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Step One: The Basics

The Basics of CalKIDS

CalKIDS is a state program that gives children in California a jump start on saving for college. Newborns and eligible low-income public school students are automatically enrolled and given a CalKIDS college savings account with an initial deposit. Eligible participants are identified by data received from the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education. There is no need to apply and no requirement that families make any kind of financial commitment.

Benefits of the CalKIDS program:

  • Enrollment is automatic with each participant receiving a deposit in a CalKIDS college savings account to help pay for future higher education and career training expenses.
    Register to access your CalKIDS Account
  • If parents or caregivers want to contribute they can easily open individual accounts through ScholarShare 529.
    Open a ScholarShare 529 account
  • Link a ScholarShare 529 account to your CalKIDS account to see all your college savings in one place.
    Link your accounts
  • CalKIDS savings can be used for qualified higher education expenses like tuition, books, computer equipment, supplies, and more at thousands of eligible schools across the country and even some abroad.
    See what’s covered

Check to see if your child is eligible to participate:


The LRN is a 13-digit ID which appears on your newborn’s birth certificate.

See example below.

Enter the newborn’s Local Registration Number (LRN)**

Enter the student’s Statewide Student Identifier (SSID)

Ready to move onto the next step?

Finished reading the basics? Move to the next step in your CalKIDS journey.