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A Regional Approach to Children's Savings Account Development: The Case of New England

Lewis, Melinda
Children's Savings Account
Publication type: 

This paper chronicles the development of Children’s Savings Account (CSA) policy in the states that comprise the New England region: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This paper does not seek to compare CSA programs within the New England states directly but does detail the origins, aims, delivery systems, incentives, financing, enrollment mechanisms, and engagement approaches employed in each state, as well as challenges encountered, potential research contributions, and opportunities for expansion and/or integration into other policy venues. As described in this overview, this policy development can be best understood not as individual efforts but a regional strategy, facilitated by the New England CSA Consortium. This regional approach may hold considerable promise for advancing children’s savings nationally. As defined here, CSAs are progressive asset investments capable of cultivating improved educational attainment and, then, catalyzing greater upward mobility, particularly for disadvantaged children. Part of New England’s CSA activity has included progress toward agreed-upon metrics for gauging the effects of CSAs on indicators important to the state actors championing them, and future years will provide important insights into the potential for this intervention to support critical educational and economic development objectives.

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Lewis, M. K. and Elliott, W. (2015). A regional approach to children's savings account development: The case of New England.

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