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ANZ offers $500 to cash-strapped parents for school IT costs

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A national education savings program developed by the Brotherhood of St Laurence and ANZ is helping lower-income families pay for classroom laptops and tablets.

In the Savers Plus program,  parents set a savings goal for school costs and make regular deposits into a savings account over 10 months while attending financial education workshops.

At the end of the program, ANZ matches their savings dollar for dollar up to $500.

Over 32,000 families have joined the plan since 2003.

Help at hand

Claims graph heroLaptops and tablets are now commonly included on compulsory stationery lists, adding hundreds of dollars to back-to-school bills.

The program’s data shows digital devices now top the list for the most number of claims, jumping from 37 per cent in 2012 to 52 per cent in 2016.

Gold Coast mother-of-four Krystle McKinley says she joined to save for a laptop for her eldest daughter Hayley, 11, who starts high school this year.

“Hayley’s high school has a ‘bring your own device’ system. Without a laptop she wouldn’t be able to complete assignments or sit exams. Even my younger children need access to a computer and the internet to do homework,” she said.

The program has other benefits too.

In 2015, research by RMIT University found that 87 per cent of participants kept saving three years after completing the program.

For more information, visit here.

Lauren Broomham

Lauren is a journalist for villages.com.au, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.


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