Children’s Savings Accounts

About this Policy

All children should have the opportunity to thrive. A Universal Children’s Savings Account (CSA) program provides both the hope and the means to expand educational and economic opportunity for Illinois families. With a CSA provided at birth, every child will start off on the right foot.

Policy Highlights


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    Illinois CSA Program

    In 2019, HB2237 was signed into law, creating a statewide CSA program in Illinois, with a $50 seed deposit provided into a 529 account for every child born or adopted in the state. Expected to launch in 2023, this is a monumental step forward after years of advocacy from community organizations and advocates. Download the fact sheet to learn more about the legislation.

    Passing CSA legislation was just the beginning. To really build this into a program that advances equity and helps families unlock opportunity, it will take concerted efforts and investment from partners and funders throughout the state, and ongoing work for the State Treasurer’s Office to ensure that the program is implemented in an equitable and accessible way. Download our recommendations for implementation of the CSA program.

    Benefits of a CSA Program

    CSAs Create a Pathway to a College Degree for More Children: CSAs help build the aspirations of children that they can complete college or vocational training. Youth participating in a CSA program are more likely to plan to attend college, and having childhood savings is correlated with a college-bound identity.

    CSAs Support Early Childhood Development & Maternal Health: Accumulating savings within a household positively affects a parent’s outlook on their child’s future. This real hope for the future has been shown to reduce maternal depression symptoms and support early childhood development. CSAs increase children’s social-emotional functioning, with similar effect size as Early Head Start. CSAs also increase school attendance rates and improve standardized test scores.

    CSAs Result in Financially Capable Children: Children enrolled in a CSA program and receiving financial education scored significantly higher on financial capability tests than those receiving only the education.

    CSAs Can Advance Racial Equity. If CSA programs are designed with equity in mind, they can also help address the growing racial wealth divide. Our 2017 report on CSAs in Illinois showed that with the right features, CSAs could reduce the racial wealth inequities in our state.

    Content related to this policy

    Children’s Savings Account Implementation Recommendations

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    2019 Legislative Roundup: Illinois Takes Steps to Help Families Build Financial Security

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    Illinois Senate Passes Children’s Savings Account Legislation

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