Cost of raising a child from birth to college is €100,000
Families are spending a small fortune to raise a child from the cradle all the way to college.
New research shows it costs more than €100,000 to bring up a child to the point of finishing third-level education.
The cost of childcare is the biggest outlay for parents, coming in at around €4,000 a year.
Most parents admit that they put themselves under too much pressure to ensure they give their children all they can afford, the research commissioned by insurer Laya has found. The study was carried out by Empathy Research among 1,000 parents and breaks out the massive child-related costs parents incur over the first 21 years.
These include the everyday cost of food and clothing, to the higher costs of childcare and education.
Households are spending an average of €11,033 every year on their children.
The cost of childcare is the biggest outlay for parents each year at €4,094, representing a major slice of the annual household income.
This is closely followed by the cost of university and third-level college fees each year at €4,056, and other education-related costs including school books, uniforms and extra-curriculum classes - these amount to €1,707 a year.
Laya, which is the State's second largest health insurer but also offers life insurance, commissioned the research to encourage parents to provide for their children in the event of death by taking out life insurance.
The majority of parents say they are just keeping their heads above water, with almost six out of 10 admitting they are not able to put any money aside for savings.
Having kids aged between 15 and 17 years is the most expensive for parents, where monthly household child-related costs peak at €1,068.
The average age from which parents expect their children to fully support themselves is 24 years.
However, parents are most likely to want to help their children when it comes to buying their first home.
Almost two out of five say they would like to put money towards their child's first home, and a third plan to help them when they get married.
Some one in three parents hope to be in a position to give their kids a financial dig-out when they decide to have a family of their own.
Economist Joe Durcan, who helped compile the findings, said: "It's crystal clear from the research that Irish parents want to provide financial stability for their children, but they are still suffering from the effects of the recent economic downturn - 'the Great Recession'.
He said it was the worst world recession in the world since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the worst in Ireland since the 1950s.
Many parents have raised children in exceptionally difficult financial circumstances, he added.