First Steps Toward College

mother with baby girl

About CalKIDS

The California Kids Investment and Development Savings Program (CalKIDS) was created by the State of California to expand access to higher education through savings. CalKIDS, which is administered by the ScholarShare Investment Board, an agency of the State of California and chaired by the State Treasurer, will automatically provide newborns and eligible public school children in California with the tools to start saving for college, including an initial seed deposit and possible financial incentives in a college savings account.

Receive up to $100 in college savings for your newborn’s future!

The State of California is offering eligible newborn CalKIDS participants the following financial incentives, as applicable:*

  • $25 seed deposit in a CalKIDS account for every eligible newborn.
  • $25 deposit in your CalKIDS account if you register on the Program online parent portal.
  • $50 deposit in your CalKIDS account if you link your existing or new ScholarShare 529 college savings account—where you, your family and friends can contribute to your baby’s savings—to your CalKIDS account.

Receive up to $1,500 in college savings for your child’s future!

The State of California will offer eligible public school student participants the following CalKIDS awards to save for higher education, as applicable: *

  • $500 automatic deposit in a CalKIDS account for eligible low-income public school students enrolled in first through 12th grade.
  • $500 additional deposit in a CalKIDS account for eligible students identified as a foster youth.
  • $500 additional deposit in a CalKIDS account for eligible students identified as homeless.

  Stay tuned for further updates on additional participant incentives.

* Final seed deposits and financial incentives are subject to change and approval by the ScholarShare Investment Board.

Born to be college bound

info graphic - each child born in California recieves a CalKIDS account with a seed deposit; families can open and link their own ScholarShare account to maximize growth; money can be used for qualified higher education expenses.

ScholarShare 529 serves as California’s official college savings plan. ScholarShare 529 provides families with a valuable tool that offers a diverse set of low-cost investment options, tax-deferred growth, and withdrawals free from state and federal taxes when used for qualified higher education expenses, such as tuition and fees, books, certain room and board costs, computer equipment, and other required supplies. ScholarShare 529 has been helping families save for college for more than 20 years and currently manages more than $13 billion in total plan assets as of December 31, 2021.