'School costs as much as a house'

State-educating her six children could be as costly as buying a house, a Christchurch mother says.

Kellee Smith has four school-aged children, one in pre-school and another on the way.

She is one of the many New Zealanders whose children are receiving state schooling, which has been estimated to cost parents nearly $35,000 from Year 1 to 13.

Smith estimated it cost $200 just in fees each year for each of her children's education at Opawa School.

"It's not too bad but by the time you add the uniform and books to the fees, you're looking at at least $400, not including the extras," she said.

Smith would consider sending her children to a private school if she could afford it, but her children would likely carry on to Cashmere High School.

The estimated total cost of a state education did not surprise her but it would cost even more to support children through tertiary education too.

"You choose to have kids, you've got to realise you're going to have those expenses," she said.

"By the time I get to the sixth kid, I could've owned a house."

The Press