The Cost of Raising a Child in Australia

Raising a Child in Australia? Here’s How Much It Costs!

Raising a child can be both a joyous and a daunting task. While it is a completely new experience for anyone to raise a human being, it is also a very great responsibility to care for a human being that is completely dependent on you for almost sixteen to eighteen years. This is why it is absolutely vital for parents to think it through properly before having kids. You don’t just want to have kids, you should be able to raise them up properly as well.

One major effect that kids have is on the budget. If you are a new parent or considering becoming one then you need to know the exact cost of raising a child so that you can carry out your financial planning in an appropriate manner.

Government statistics in Australia suggest that parents need to spend roughly around $180 per week on the upbringing of their children. If we consider this as a bare minimum then the figure is going to be higher for many families. According to surveys, it has been proven that $180 is the bare minimum and families can end up spending as high as $800 per week on a child.

Government suggested cost of raising a child
1 week $180
1 month $720
1 year $8640
18 years $155520

Extrapolating these statistics gives us the monthly and annual cost of raising a child according to the figures given by the government. This however is not a standard cost because as children age, their needs change and so does the expenditure required. So let us look deeper into this matter.

The Australian institute of family studies suggests that the cost of raising two children who are aged  6 and 10, in a low-income family is around $340 a week. If we extrapolate this then we get the following costs

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Australian Institute of Family Studies suggested cost of raising 2 children in a low income family
1 week $340
1 month $1360
1 year $16320
18 years $293760

The cost of raising the same children for a family with unemployed parents is around $280 per week. Once again if we extrapolate this then we get the following results

Australian Institute of Family Studies suggested cost of raising 2 children in an unemployed family
1 week $280
1 month $1120
1 year $13440
18 years $241920

The costs of raising children

The estimates discussed above are based on some factors that play a crucial role in the upbringing of children. When you have to raise children, there are certain costs that you have to take in to account based on where you live.

Some of the costs that you have to consider are

  • Food
  • Clothing
  • Healthcare for the children
  • Toys
  • Other household goods such as beds
  • Recreational activities
  • Education
  • Day care

These are some of the basic costs of raising a child that you will have to incur anywhere in the world. Some countries may have subsidised or government sponsored health care and education for children, which may lessen the burden.

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Opportunity Cost

Apart from these costs, there are also some hidden costs of having children. One of the greatest hidden or non monetary cost of having children is the opportunity cost. Having children means that you have to sacrifice a lot of time to raise your children. This time could have been spent on productive activities. For instance couples with no children can work longer hours because they do not have the responsibility of looking after their children, however couples with children have to cut down their working hours to take care for their children.

Furthermore, it is mostly seen that after having children, one of the parents has to sacrifice their career for at least a few months or years because new born children require total focus, care and protection. You cannot drop a new born kid into a day care centre. This opportunity cost can be different for everyone, based on their income level.

For instance a low income family will have a low opportunity cost but the value of that low opportunity cost will be high. Similarly a high income family will have a high opportunity cost but the value to the family will be low. This is because every dollar earned is more valuable for a low income family as compared to a high income family because of saving and spending ratios.

Cost of Healthcare

Healthcare or childcare costs are a very crucial part of raising a child. Children have weak immune systems and thus tend to need more specialised care as compared to adults. The cost of healthcare for children in Australia is quite high if you do not consider the subsidies given by the government at first.

Childcare costs in Australia/Per day
Sydney $166
Melbourne $154
Brisbane $155
New South Wales $97
Victoria $105
Queensland $99

The costs shown above are per day cost of child care, these costs are very high. Thankfully the Australian government offers childcare benefits to eligible families. You can go to the Family assistance guide on to find out more about the eligibility criteria, to see how it applies to you.


Education is a major cost in the upbringing of children. State schools reduce this cost but if parents decide to send their children to private schools then this cost can skyrocket based on the private school they choose for their child. This is why only high-income families can afford to send their children to a private school.

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Importance of Knowing The Cost of Raising a Child

If you are trying to work out the cost of raising a child then work on the bare minimum cost first and then add up the additional costs on the bare minimum structure according to your affordability.

Knowing the cost of raising a child can help you prepare in advance. If you know roughly how much you will need to raise your child, you can plan in advance and map out your career and other life choices so that you can give the best upbringing to your child that is possible.

Knowing these costs can allow you to make plans ahead of time, make necessary and appropriate financial plans, invest for the children ahead of time and even take out insurance policies that will affect the children later on.


Australia Unwrapped provides only general, and not personalised financial advice, and in no way has taken your personal circumstances into account. Investments go up and down, any questions talk to a financial advisor. This blog is opinion only and in no way should investment decisions be based on this information.

Australia Unwrapped does not endorse or vouch for the accuracy or the authenticity of postings, comments or the article

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Dave P
Dave P
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