'I was amazed my son's uniform will cost €200' - Mum-of-two shocked by spiralling school costs
For mother-of-two Eileen Langan, school costs are an entirely new hurdle that she and many more families around the country must face.
Securing a school place for her five-year-old son Rayan in her locality in Swords, Co Dublin, was a "near impossible" feat, she says. But now that Rayan is due to begin junior infants in St Cronan's School, Brackenstown, in September, Ms Langan said she was shocked at the price of his uniform alone.
"When I discovered how much Rayan's uniform will cost, I was honestly very surprised that it will be more than €200. I haven't even got a price list for his books yet, but I can just imagine what they're going to cost," she told the Irish Independent.
"This is the first year that my husband and I are dealing with school costs so it's an entirely new experience for us. Once I pick up his books next week, we will be looking at €350-€400 easily, which does not include the crafting and administration fees that will have to be paid before he starts.
"We will also have to fund any extracurricular activities that he takes up, along with his school tours."
Ms Langan, who works full-time along with her husband, added that she feels very fortunate having two sources of income.
"But if anything happened and we had to depend on the one salary, it would be a huge struggle," she said.
Ms Langan, who also has a 19-month-old daughter, will have to pay twice as much once her little girl begins primary school in a few years.
"Our daughter Maya, who will start school in a couple of years, will double the amount we have to pay," Ms Langan said. "I just hope that school fees won't increase by then.
"It all adds up, depending on how many children you have, and I don't know how parents with three or four children can manage.
"More should definitely be done to alleviate these costs and help parents who are really struggling to afford sending their kids to school," she said.