California announced the launch of a new initiative that will allow parents - and kids - to get a step ahead and start saving for college.
The California Kids Investment and Development Savings Program, or CalKIDS, will be available for kids born in California on or after July 1, 2022 and low-income public school students in grades 1-12 across the state.
Here's how it works:
Who is eligible?
As mentioned above, kids born in California on or after July 1, 2022 are eligible for this program.
CalKIDS is also available for newborns and their first state deposit consists of $25. Children in grades 1-12 receive a $500 deposit. You can check your child's eligibility here.
Enrollment is automatic and eligible children are identified by the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education.
What exactly can funds be used for?
The funds in these accounts can be used for tuition, books, supplies, some room and board costs and computer equipment.
Funds can be used at eligible community colleges, universities, vocational and professional schools in the U.S. and some abroad institutions as well.
Can parents contribute to a CalKIDS account?
If parents want to contribute to a child's account they have to do so via a ScholarShare 529 account.
Parents and family members are not required to contribute to a CalKIDS account, but are encouraged to do so to help save more money for future expenses.
What is a ScholarShare 529 account?
A ScholarShare 529 account is linked to a 529 college plan, which is an investment plan managed by the state that allows families to save for education.
To learn more and open an account, click here.
How do I make sure my child receives his/her money?
Parents must register their children on the program's online portal. No taxpayer information needs to be disclosed.
To register a newborn, you'll need:
- Local Registration Number (located on your child’s birth certificate) or unique CalKIDS code (included in the letter you received or will receive)
- Your child’s date of birth
- Name of the County in which the child’s birth was registered
To register eligible students, you'll need:
- Statewide Student Identifier (SSID), or the unique CalKIDS code (included in the letter you received or will receive). Please contact your school or school district to find your SSID.
- Student’s date of birth
- Name of the County where the student was enrolled in public school as of the Fall Academic Census Day 2021 (October 6, 2021)
For more information on the program, click here.