Gone are the days when your child’s education expenses were confined to tuition fees paid at school, add to that some bus fee and you’re done. Today education happens as much outside schooling hours as it does at school. It is not limited to what is taught in books, overall development involves lot of extracurriculars as well.
Here is what you need to add to your child’s education budget to make it realistic.
Add in pre-primary
Firstly, a large chunk of this expense begins even before primary school. Nursery schools and play schools which children attend right from the age of two years have caught on in a big way in metros, tier 1, and tier 2 cities. In metros, another popular step is a mother toddler program that starts when your child is 15 months old.
Play school or nursery can continue till the age of 3.5 years to 4.5 years depending on the primary school that you choose next. The cost involved in such pre-primary education can range from Rs 30,000-40,000 a year in a tier 2 city up to Rs 1 -2 lakh per year in metro cities. This is not cheap, but reports suggest this trend is spreading far and fast.
Another emerging trend is extracurricular classes and summer camps for children. Extracurriculars are usually evening classes and range from learning chess to football (sport) to music or even lessons in general knowledge, arts, and crafts. These are more unorganised, and costs vary, but Rs 500-800 (upwards) per lesson is standard. Three such lessons in a week and you are essentially paying upwards of Rs 1,500 per week or Rs 6,000 per month for such added lessons.
Next comes basic primary education. Here as well, depending on the school you choose annual tuition fee can range from Rs 30,000-50,000 all the way up to Rs 5-10 lakh. The increase in fees is not just due to education inflation but also comes with the choice of non-traditional teaching methods adopted by many schools. If you add up everything basic pre-primary and primary education cost (for 12 years) can be anywhere from Rs 5-10 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. Neither is a small sum.
Not just tuition fee
Another emerging trend is extra-curricular classes and summer camps for children. Extracurriculars are usually evening classes and range from learning chess to football (sport) to music or even lessons in general knowledge, arts, and crafts. These are more unorganised, and costs vary, but Rs 500-800 (upwards) per lesson is standard. Three such lessons in a week and you are essentially paying upwards of Rs 1,500 per week or Rs 6,000 per month for such added lessons.
During vacation months, summer camps which are for 2-3 weeks and cost upwards of Rs 6000-8000 per week, are becoming popular. What you are looking at, potentially, are annual costs upwards of Rs 70,000 for such activities.
For households where both parents are working, these extra-curricular activities are useful in keeping children occupied post school and in summer vacations. You do have the additional expense, however, of full time hired help to take your child to these sessions.
What should you do?
Some of these costs may sound optional but given the changing lifestyle trends these seem less of a choice. Add to it other costs like books, stationery, and field trips. Your child’s comprehensive education cost for a period of 12-14 years can easily go up to Rs 10-15 lakh and upwards.
Your solution? Plan ahead. Which means, think about these costs early and start saving systematically and invest to ensure that you do not hold back when it comes to quality education and overall development of your child. It is no longer a job just for your regular monthly income.