Build a Nest Egg for your child


Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 2:52 p.m.

If you have a child age 3 or younger and you think you would benefit from a program that earns money for your child's education-related expenses while you gain parenting and financial planning education, then you may want to consider participating in the My Families Involved in Reaching Success Together, or F.I.R.S.T., Nest Egg program.

Facts

NEST EGG PROGRAM

What: My F.I.R.S.T Nest Egg, a two-part program to save education funds for children.
When: 10 a.m.-noon Thursdays from March 7-April 25 and 10 a.m.-noon May 6-10.
Where: Library Partnership, 1130 NE 16th Ave.
Information: Call 352-334-0164 or email angelica.suarez@pfsf.org.

Sponsored by Library Partnership, parents will be required to attend eight weekly sessions, followed by "Fight for Your Money," a weeklong financial planning class.

The Nest Egg program will run from 10 a.m.-noon Thursdays beginning March 7 through April 25 and also 10 a.m.-noon May 6-10 at Library Partnership at 1130 NE 16th Ave.

Parents also must commit to working with a life coach for five years. During this time, they will be earning money for their child's education-related expenses.

Carressa Hutchinson, manager of the Resource Center at Library Partnership, said space is limited, so it is important for parents to reserve a spot now by calling 352-334-0164 or by emailing angelica.suarez@pfsf.org.

"The funding is for the children and the parenting and financial classes are for the parents to gain valuable information," said Hutchinson, adding that a savings account, or Individual Developmental Account, will be created for the child.

Now in its second year, the Nest Egg program is sponsored by the Community Foundation of North Central Florida, formerly Gainesville Community Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes and sustains philanthropy.

Hutchinson said participants will contribute $10 each month to earn an extra $20 each month from the Community Foundation for a total of $360 annually in their child's savings account for five years for a total of $1,800.

By working with a life coach for five years, participants also will earn $50 every three months for their child's savings account. Participants also will earn an additional $250 for completing the F.I.R.S.T. sessions and $250 for completing the weeklong financial class.

Barzella Papa, president and CEO of Community Foundation, said after the parents complete the five-year commitment, the savings account will continue to earn interest until the child is 18. She said the savings account can be used for education, to start a business, or to buy a house. "It can be anything that will improve their lives and give them a chance of success," Papa said.

After five years, Papa said each participant could have a maximum of $3,300 to invest long-term until their child is 18. Depending on the investment portfolio, that amount could double by the time it is put to use. With a 4 percent rate of return at 10 years and no additional deposits made after participation, the amount could grow to $5,240.

To participate in Nest Egg, participants must do the following:

Have at least one child age 3 or younger.

Contribute $10 each month

into the account for five years.

Complete the F.I.R.S.T. sessions and the "Fight for Your Money" class.

Work with a life coach weekly for the first three months and then at least once every three months for the remainder of the five years.

In addition, participants cannot have an open case with the Florida Department of Children and Families, can only miss two F.I.R.S.T. sessions, if there is an emergency, and must attend the entire weeklong "Fight" class.

"I want them to take the information and techniques and apply it to everyday living," Hutchinson said. "And share with each other their experiences with the program."

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