School costs – How can you afford it?

Author : teriann

As summer is is full swing besides the intense heat, the other thing on the minds of those with children are the costs that they will soon face when school reopens.

The cost of raising children is doubly hard when it comes to providing them with a quality education.  In Jamaica, children as young as 2 years old are enrolled in structured educational programmes.  These programmes are not free and there are additional costs such as uniform and school supplies.  Some busy parents also have to contend with finding extra money to pay for after school care for their children ass they can not be picked up until later in the evening.

School Costs

Older children have more costs associated with their education.  Parents of older children are asked to purchase a number of books and stationery items, parent contribution, Physical Education gear, lab and exam fees as well as frequent changes to the uniform.

The uniform changes are usually slight such as a change in stripes or various shades of the same colour to show differences in the various grades.  This means that every year whether the uniform still fits or not, the parent would have an additional purchase to make.

The lengthy book lists can also be annoying. they often change books on a syllabus which means that books that were used in previous years can often not be recycled.  This results in another added burden to consumers as they prepare to go back to school.

How to cope with School costs

There is no need to stress however as if there is proper preparation there can be success! Instead of waiting for September morning to be scrambling around, it is a good idea to start preparing from earlier in the year.  Books tend to get scarce when its near to September but book lists are usually available by July.

There are some books that you can get early especially if you have a younger child and you have had dialogue with their class teacher.  However if you have older children some books such as Literature books can be bought on a termly basis.  Therefore try and get information about the order in which the books will be used during the year.

If the school allows it, parents can source their own dressmakers and tailors which will cut down on cost of purchasing brand new uniforms if the old ones simply need to be adjusted to include new elements.

If you have difficulty making payments to the school for whatever reason, it pays to go in and have a talk with the administration and have a payment plan in place.

In another installment on the blog I will continue on some money saving tips to help you prepare for back to school.

Let me hear from you! How do you cope with back to school costs?

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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