This is the suprising cost of educating a child in Australia today

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Providing children with the best possible education is a gift that many parents want for their loved ones. Education comes with a price; in fact, it will most likely be the biggest financial cost you will outlay for your child.

How much money you need will depend on whether you want your children to go to public or private schools.

The earlier you start saving for your children’s education, the better. Education costs are usually a long-term goal that can take more than 5 years to achieve. This is why parents start to consider the costs very early on. Many start with a saving plan by either opening a savings account or contributing to an educational fund to help fund the expense.

If you decide on the private system from kindergarten until they are ready for university, get ready for this to run into the hundreds of thousands.

The Australian Scholarship Group (ASG) have estimated the cost for private education for a child born in 2016, will cost in regional Australia, $328,980 and metropolitan an even higher figure of $468,397. The cost to educate a child in the public system is around $55,000. (These costs include items beyond fees such as clothing, travel, shoes, and excursions.)

If your anxiety levels have just risen, then you are not alone. ASG research found that 62 per cent of parents are concerned about the cost of supporting their child’s future secondary and post secondary education.

To cut back on some of the costs; many parents opt to send their children through the public school system in the junior years and once the child reaches high school they move into private education. If you are considering this option, then take a look at this example. If you were to send two children to a private high school that costs on average of $20,000 a year (up to $30K) for each child, according to the SMH, by the time they both graduate you will have spent $240,000 on school fees. And, that’s before the extras such as school uniforms, trips and sporting clinics.

These figures are staggering, but many parents manage. It does take planning and budgeting for the cost. Education costs are on the rise. The cost of education has almost doubled the rate of inflation over the last 20 years. According to 2009 figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, education costs rose at 5.6 percent compared to the overall inflation rate of 1.3 percent.

To help you plan and budget for the cost of school fees, there is an online tool available that can help you forecast school fee information on private and Catholic schools in Australia and helps you plan how much you might need to save to cover the costs. This can be invaluable when planning your child’s future.

But there is more

Aside from the annual fees, to help you understand the costs you’ll need to consider over your child’s schooling years – there are additional areas that you will also need to pay for:

• Necessary educational items: such as, books, stationery, uniforms and compulsory camps/excursions, travel, mobile phones and associated costs.

• Additional extras: such as music lessons, music instruments and non-essential camps, excursions and social events and clothing for formals. The costs associated with end of year formals and parties run into the hundreds, particularly for parents with daughters.

• Voluntary contributions: this can be for donations to the school for general or specific purposes, such as a building or library trust fund or for new computers.

It’s never too early to start planning for your child’s education. ANZ can help you prepare for what could be one of your biggest household expenses with ANZ School Ready. It gives you school fee information for private and Catholic schools, including a free personalised report with fee forecasts, a savings plan and tips to be financially prepared. For more information visit