Back to school breaks to help with the cost of education

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. 

Schoolkids bonus

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.

State allowances

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.

South Australia

Lower income families can receive payments for help with education expenses. Find out about the School Card scheme.

Western Australia

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.

Budget planner calculator

Use our Budget planner calculator to assess your current financial position and how much you may be able to invest. 

Start budgeting today


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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.

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© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.