Thursday 18 December 2014

'This time of year is very expensive for parents'

Published 30/07/2014 | 02:30

The cost of kitting out children for school has increased
The cost of kitting out children for school has increased
Laura Haugh prepares son James (5) for his first day of school

THE summer months are proving to be the most expensive for the Haugh family.

Holidays and summer camps are busting their budget, but the cost of getting children ready for school in September is really stretching the family's finances.

James (5) is starting junior infants in Oatlands Primary School in Stillorgan, South Dublin. His sister Lucy, who is three in September, will begin Oatlands Montessori school. A uniform is required for children attending the Montessori.

The cost is likely to top €700 for the two children.

Mother Laura Haugh is a marketing manager with MummyPages.ie, an online parenting community. Father Ross Haugh is a sales director with a transport company.

Two tracksuits each, polo shirts, books and shoes, runners, schoolbags and lunch boxes all have to be bought.

Books alone for James have set the family back €40.

"For a child in junior infants that is expensive," said Ms Haugh.

Some of the expense is hard to avoid as the parents want to get their children excited about starting school. This meant opting for pricey schoolbags featuring the children's favourite cartoon characters, the mother said.

As both parents work full time, afternoon care is also a big drain on income.

After-school club will cost €550 a month for Lucy, while the cost for James is lower at €285 a month as the school subsidises some of the cost.

"This time of year is very expensive for parents because of summer camps, holidays and especially the expense of getting children ready for school," Ms Haugh said.

MummyPages.ie also released a survey of parents on back-to-school costs yesterday, finding that almost nine out of 10 parents think that the school uniform is unnecessarily expensive.

The survey of 1,000 parents found that the average cost for textbooks and stationery for primary school children in third to sixth class is €188.

Ms Haugh said: "Feedback from our mums suggests the school management teams and the Government could do more."

Irish Independent

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