Reaching more eligible families through the YWCA Accelerator Program
Today, having a post-secondary education is an essential part of securing a well-paying job, and ensuring a bright future. This is why SmartSAVER is partnering with YWCA to support the YWCA Canada Accelerator Program, boosting financial literacy and education savings across Canada. YWCA Canada and SmartSAVER are working together to increase the amount of Canadians opening a Registered Education Savings Plan in order to receive Canada Learning Bond – a federal grant of up to $2,000 per eligible child – so that families can kick start their children’s education savings. SmartSAVER and YWCA are working alongside families living on low-income so that more families aware of the Canada Learning Bond and what kinds of financial contributions are available for their children’s post-secondary education. In order to receive the Canada Learning Bond, families must open a Registered Education Savings Plan. The Government of Canada then contributes money into the Registered Education Savings Plan of eligible families.
Having money saved for university or college holds incredible value; students are motivated to do better and work harder in school and plan for their futures. Statistically, children with education savings are four times as likely to graduate from a post-secondary program and to transition quickly into the professional world. Having education savings also sets a household expectation that the child will attend a postsecondary education after high school. In the long-term, having a degree or diploma leads to better employment, economic and health outcomes for both the individual and family unit, and helps to protect against economic shocks. More than 65% of women in Canada have a higher education – and we hope to see this number grow.
The goal of both YWCA Canada and SmartSAVER is to break the cycle of poverty. A key part of this is providing all families with information on the Canada Learning Bond, written in plain language and in a variety of languages so that all can understand. By providing this information at a YWCA, families will be informed right in their own community, in a place where they are already involved and feel comfortable and supported. While the takeup rate of the Canada Learning Bond has increased from 0.5% in 2005 to 34.5% as of December 2018, more than 1.8 eligible Canadian children are still not receiving this benefit. By partnering with SmartSAVER, more YWCAs across Canada can directly reach families, increasing the number of children who have educational savings and attain a post-secondary education. Get involved today!
Written by Genevieve Tallmeister
Policy Researcher at SmartSAVER
Master of Public Policy Candidate at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto, Class of 2020