With the school holidays almost over, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to meet the cost of sending the kids back to school.
As a parent you might agree that putting your children through school can be costly. In fact, according to ASG the total cost of schooling in a capital city (pre-school, primary and secondary) for a child born today would amount to an estimated $66,862 for Government schools and $468,397 for Private1.
But depending on your situation there may be government subsidies or tax breaks you are eligible for, here are some we’ve put together.
This is the last year that the Federal Government will be providing the Schoolkids Bonus, an income-tested payment for a parent or carer who is receiving the Family Tax Benefit Part A for a dependent child in primary or secondary education.
You will receive an automatic payment of $422 a year for each child in primary school and $842 for each child in secondary school. The bonus is paid in two instalments in January and, for the last time, in July this year. For more information, visit the Department of Social Services website.
Assistance for isolated children
If you have a school-aged child who can’t go to a state school because they:
- live in an isolated area
- have a disability or special need, or
- board away from home
you may be eligible for tax-free payments which are exempt from income and assets tests. Find out more about the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme.
As well as funding from the Federal Government, you might also be able to receive extra benefits from your state. Here are some examples:
New South Wales
If you drive the kids to school because there’s no public transport where you live, find out if you are eligible for the Private Vehicle Conveyance subsidy.
Get help with buying textbooks and other learning resources through the government’s website for students.
Your family might be eligible to receive free or discounted uniforms, shoes, textbooks, stationery or software. See financial assistance for families.
Lower income families can receive payments for help with education expenses. Find out about the School Card scheme.
The Secondary Assistance Scheme provides an Education Program and Clothing Allowance for parents who hold eligible concession cards.
Grandparents may be able to receive financial support to help with the cost of raising their grandchildren. See Student Assistance Scheme (STAS).
Getting to and from school
Make sure you know about any public transport concessions are available to you. Some states allow your child to travel free while others offer discounted fares and conditions which can change from year to year.
|Australian state||Public transport website|
|New South Wales||School Student Transport Scheme
|Queensland||School transport scheme|
|South Australia||Adelaide Metro|
|Western Australia||Student SmartRider|
|Tasmania||Transport Access Scheme|
|Northern Territory||Northern Territory Government Public Transport|
Find out more
The cost of kids2 has almost doubled in the last ten years, so make sure you make the most of the tax breaks and subsidies available to you.
Ask your school about what financial support is available or talk to other parents who have children at school.
If you’d like help working out how much you’ll need to save this year for education and other expenses, use our budget planner. Or, you can find an adviser in your local area to help you get your finances sorted.
2 Since 2002, AMP and the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) have produced a series of reports to help the community make informed financial and lifestyle decisions and to contribute to important social and economic policy debate. Find out more about AMP.NATSEM.