The BabySteps Savings Plan is an expansion of the SeedMA initiative started in 2016 by State Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, the Office of Economic Empowerment, and the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority. Beginning in January 2020, every baby born to or adopted by a Massachusetts resident will be eligible for a free $50 seed deposit into a U.Fund 529 college savings account.
At its core, BabySteps is the same program Massachusetts residents have known for the past two years, but with a few changes. SeedMA was designed to help families in selected communities save for post-high school education and training beginning at the kindergarten level. Now BabySteps will help families across Massachusetts save from birth onwards.
While saving from kindergarten has immense benefits, saving from birth gives families an even greater opportunity to grow their savings and helps children develop college-bound identities from younger ages. Education is widely considered an essential step to upward economic mobility in the U.S., but our current student debt system precludes many students, particularly those from low- and moderate-income families from attaining education beyond high school. And with the addition of free financial education programming, we hope BabySteps will help more families prepare for college.