Budgeting for school costs

Schools usually provide most things Kindergarten students will use in the classroom, but starting school may require new items such as uniforms and school shoes. It may be helpful to check with your school so you can budget for the items your child will need.

Image: Speak to your child's school to find out what you should include in your budget for your child's first year.


Your child’s school will tell you about the school uniform items and where to buy them. There is usually a summer, a winter and a sports uniform. The school can tell you which shops supply the uniform or the material to make it, and many schools run a clothing pool where uniform items are donated after children have outgrown them.

Other school costs

You may also need to budget for the following items as your child starts or returns to school each year.

  • Stationery (notebooks, pencils, pencil case)
  • School shoes
  • School backpack
  • Lunchbox
  • Canteen allowance
  • Excursions and/or camps
  • Extracurricular activities
Speak to your child's school for a more specific and detailed list of other items your they'll need for school.

Voluntary school contributions

All NSW public schools can request you to make contributions to enhance educational and sporting programs including elective subjects. School contributions help provide additional educational resources for the benefit of students. Payment is voluntary.

Financial assistance

If you are unable to pay school contributions because of financial hardship, you may be eligible for assistance from the school.

The principal will ensure no student or family suffers any discrimination or embarrassment over the inability to pay school contributions.

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Show your child what primary school will be like by doing these activities to prepare for Kindergarten.

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