AS children go back to school this week, local families are combating the financial stress by joining a savings program that rewards participants with up to $500 for school costs.
About 680 families in the local area have benefitted from Saver Plus – a free matched savings and financial education program delivered by national children’s education charity The Smith Family.
Edgewater mother Rachel Dhimitri finished the program at the end of October and has used the money to help pay for booklist items and uniforms for her four children.
“It was really good; I learnt a lot of saving tips and about the financial advice that is available out there,” she said.
“Because I’ve got that $500 to help with the kids’ books, we now have extra money to help pay for basketball fees and a school camp.
“I have already started saving for next year using the tips I learnt.”
The 10-month program sees participants identify a savings goal for school costs, make regular deposits into a savings account and attend financial education workshops.
At the end, their savings are matched dollar for dollar, up to $500.
It is available to people who have a Centrelink healthcare or pensioner concession card, have a child at school or are attending vocational education themselves and have regular income from paid employment.
For more information, contact Saver Plus co-ordinator Meagan Parry on 0438 518 603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Smith Family is also looking for 6000 new sponsors to sign up to its Learning for Life program to help support the education of disadvantaged Australian children.
The program offers financial help for education essentials like books and uniforms and access to mentoring programs.
“For just $1.60 per day, child sponsors will give a disadvantaged child practical, long-term assistance that they need to attend school, engage in their learning and complete Year 12,” WA general manager Lorna Woodley said.
For more information, call 1800 633 622or visit www.thesmithfamily.com.au.