Child Saving Account Program


En Español / Spanish Version

First 5 Futures is a First 5 Sonoma County program that provides a FREE College Saving Account to eligible children ages 0 to 5 years old.

First 5 Sonoma County will make an initial deposit of $500 and families participating in this program have the opportunity to receive up to an additional $200 in incentives.

Using grant funds from the City of Santa Rosa and the California Student Aid Commission, First 5 Sonoma County will allocate up to $700 to every First 5 Futures Program account. The amount will be invested on behalf of the child (beneficiary). The funds will be available for withdrawal after the beneficiary graduates from a high school and enrolls in a college or career education program. Through the First 5 Futures program, families are also encouraged to open individual accounts for their children so they can contribute and save for their future.

Click here to register your child!

Frequently Asked Questions

First 5 Sonoma County’s First 5 Futures Program envisions that every child age 0 to 5 years (beneficiary) will have two savings accounts. First 5 Sonoma County will setup the first account for the child with ScholarShare529. ScholarShare is a 529 college savings plan for the State of California. First 5 Sonoma County will use this account platform to invest $500 in an age-appropriate portfolio based on the expected college enrollment year for eligible child with the opportunity for additional incentives after participating in activities that support the child’s development and wellbeing

The second account can be established directly by a parent or guardian of the child. First 5 Sonoma County has partnered with Family Resource Centers across Sonoma County to assist families in setting up individual college savings accounts.

Parents or guardians will be able to access account balances on both accounts through Outcome Tracker, a designated program management system.

Benefit: The initial $500 seed deposit by First 5 Sonoma County will be invested in an age-appropriate portfolio based on the expected college enrollment year. The program beneficiary will not have access to these funds before graduating from high school. The market value of the invested amount will be available to the beneficiary at the time of graduation from high school and will be sent directly to the college or career preparation programs to offset the student’s expenses.

Program Incentive: First 5 Sonoma County seeks to support families in fostering their child’s development during the important first 5 years of life. Participating in other activities that support your child’s development and wellbeing can earn your family up to $100 in additional deposits. 

Things like:

  • Taking your child to the dentist
  • Getting your child needed vaccines
  • Attending parent-teacher conferences
  • Participating in financial education classes
  • Joining parent leadership cohorts
  • Getting a library card for your child
  • Participating in classes like AVANCE, Pasitos, Abriendo Puertas, ALAS, etc.

Family-Owned 529 Incentive: We also encourage parents to open a second account, owned by you, where you can make additional deposits for your child as they grow. It is the same type of account, with age-appropriate investments, with Scholarshare529. Except now you are the owner and can continue adding funds. In order to encourage this important savings practice, First 5 will deposit $100 in your First 5 Futures account after you make deposits totaling $25. You can make one deposit of $25 or put in $5 each month for 5 months to establish the practice of setting aside money each month to save for your child’s education. You will have control over this account to continue adding more money over the years, we will just help you get started so that it can grow. 

  • Children must be ages 0 to 5 years old
  • Sonoma County resident 
  • Household Adjusted Gross Income of $75,000 or less (no verification required)

It’s easy! Simply fill the First 5 Futures Program Registration Form.

To access your account visit: https://bit.ly/3kIk9dB or for any questions call 707-522-2020.

Research shows that children from families who save between $1-$499 for education are 3x more likely to attend college and 4x more likely to graduate, compared with those with no college savings.

When you save and invest now, the money you save can grow and be worth much more.

Scholarshare is the California State 529 plan, a tax-advantaged investment vehicle designed to encourage saving for the future higher education expenses of a designated beneficiary.

If the account beneficiary does not attend college, the account owner may change the beneficiary to another eligible family member. See definition of eligible family member. If funds are withdrawn for a purpose other than qualified higher education expenses, or they are treated as withdrawn due to the naming of an ineligible beneficiary, the amount will be subject to a 10% federal tax on the earnings in addition to federal and state taxes. Non-qualified withdrawals may also be subject to a 2.5% California tax on earnings.

It’s easy. Most families enroll online at ScholarShare529.com. Paper applications are also available if families prefer.

What you will need:

  • The date of birth and Social Security or federal taxpayer identification number (ITIN) for the beneficiary and account owner.
  • The date of birth for the beneficiary account owner, should you choose to designate one.
  • Select an investment portfolio that matches your investment saving objectives.
  • If you are enrolling in a recurring contribution program, you will need the account and bank routing number from your checking account.