RESPs and education incentives for children in care – toolkit for public primary caregivers

The Canada Education Savings Program (CESP) recently developed a Toolkit for Public Primary Caregivers to help child welfare organizations open Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) and access the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) for children in care.

Most children in care automatically qualify for the CLB, but too many of them are missing out on the CLB. As public primary caregivers in receipt of the Children’s Special Allowance, most child welfare organizations can open RESPs and request the CLB for children in their care.

The Toolkit explains the process for accessing federal education savings incentives from the perspective of a public primary caregiver. It explains how to get Social Insurance Numbers for children in care, how to open and manage an RESP, what to do with the account when a child is adopted or ages out of care, and how to access the money when the youth enrols in post-secondary education. It also includes an infographic for quick reference.



Le Programme canadien pour l'épargne-études (PCEE) a récemment élaboré une Trousse d’outils pour les responsables publics pour aider les organismes de protection de l'enfance à ouvrir des régimes enregistrés d'épargne-études (REEE) et à accéder au Bon d'études canadien (BEC) pour les enfants pris en charge.

La plupart des enfants pris en charge sont automatiquement admissibles au BEC, mais trop d'entre eux ne bénéficient pas du BEC. En tant que responsables publics recevant l'allocation spéciale pour enfants, la plupart des organismes de protection de l'enfance peuvent ouvrir des REEE et demander le BEC pour les enfants dont ils ont la charge.

EDSC_EnfantsPrisEnCharge_REEETroussedoutils.pdf  explique le processus d'accès aux incitatifs fédéraux à l'épargne-études du point de vue d'un responsable public. Elle explique comment obtenir un numéro d'assurance sociale pour les enfants pris en charge, comment ouvrir et gérer un REEE, ce qu'il faut faire avec le compte lorsque l'enfant est adopté ou cesse d'être pris en charge, et comment accéder à l'argent lorsque le jeune s'inscrit à des études postsecondaires. Il comprend également une infographie pour une consultation rapide.



Canada learning bond for 18 to 20 year olds

The Canada Learning Bond is money that the Government of Canada adds to a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) to help pay the costs of full- or part-time studies after high school. If you are eligible for the Canada Learning Bond and have not already received it in an RESP, you will receive $500 deposited into your RESP, plus an additional $100 for every subsequent year that you were eligible, up to the age of 15. This money can help cover the costs of tuition, books, tools, transportation, and housing. You do not need to put any money into the RESP to receive the Canada Learning Bond.

This single page insert tells you everything you need to know to apply for the Canada learning bond. 

Disponible en Français.



Increasing education savings for families living on low incomes: An outcome harvest evaluation

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



Children’s Savings Account: Survey of Private and Public Funding 2019

Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs offer a promising strategy to build a college-bound identity and make post-secondary education an achievable goal for more low- and moderate-income children. CSAs provide children (starting in elementary school or younger) with savings accounts and financial incentives for the purpose of education after high school. Beyond their financial value, CSAs are associated with beneficial effects for children and parents, including improved early child development. child health, maternal mental health, educational expectations, and academic performance. Many of these benefits are strongest for children from low-income families.

This report shares a snapshot of the scale and makeup of the funding for the CSA field in 2019. It follows similar AFN reports on CSA funding in 2014-2015 and 2017 and captures the following data on CSA programs’ financial support in calendar year 2019:

  • Private and public financial investments.
  • Private and public in-kind contributions.
  • Intended uses of funds.



Indicators for Financial Empowerment: Learnings from the National Financial Empowerment Champions Project

This resource offers a set of common indicators that community organizations can use to measure the reach and impact of their financial empowerment (FE) programming. It is intended for any community organization that works to foster greater financial well-being for economically disadvantaged Canadians.

This resource compiles the key performance indicators (KPIs) and presents them for use by community organizations beyond the National Financial Empowerment Champions (FECs) partners. The KPIs have been refined in response to partners’ feedback and in recognition of developments in the FE field, ensuring that the definitions reflect current and best practices in the field of financial empowerment/financial literacy in Canada and the USA.