COSTLY BUSINESS: It looks like an expensive few years ahead for Kelly and Mark Ensbey, of Lower Southgate with their children,
COSTLY BUSINESS: It looks like an expensive few years ahead for Kelly and Mark Ensbey, of Lower Southgate with their children,

$250,000 to school our kids

By JULIA ILES

julia.iles@dailyexaminer.com.au

INVESTING in stocks probably makes more financial sense than having a child, with recent statistics suggesting the cost of a public education in NSW is around $250,000.

The outlay includes pre-school, primary, secondary and a three-year tertiary course, and is based on research by the Australian Scholarships Group (ASG), a not-for-profit friendly organisation.

"Most parents would be surprised that the cost of educating a child born in 2006 equates to the cost of a modest outer suburban home, and that just like they save for housing, health and retirement, parents also need to save for their child's education, particularly if they intend to choose independent schooling options where the costs are even higher," ASG's general manager, Warwick Jones said.

From 2006 the projected cost of Catholic schooling is $320,315 or for an independent school a phenomenal $430,811.

AND the news gets worse for children who will be born in years to come, with the Australian Bureau of Statistics reporting the education component of the the consumer price index has risen two and a half times the cost of inflation.

But if you wouldn't dream of life without children, saving may help cover mounting expenses.

As many as 75 per cent of the 3.57 million people surveyed by ASG, with a child or grandchild under 10 years of age, don't have any financial arrangement in place to save for educational costs.

Kelly Ensbey, of Lower Southgate, is a mother of three, and her children range from Hayden who is almost 4, Ashleigh, 2, and Mackenna 11 weeks.

"We haven't put any money aside but should look at doing it ? it is ridiculous ? the costs of education these days. It's too hard on a low-income family and the expenses with university these days is horrible," she said.

She is not concerned if her children go to university.

"Who knows, in 10 years time everyone may have to go," she said.

She and her husband, Mark, a truck driver, have decided to send their children to Lawrence Public School.

"It is smaller and I think they will get more one-to-one attention. We didn't really think about sending the kids to a private school as both of us went to public schools and turned out all right," Mrs Ensbey said.

"There are enough expenses already with books and school uniforms."

It was estimated last year that the cost of raising a child in Sydney could be as much as $1million.

That includes the value of income foregone.



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