Kilkenny parents feel the pinch as back-to-school costs rise
By COLIN BARTLEY
KILKENNY parents are cutting back on holidays, school-trips and sportswear for their kids as the cost of sending them back to school continues to rise.
More than half of parents are under pressure financially because of back-to-school costs, while a third of parents say they have to cut out some school-related costs because they cannot afford them.
The figures come from the latest survey of school costs carried out on behalf of the Irish League of Credit Unions. The survey got responses of 882 parents nationwide.
The survey found the average cost of sending a child to secondary school is €1,400, while the cost of sending a child to primary school is €940.
One-in-three parents expect to fall into debt providing their kids with back to school items, and worryingly, 25% of those who expect to get into debt are turning to moneylenders to finance the cost.
Books, uniforms, and sports gear are the items parents say are most expensive. Lunches, extracurricular activities, and after-school care are the expenses parents are going to cut back on.
The Irish League of Credit Unions is calling on the Government to introduce generic uniforms and sports gear to reduce costs for families.
A spokesperson for St Canice’s Credit Union, speaking with KilkennyNow.ie said: “We are calling on the Government to take more affirmative action to tackle the rising costs of sending children back to school. The recommendations outlined in the Joint Committee on Education and Skill’s report, if taken on board, will go a long way to easing this annual burden on parents.
“St. Canice’s Credit Union would urge its members to avoid money lenders and high interest credit card debt when it comes to back to school expenses. Your credit union offers an affordable, convenient and ethical alternative and it would encourage parents in need of financial assistance to contact their local branch of St. Canice’s Credit Union and forego money lenders and credit cards completely.”