First 5 Santa Cruz County is proud to partner with Santa Cruz Community Ventures to promote the Santa Cruz SEEDS program, offering families an opportunity to begin a college savings account for their child as a newborn. First 5 Santa Cruz County’s Baby Gateway Newborn Enrollment Coordinators share information about Santa Cruz SEEDS at each visit with a newborn's family along with enrolling that child in health insurance and helping make their first well-visit appointment.
Santa Cruz Community Ventures automatically opens Children’s Savings Accounts for all Santa Cruz County newborns. These accounts improve the social-emotional wellbeing of both newborns and mothers, build dedicated educational funds for our local babies’ futures and lay a foundational path of hope and possibility for all Santa Cruz County newborns.
Santa Cruz SEEDS is a county-wide collaborative program that provides newborns with a college savings account (CSA), which receives an initial SEED contribution of $25 - $50. These accounts are a gift from the Santa Cruz community, held in California’s ScholarShare 529 plan, and are administered by Santa Cruz Community Ventures. The funds are dedicated to college or vocational education expenses until a child’s 26th birthday. The accounts do not impact household income or public benefit qualifications and there is no cost to parents.
Santa Cruz SEEDS welcomes every newborn into our community with love, support, and commitment by investing in their future from birth. We are coming together to invest in our children's wellbeing and the future of our county.
In collaboration with County partners, additional contributions are planned to compliment a child’s health and educational milestones, such as well-child visits or a first dental cleaning. These milestone contributions will encourage healthy habits well into the future and will help our community meet regional goals related to health, wellness, and education. The goal is to have $500 in each child’s account by the time they reach kindergarten.