Statewide Educational Savings Program Provides $50 Deposit to all Newborns
Deputy Communications Director
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SPRINGFIELD – State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg continued her press tour today at Baystate Medical Center for the BabySteps Savings Plan, which launched on January 1st. The Treasurer will be visiting hospitals across the Commonwealth in 2020 to raise awareness for this groundbreaking program which encourages families to plan and save for their children’s future. Through the BabySteps Savings Plan, every child born or adopted in Massachusetts is eligible for a free $50 seed deposit into a post-secondary education or vocational training savings account.
“I am proud of the partnerships we have created in Springfield through the SoarMA pilot program,” said Treasurer Goldberg. “BabySteps Savings Plan will allow my team to continue working with our community partners and focus on the financial barriers that burden families in Springfield and throughout the Commonwealth.”
Treasurer Goldberg met with new parents to discuss BabySteps and how this program can help families start saving for their children’s future. All new parents/guardians in Massachusetts will have one year after the child is born or adopted to open a U.Fund 529 college savings account in order to receive the $50 deposit. This program also provides free financial education resources and tools to any family, regardless of their participation in BabySteps.
“As one of the Commonwealth’s leading healthcare providers, we commend State Treasurer Deb Goldberg for her foresight in creating the BabySteps Savings Plan. Baystate Health depends on an educated workforce to continue to deliver the quality care our patients expect and deserve,” said Mark A. Keroack, MD, MPH – Baystate Health President & CEO. “As the cost of college continues to rise and students leave school with thousands of dollars in student loans, the BabySteps Savings Plan provides an important incentive for parents to begin saving for their children’s education now.”
“Saving for a post-secondary education whether it be vocational training or college may seem like an overwhelming goal for many, but an already seeded account is a great start,” according to Senator Jim Welch, “This fifty-dollar investment can grow over time to go towards books, equipment costs, or tuition. It starts with checking a box.”
“The BabySteps Savings Plan is not only an initiative for post-secondary education, it is an economic empowerment plan that opens up doors of opportunity for children born in Springfield and across Massachusetts,” states Representative Carlos González, “It is essential to encourage and teach parents to receive the free education account and invest in their children’s education at birth. I thank Treasurer Goldberg for this bold and financial equity initiative.”
“Seeing the impact a college education can have on students who grew up in poverty inspired me to seed fund the BabySteps program,” said Bob Hildreth, Founder of Inversant and the Hildreth Institute. “This initial deposit is not just my commitment to making college more accessible for Massachusetts students. It's also a challenge to foundations and philanthropists: Join me in pledging additional resources and motivating families to open savings accounts and save for their children's future!”
“Saving for college can help every child reach his or her dream, and starting to save as soon as a child is born will give families a head start. Through MEFA’s U.Fund 529 plan, recognized as ‘best-in-class’ among savings plans across the country, aspirations for a college education have become a reality for 20 years,” said Tom Graf, Executive Director of MEFA. “Planning early will provide children and families more options when it comes time to pursue that college dream.”
The Department of Public Health has helped make this a seamless process. By adding the sign up to their official birth certificate forms, all parents have to do is check off the box to get the process going. For more information on the BabySteps Savings Plan, please visit BabyStepsSavingsPlan.org.
The BabySteps Savings Plan is offered by the MA State Treasurer’s Office of Economic Empowerment (OEE). On her first day in office, Treasurer Goldberg created OEE, led by a deputy treasurer, with the deliberate goal of implementing a range of economic empowerment initiatives that include closing the gender wage gap, increasing access to financial education, improving college affordability, and investing in STEM careers and education.