PEOPLE planning to become parents have been warned that it costs thousands of euro to raise a child.
The average cost for the first year alone costs close to €15,000, according to a new study by AA Life Insurance.
Childcare when both parents return to work is the greatest expense.
Working parents can expect to pay on average €5,000 per year for childminding.
Parents opting for private healthcare during maternity can end up paying thousands of euro more than those who choose the public system.
The research found that parents can expect to pay an average of €14,532.12 before their baby’s first birthday.
These costs include maternity healthcare, baby-proofing and essentials such as car seats.
The costs for parents begin to mount long before the baby is born.
Parents who opt for private maternity healthcare could face hospital bills of anywhere between €3,000 and €5,000, according to AA Life, a life insurance and mortgage protection provider.
However, between tax relief and health insurance cover the research estimates that parents opting for private healthcare will pay an average of €2,908 more than those who opt for the public service.
Arwen Foley of AA Life said that people who already have children won’t be surprised that the survey found that having a family is expensive.
“But for first-time parents it can serve as a real shock when the expenses start to mount up,” she said.
Many of the costly items, such as monitors, car seats and prams, can be re-used with any subsequent children to keep future costs down.
However, the first child will bring with it a lot of unexpected bills, Ms Foley said.
“With a young child of my own and another on the way I’m well aware of how quickly the bills for maternity wear, baby-clothes, nappies and everything in between can add up.”