RESPs are an excellent way to save for post-secondary education.
The RESP receives a grant of 20% of the first $2,500 in contributions, up to $500 each year per student under age 18. You can double-up your contribution in any year for a missed year. The maximum total grant is $7,200 per student. An additional grant on the first $500 may be received if the family income is below $75K. The plan must be set up before the end of the year that the child turns 15.
Contributions to a RESP are not tax deductible but the investment income earned is tax sheltered. When the student uses the RESP for post-secondary education, the accumulated income and any grants received become taxable to the student. As the student typically does not have a very high income, there is usually little or no tax on this income. You will usually want to withdraw any income and grants from the RESP before you withdraw your contributions.
For most flexibility, set up a family plan.