YWCA works with families across the country to increase uptake of Canada Learning Bond
YWCA launches new program to accelerate financial literacy and increase access to higher education for families and children living on low-income
Toronto, Canada — May 23, 2019 — YWCA Canada launched the Accelerator Program on May 1st to boost financial literacy for families across the country. In partnership with SmartSaver, the YWCA will be working alongside families living on low income to increase awareness of the Canada Learning Bond (CLB) and its financial contributions available for a child’s college education.
“YWCA staff are trusted financial literacy champions, going above and beyond the call of duty to support families facing barriers and living on low income. Every day, YWCA staff help families navigate systems and access services and opportunities in hundreds of communities nation-wide.” says Maya Roy, YWCA Canada CEO. “The Accelerator Program advances our goal to break the cycle of poverty by providing families with plain language information on CLB, in their community, at the YWCA where they are comfortable and supported,” she continues.
The Canada Learning Bond was developed in 2004. Through the program, the Government of Canada supports children from families living on a low income by contributing to their Registered Education Savings Plan. This money helps to pay the costs of a child’s full-time or part-time studies after high school. Although the CLB take up has increased from 0.4 percent to 34.7 percent since 2005, approximately 1.8 million Canadian children are still not receiving this educational saving incentive. Through the new Accelerator Program, YWCA and SmartSaver hopes to move the dial on the CLB uptake and see more families benefit from this life-changing initiative.
“The biggest change I’ve noticed about me and the kids is that we have a lot more drive to get our education goals under our belt,” said a CLB participant. “It’s so great to go to school and see my kids on stage receiving an award because they have that passion for their education,” she continued.
The YWCAs will host information sessions across the country and engage families in one on one conversations on their financial health. This initiative will provide YWCA staff with dedicated training to have financial literacy conversations with families. 8YWCAs across Canada will take part in this program: YWCA Cambridge, YWCA Halifax, YWCA Lethbridge & District, YWCA Metro Vancouver, YWCA Muskoka, YWCA Saskatoon, YWCA St. John’s, and YMCA-YWCA Vancouver Island.
For more information, contact Anjum Sultana, Manager of Policy & Strategic Communications, YWCA Canada.
Office Line: 416-962-8881 EXT 224
Cell Number: 416-275-0443
About YWCA Canada
YWCA Canada is the country’s oldest and largest women’s multi-service organization. YWCA Canada represents 32 members associations whose programs and services create change for 1 million women, girls, and their families. Annually, YWCA invests over $230 million to support 330, 000 women and girls, in 300 communities across Canada. YWCA Canada strives to strengthen women and girls’ equality, allowing them to see themselves as empowered and engaged.
About Omega Foundation
The Omega Foundation is a Canadian registered charity dedicated to enhancing the financial literacy and capacity of low-income Canadians. The Foundation’s SmartSAVER program works with public, private and community partners to help low-income families access Registered Education Savings Plan (RESPs) and the Canada Learning Bond (CLB). SmartSAVER works in partnership with BMO, CIBC, Meridian, RBC, Scotiabank, TD and Vancity and is supported by the Haynes Connell Foundation, the Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation and the George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation.