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CT issues 'life-changing' Baby Bonds to nearly 8,000 infants, so far

Six months after the creation of the CT Baby Bonds program, Governor Ned Lamont (at podium) reported January 17, 2024, that 7,810 Connecticut children born after July 01, 2023, have been enrolled in the program. Baby Bonds, under the direction of State Treasurer Erick Russell (second from right), invests $3,200 on behalf of each low-income child.
Matt Dwyer
/
Connecticut Public
Six months after the creation of the CT Baby Bonds program, Governor Ned Lamont (at podium) reported January 17, 2024, that 7,810 Connecticut children born after July 01, 2023, have been enrolled in the program. Baby Bonds, under the direction of State Treasurer Erick Russell (second from right), invests $3,200 on behalf of each low-income child.

In its first six months, the state of Connecticut’s Baby Bonds program has created investment accounts for almost 8,000 infants born to low-income families.

State officials celebrated the half-year anniversary of the program at a daycare in West Hartford . Toddlers sang "head, shoulders, knees and toes" as the press conference got underway Wednesday morning.

"We are here to welcome 7,810 of our newest residents here in Connecticut," State Treasurer Erick Russell said that's on track with enrollment expectations. "Since Connecticut Baby Bonds was launched on July first of 2023, that is the number of eligible babies from across the state who were born into the program."

The program is fully funded for 12 years, according to Russell. After that, additional state money will be needed to continue putting dollars into funds automatically set up for newborns who qualify for the HUSKY state-subsidized health program.

The Baby Bonds program deposits $3,000 into each child's account, then Treasurer's office invests the money, so it will grow over time. The money becomes available to the children after they turn 18, if they still live in Connecticut.

The investments in the accounts are expected to grow to at least $11,000 by the time the child comes of age. Department of Social Services Commissioner Andrea Barton-Reeves says the program can be life-changing.

"Almost every town in the state has at least one child if not more children who are enrolled in the baby bonds program," Barton-Reeves said. "What that really speaks to is it speaks to the great need we have in this state and, quite frankly in this country, to raise families out of poverty."

The cities of Bridgeport, Hartford, and Waterbury have the largest number of infants enrolled.

Matt Dwyer is an editor, reporter and midday host for Connecticut Public's news department. He produces local news during All Things Considered.
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