Momentum is a changing-making organization located in Calgary, Alberta that works with people living on low incomes and partners in the community to create a thriving local economy for all. In 2008, Momentum launched the StartSmart program to support families living on low incomes to open Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) to access free government education savings incentives such as the Canada Learning Bond (CLB). Momentum subsequently partnered with community agencies and advocated for systems level change in order to reach more families and scale up CLB uptake.
This report captures the collective efforts and outcomes of Momentum and community partners regarding increasing the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) uptake in Canada, as well as lessons learned.
The report highlights include:
- Momentum and community partners efforts contributed to more than doubling the CLB uptake rate in Calgary (from 20% to 52%)
- Through Aspire, Momentum trained over 350 community staff and volunteers from over 80 community agencies to deliver the StartSmart program
- Policy successes (such as changing social housing rules to accommodate RESP savings) were achieved and some failures (cancellation of the provincial ACES grant) were experienced
- Policy changes are still required to see significant uptake of the CLB. See Momentum's recent publication Public Policy Options to Better Enable Education Savings by Families on Low Incomes.