Education sets your child’s future in motion, so it’s essential to have a good plan early. As education costs keep rising yearly, preparing what steps to take in advance is necessary, especially if you’re a new parent. Planning now and following the steps will help you gain insights into what you can expect and be ready for adjustments you need to make if necessary.
1. Make A Cost Estimate
The costs of childhood education vary depending on factors such as the kind of school programs you’re considering, the institution you want, and the support you can get if you qualify. Childcare, preschool, and kindergarten will cover the first few years of your child’s life and vary in cost. The following will affect the costs of childcare:
- The child’s age
- Childcare type
- How often your child needs to attend, or how many days in a term
- Subsidy eligibility to get assistance
- If the service charges for days that your child isn’t present
- Do they charge during public holidays?
- Do you need to pay for supplies provided for your child?
Cost of Childcare and Kindergarten in Australia
Childcare centres and family day care costs in Australia range from AUD$70 to AUD$188 per day before CCS (child care subsidies), Kindergarten is currently free in some states if you choose to attend a government-funded kindergarten facility. However, if you choose to attend a kindergarten program in a long daycare setting you will still need to pay daycare fees but will receive a rebate of $2500 per year in fees. Factors will also include if you want your child to attend a public or a private institution and costs will vary per state.
Costs of Educating a Child from Prep to Year 12 in Australia
Sydney is the most expensive state in Australia for public and private school education. Public school education from prep to year 12 on average costs parents AUD$89,500, and independent private schools can average up to AUD$357,931 for prep to year 12 once you factor in uniforms costs, extra-curricular activities, and all other school-associated costs.
These figures are meant to give you an insight into the costs of childhood education and the considerations you must make. You can start by estimating the costs of the first few years of your child attending centres and formal education to get the ballpark funding you need to save.
2. Save, Invest, And Track Expenses
When it comes to your child’s education, saving early is crucial. This means being mindful of your spending and making sacrifices, like delaying a holiday or refraining from buying certain luxuries. While it may seem tough, you’ll thank yourself later when you can provide financial support for their schooling. It’s important to consider the time frame you have to save, starting from primary school all the way through to high school. This will help you plan and prepare for the expenses ahead.
You can open a savings account for your child’s education fund. A high-interest savings account will help you earn more money over time. Thus, you would want to compare your options by looking into the interest rate you will receive by including your money in the account and for how long they keep up the promo. Some banks will pay as much as 4.25% for balances under a specific amount.
Remember to dedicate the savings account to your child’s education fund and only use it for that purpose. If you have more than one child, consider opening separate accounts for each of them so that the finances don’t get mixed up.
- Invest And Compound
Compound interest is the interest earned on both the principal amount and any interest already earned. It can help you grown your money faster over time. Invest money dedicated to earning returns for an education fund. Once you get your earnings, reinvest them instead so you can make returns from the partial investment and your reinvested earnings back.
- Monitor Expenses
Taking the time to track your expenses will help you save even more money than you can add to your child’s education fund. Take time to record your costs, such as taking a photo of receipts and recording them later in a notebook. When you have a spending record, you can review it at home and assess which expense you can do with or without. If you’re a business owner, it’s best to keep your personal and business expenses separate to avoid any accounting issues. This way, it’s easier to keep track of your expenses and ensure you’re minimizing costs.
3. Check For Financial Assistance
In Australia, children of citizens and permanent residents can attend government or public schools for free. Private schools, including Religious schools, will charge attendance fees. It’s worth nothing that religious schools are generally much cheaper than private independent schools that receive very little government assistance.
Children with special needs may qualify for assistance, but parents must prove that the aid is vital for the child’s education. The grant also included academically gifted children.
Financial aid is granted to families eligible for a Defence paid move, attained when they moved locations for a valid reason. If the current government school cannot provide for the needs of the child and the child’s disabilities are recognized, the family is likely to get educational assistance.
If your child is showing promise in academic prowess, they may also be able to qualify for high school or secondary scholarships. It can help lower your expenses and save money for the other needs of your child. You can check for financial aid your child could qualify for in your community or state.
4. Invest In An Education Bond
When it comes to planning for your child’s education, an education bond can be a great option. This type of investment is specifically designed to cover your child’s school fees, and it’s separate from your regular savings. Plus, you can enjoy tax deductions similar to a scholarship plan! Keep in mind that education bonds are subject to Australian tax law, so it’s important to understand the rules and regulations before investing.
An education bond can assist you with the following benefits:
- Tuition fees, course fees, private tuition, and career training fees
- Inclusions such as uniforms, music lessons, books, materials and instruments, school outings, travel fees
- You can withdraw up to AUD$8,750 for living allowance if the child is boarding away from home. The funding covers a year of boarding and doesn’t need proof of expenditure.
- Rent and other accommodations expenses
You can research education bond sources and compare rates. Begin building your savings by starting small and making regular contributions. The program is also flexible since you can change how much you contribute. Your family members and relatives can also choose to contribute to your bond savings. Taxes are payable through earnings, but you can use the contribution for educational and non-education costs.
There are many ways that you can prepare for your child’s education. It depends on your lifestyle and what you can afford to set aside until your child is ready for formal education. Explore your options well, and you’ll likely get more peace of mind.
To start planning for your child’s education, you can estimate the cost of education based on their age and the type of education you want for them. From there, start saving and investing money from various sources and track your expenses to maximize your savings.
Consider compound interest and other investment options to grow your money faster. If you need financial assistance, research programs available for children with special needs. Finally, an educational bond can be a great way to save and receive tax deductions, ensuring you have enough money for your child’s schooling. With these tips, you can be well on your way to securing your child’s educational future.