A new program called CalKids just launched and it grants children in the state of California a savings account with a small college fund. The initiative was announced yesterday (Aug. 10). In a statement on the CalKids website, California Governor Gavin Newsom said, “Education is the gateway to opportunity for all California kids. Once a mind is stretched, it can never go back.”

Newsom was excited to share the news: “NEW: It’s official. 3.4 MILLION CA kids now have a college savings account in their name! Kids get up to $1,500. Visit calkids.org to activate your account!” he said in a tweet. To be eligible for the funds, a child must either be born in California on or after July 1, 2022 or be an eligible low-income public school student in grades 1-12 in that state. On Aug. 25, CalKids will host a free, live webinar giving more information. The session will run from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (PST) and those interested in participating must RSVP.

Benefits that newborns will receive include a $25 seed deposit in a CalKIDS account, a $25 deposit in your CalKIDS account when you register on the program’s online portal, and a $50 deposit in your CalKIDS account when you link a new or existing ScholarShare 529 college savings account to your CalKIDS account.

For grade school low-income kids, the child must have been enrolled during the 2021-2022 academic year. The resources include a $500 automatic deposit in a CalKIDS account for eligible low-income public school students, a $500 additional deposit in a CalKIDS account for eligible students identified as homeless, and a $500 additional deposit for eligible students identified as a foster youth.

It’s important to note that funds cannot be taken from the program’s account. The money is expected to be used on educational tools such as books, school supplies, tuition, laptops and other resources. For more information, visit calkids.org.