The cost of a state education for a child born in 2018 is estimated to be $38,227, up 13 per cent from forecast figures in 2008, according to the ASG Planning for Education Index, released today. A state integrated education could cost parents $102,730, a 30 per cent increase from ten years ago.

Meanwhile private education has increased the most, with the estimated cost of a private education for a child born this year now sitting at $360,074, a 42 per cent increase since 2008.

ASG’s chief operating officer Bruce Hawkins says the index debunks the myth that a state education is a free education.

“New Zealand families could spend on average $38,227 per child on a so-called, free education,” he says.

“It is pleasing to see that low inflation is having a positive impact on costs for state and integrated schools, but I must emphasise, the actual costs associated with sending your child to any school in New Zealand continues to increase each year.”

Hawkins says many parents fail to appreciate the additional expenses associated with funding a child’s education, including extracurricular activities, computers, travel expenses, uniforms, school excursions and camps.

Mele Kautoke says, despite working full-time, she and her husband struggle to keep up with the costs of educating their four children.

“We’re constantly behind in school fees…so with four children to put through Catholic school, it’s a constant battle and there’s not much assistance for middle to high income families.

“Our children don’t do as many extracurricular activities as we’d like them to and we’ve never been able to put them into swimming lessons because it’s just too expensive.

“The secondary school we’re planning to send our children to list iPads as a requirement for students, so just as we’ll be recovering financially from one starting high school it’ll be time for the next one to start.”

Education Minister Chris Hipkins is keen to put the ‘free’ back into free education. He has talked about plans to clamp down on school donations and covert fundraising and also address school funding.

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