The cost of children – why protecting your family is so important!

When you are considering what insurance you need to protect your family, it is worth considering just how much it costs to feed, raise and clothe children.

A report by Suncorp Bank has found that on average:

  • Infants cost $206 per week
  • Toddlers cost $167 per week
  • Primary school aged children cost $163 per week
  • Teenagers cost $237 per week

The report found that the age of 17 was the most expensive age due to:

  • Mobile phone expenses
  • Communication
  • Broadband
  • Technology for education
  • Increased entertainment expenses for teenagers

The high cost of infants ($206 per week) was largest attributed to:

  • Cost of new furniture
  • Car seats
  • Prams
  • Medical expenses

The average cost of raising a teenager was found to be $12,000 per year; however this increases dramatically if the child is educated in the private school system, with a cost increase from $18 per day in the public system to $393 per day in the private system.

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Cost of children: Newborns

When it comes to newborns, additional costs can run into the thousands, particularly if you are forced to move to a larger home. Additional costs can result from:

  • Higher rents or mortgage payments
  • Conveyance fees if purchasing a home
  • New furniture for home
  • Out of pocket medical expenses, even if you are using the public health system

With the baby product market worth $4.5 billion a year, it will come as no surprise that prams and strollers can cost up to $1500 while kitting out a newborn’s room can cost up to $5,000 (at the top end of the scale).

Returning to work vs. staying at home

When your child has reached a few months of age, the debate will begin about whether or not you should return to the work force, at least part time.

Many parents who take time off work to care for their newborn, will only be able to remain on paternity or maternity leave for a short period of time even when taking into account sick leave, annual leave and Centrelink Parent Leave Pay, which pays the minimum wage of $606.50 for 18 weeks.

Cost of child care

According to Care For Kids, there are a number of options for parents when it comes to Child Care:

Type of child care Price Range
Nanny $15 – $25 per hour for a live in Nanny plus an agency fee
$15 – $25 for a live out Nanny plus an agency fee
Nanny sharing $12+ per hour per family plus an agency fee
Au pair $80 – $120 per week plus an agency fee
Mother’s help $12 per hour for live in plus agency fee
$16 per hour for live out plus agency fee
Long day care $65 – $158 per day
Pre-school $35 – $80 per day
Family day care $4.50 – $8.50 per hour
In-home care $20-425 per hour
Babysitter $15 0 $35 per hour plus agency fee
Outside of School Hours Care $15 – $25 per day

Please note that the above prices may be in addition to meals and accommodation expenses.

As the table illustrates, a Nanny or long day care can cost in excess of $150 per day, making it unaffordable for many parents, even if they go back to work and are earning a second income for the family.

The importance of child insurance

When taking the cost of having children into account whether they are newborns, infants or teenagers, making sure you have adequate Family Life Insurance is incredibly important.

You will need to consider what insurance types are important to you and who in your family is insured. Options available to you include:

  • Life Insurance:

    The lump sum benefit can help to cover the cost of your mortgage

  • Income Protection:

    The monthly benefit which covers up to 75% of your salary can help to cover your monthly expenses if you are unable to work

  • Trauma Insurance:

    Can help to cover any medical expenses, or loss of income as a result of a trauma condition.

  • Total & Permanent Disablement Insurance:

    Can provide lifetime financial protection to you and your family if you are unable to work due to bring totally and permanently disabled.

Option to protect your entire family:

  • Child Insurance:

    Provides a benefit to help cover the financial cost if your child suffers from a trauma condition

  • Non-working spouse:

    If your spouse is a stay at home mother or father, the cost of replacing them can be very expensive (as the above table indicates). By insuring the non-working spouse, you can help to cover the cost of replacing them as well as allowing them to recover properly and not return to looking after the house or children before they are fully recovered.

If you would like any more information about how you can better protect yourself and your family, call us on 1300 135 205 and speak to one of our consultants.

Sources: Suncorp News Release ‘The rising costs of kids, 29 June 2012
SMH, 12 May 2013,
Care For Kids, 14 May 2013`

Published: May 30, 2013
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