南京夜网

Our million-dollar babies

PARENTS may well regard their children as priceless but new research has put a dollar value on bringing up babies in Australia.Raising the average family from the cradle to when they leave home will set parents back $1,028,000, the research has found, and this could be an underestimate if other factors are used to calculate the cost of child rearing, such as lost wages.Social researcher Mark McCrindle added the essential costs such as food, clothing and housing with other expenses that he says parents usually outlay on their children – such as toys, holidays, eating out, sport, private education and household furniture and equipment that are used just by children.Previous calculations of child-rearing had assumed children left home and became independent at age 21, Mr McCrindle said, but his study found this was out of date.”In today’s Australian families, the majority of young people stay in the parental home and rely on their parents for some of their expenses until their mid-20s,” he said.The average family had 2.7 children and parents were having babies later than their parents did. The parents were also more likely to both have an income, creating ”the most financially endowed generation of children ever”.”Parents have more money per child and spend more per child than their parents did,” Mr McCrindle said. About 30 per cent of primary students and 40 per cent of high schoolers were at non-government schools. Most parents spent more than $100 a year on toys a child – a quarter spent more than $500.Mr McCrindle found that the cost of education, including private schooling and tutors, was $95,000. But a separate breakdown of the amount that parents spend on a child’s education, done by the Australian Scholarships Group and including everything from textbooks to uniforms, internet access and incidentals, found that sending a child to a public school in Sydney cost $123,353. For private schools that could blow out to more than $450,000.The group’s general manager, Warwick James, said many parents did not realise how much schooling cost.Another significant cost of child-rearing was lost wages, usually the mother’s.Research published in 2004 found that women of ”middling education” who had one child missed out on about 30 per cent, or $247,000, of their potential lifetime earnings. That increased to more than 50 per cent, or $420,000, if they had three children, the report authors, Trevor Breusch and Edith Gray, from the Australian National University, found.”More highly educated women lose less proportionally than the less educated, although their dollar amounts of forgone earnings are higher,” they said.An expert in measuring the lifetime costs of raising children, Paul Henman, director of the social policy unit at the University of Queensland, said parents’ income was the biggest factor in determining these costs.
Nanjing Night Net