Local TD Fiona O’Loughlin wants to remind constituents that it’s still not too late to apply for the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance scheme.
This allowance is payable on July 12 and provides a once-off payment to eligible families to assist with the extra costs when children start school.
“It’s a vital source of finance for many parents in Laois who struggle with the costs incurred every September,” said O’Loughlin.
According to the Kildare TD, a survey conducted last year showed that parents sending children to non fee-paying secondary schools spent more than €1,200 per annum on their education while primary school-going children cost their parents almost €600.
Deputy O’Loughlin said, “The financial pressure of back-to -school time sees parents getting themselves into debt with expenses far higher than parents expect.
“The cost of primary school education is 42 percent higher than parents expect with secondary school education coming in at 21 percent above parental expectations according to the Zurich Life Assurance research.
“Every year, I hear from parents who are finding it difficult to cover the cost of uniforms, books, stationery, shoes and voluntary contributions to their children’s schools.
“The number of parents taking out loans to cover the cost of primary school education is estimated at 17 percent with one in three secondary parents relying on loans to help finance their children’s education.
“If any parent feels they should be eligible for the BSCFA allowance and has not received a letter yet, please drop into my office as soon as possible so we can make enquiries for you on the matter,” concluded the Deputy.