Give The Gift of Education To Growing Families with MEFA

I partnered with Fidelity & MEFA in support of the U.Fund Dreams Tour. As always, all opinions are my own #UFundDreams.

A child born in 2017 will enter college in 2035! As I anxiously await the arrival of my second child due February 6, 2017, thinking about college and the year 2035 feels like a lifetime far far away! Diapers and wipes and preparing for maternity leave seem more pressing than saving for college. Not that it’s not important to set my children up for success, but as far as priorities it’s low on the list. I’m sure I felt the same way when my daughter was born almost 12 years ago…and BAM she’s starting middle school in the fall! Seriously, when-did-that-happen?!

Pregnancy announcements can bring a rush of excitement and love to the expecting family, their extended family and friends. Gifts for new babies often include baby bottles, blankets, books, wipes and other baby essentials and fun baby gear. It’s no secret that newborns and young children go through many items like diapers and wipes. Did you know the average newborn will need ~10 diaper changes every day? As I was planning for how many diapers we’d need in the first three months, you can imagine my surprise with the number of diapers we’d need in -just- the first three months. Bring on the diapers!

While tangible baby essentials are absolutely necessary, what if the larger village surrounding expecting families thought about the long term success of babies in addition to short term needs? Instead of cards for our little one, I asked friends and families to gift us their favorite children’s book. Literacy has been a major part of my life and has unlocked many doors while providing hours of joy and content. It’s been a priority as a mom to instill a love of reading in my daughter and now in my second child as well. Will baby be able to read at birth? If only! Yet, I understand the benefit of literacy on young minds and the power it can provide in the future.

Communities surrounding growing families have many options to support parents and babies, and I encourage you to consider a gift of education to parents-to-be. It’s no secret that the cost of education continues to rise, making the reality of affording higher education seemingly out of reach for many families. I’ve been overwhelmed with the prospect of the cost of college, however it doesn’t have to be a hurdle that can’t be conquered. Think about how much savings you would have if families started saving in their child’s first year of life or even the second or third. It’s never too late to save -and- it’s never too early to start investing in the future. Small and calculated investments quickly grow over time, reducing the amount of money families have to borrow when they start college. With the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) specialists are available to support parents every step of the way, taking the guesswork out of college savings. Hear from other parents committed to setting their children up for success and join a larger community where savings is possible, with the right support. And don’t be afraid to get family and friends involved! Parenthood is one tough job and I firmly believe it takes a village!

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