Research has shown that Child Development Accounts not only help families accumulate savings, but also provide a boost to parenting in terms of educational expectations, the socio-emotional development of their children—and a sense of hope. The St. Louis Regional Child Development Account Collaborative is working to establish a program that would cover children in the area.
With funding from United Way, Wells Fargo, Commerce Bank, and For the Sake of All, a feasibility study was completed in late 2017 to assess the Collaborative’s ability to raise the funds required to establish a universal Child Development Account program in 20 of St. Louis’s highest need ZIP codes. Under the program, each child in these ZIP codes would automatically receive $500 in a Missouri MOST 529 Savings Plan account. A leadership committee made up of partners from the Archdiocese of St. Louis – Peace and Justice Commission, Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, College Kids, Commerce Bank, Forward Through Ferguson, Health Equity Works, Missouri MOST 529 Savings Plan, and St. Louis Community Foundation continues working to establish an independent organizational and operating structure to achieve this goal.