The Coverdell Education Savings Account used to be referred to as the Education IRA and was limited in its usefulness. The annual contribution was $500, which didn't get you very far if you were sending your child to college. In 2002 the level was raised to $2,000 and could be applied to schooling other than college. Considering how expensive private high schools have become, this is an excellent feature and perhaps the most important one.
Other features of the Coverdell ESA include:
Any time the government provides you with the opportunity to grow your savings on a tax-deferred basis it's usually a good idea to take them up on the offer. You can worry about the implications later on when you need to withdraw the funds. Albert Einstein considered compound interest the most powerful force on earth. Make the compounding tax-deferred and you've got something valuable.
The Coverdell ESA is an excellent supplement to the 529 college savings plan and prepaid tuition plan. Its biggest benefit (in addition to the tax-deferred compounding) is that it can be used prior to college allowing you to save for your child's private high school education. That alone could make a difference where they attend college. The choice is yours.