Universal Child Development Accounts Become Reality in Several States

In May, Nebraska joined several states in enacting legislation creating a universal Child Development Account (CDA) policy that provides college savings for all children born in the state. Universal and progressive CDAs is one of the policy recommendations in two Grand Challenges: Build Financial Capability for All and Reduce Extreme Economic Inequality.

One of the people leading the charge for CDAs is Michael Sherraden, PhD, Grand Challenge for Social Work Executive Committee member and principal investigator of the SEED OK experiment at the Center for Social Development (CSD) at the Brown School at Washington University at St. Louis.

Dr. Sherraden and his colleague Margaret Clancy, MSW, Policy Director at CSD, have worked for many years advocating for the adoption of universal CDA policies in every state. Most recently, Ms. Clancy testified before the Nebraska legislature, presenting the findings of the SEED for Oklahoma Kids (SEED OK) research. “SEED OK is rigorous applied research, with results now influencing social policy change in Nebraska and other states, as well as in Canada, Israel, Korea, Taiwan, and other countries,” observed Sherraden. “CSD research has real impacts; it is not collecting dust on the shelves.”

UPDATE: In the summer of 2019, California and Illinois also adopted CDA policies.