources to help you design a CSA program for your state, city, or community: https://prosperitynow.org/csa-starter-kit
ScholarShare 529 Children’s Savings Account Platform
- California’s state-sponsored 529 college savings plan, ScholarShare 529, offers a Children’s Savings Account (CSA) record-keeping platform designed to support non-profit organizations, local governments, and school districts interested in establishing a CSA program of their own. For more information about starting a new CSA program, ScholarShare 529’s CSA platform, and the benefits of using ScholarShare 529, visit https://www.scholarshare529.com/plan/CSA.shtml
Publications from the Brown School Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis.
- Essential Policy Design Elements for Statewide Child Development Accounts: This Fact Sheet defines 10 essential and well-established design elements of state CDAs.
- Statewide Child Development Accounts and Local Partnerships: A Scalable Model that Can Include All Children: This brief presents a policy model for partnering statewide Child Development Accounts (CDAs) with other federal, state, city, and community services for financially vulnerable families
- Financially Vulnerable Families Reap Multiple Benefits From Child Development Accounts: This brief reports on the effects of Child Development Accounts (CDAs) in families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or Head Start. Consistent with previous SEED OK research using broader samples of Oklahoma families, this study finds positive CDA impacts for financially vulnerable families.
- 529 Plan Investment Growth and a Quasi-Default Investment for Child Development Accounts: State 529 college savings plans include the potential for investment growth, which is essential to building assets over time. They may present a “quasi-default” investment during online enrollment, which can simplify CDA account opening, streamline decision-making, and nudge savers toward a specific, diversified investment.
- Asset Limits for Means-Tested Public Assistance: Considerations for Child Development Account Proponents: If low-income families believe that having savings will jeopardize their public assistance benefits, they are unlikely to participate in Child Development Account (CDA) programs. This policy brief (1) documents the impact of CDA savings on five public assistance programs (Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, LIHEAP, and TANF) and (2) identifies opportunities for policy change at the state level.
- Do Savings and Assets Reduce Need-Based Aid for Dependent Students?: This policy brief documents the impact of assets on need-based aid for dependent students. The main observation is that savings and assets do not affect need-based aid for most dependent students. When assets count toward the EFC, savings held in 529 plan accounts have less impact on need-based aid than savings held in basic savings accounts.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has published two guides that provide metrics for Child Savings Account programs.
- “Design and Evaluation Principles for Children’s Savings Account Programs,” presents key considerations for CSA programs seeking to measure program outcomes and provides guidance on selecting the best performance indicators for a given program and monitoring progress toward goals.
- “Common Metrics for Children’s Savings Account Programs,” proposes a set of standard measures for the CSA field. Organizations can then select measures aligned to the specific CSA program goals from the “menu” of options.
- The guides can be found here.