How much do parents spend on extracurricular activities for their kids?

An article by Erica Alini for Global News states that a poll recently quizzed one thousand Canadians across the country regarding just how much money goes towards their children’s extracurricular activities.

The survey unveiled that “…55 per cent of families feel stretched thin because of after-school programs,” and further, “almost a third (32 per cent) are now using debt to fund those costs, up a whopping five percentage points since Ipsos and Global News ran a similar survey last year.”

Just how much do parents spend, you ask? The article makes mention of how, over the span of the previous school year, “…the average family spent about $1,160 on extracurricular activities for kids, up slightly from the $1,120 parents spent in 2016-2017, according to the poll.”

The most affordable extracurricular activity? Swimming, with costs coming in at around $193. The least affordable? Hockey, with costs averaging $750.

The article reports that “millennial parents (ages 18-34) seem to be the ones struggling the most, with nearly four in 10 saying that they have gone into debt to pay for their kids’ activities. That compares to around three in 10 (28 per cent) gen-Xers (35-54) and two in 10 (22 per cent) for baby boomers with children under the age of 18.”

The statistics mentioned in the article refer to registration, enrollment and equipment fees, for the most part. They do not take travel costs into account, for example, if a child plays for a rep team.

Growing up, I was extremely fortunate to be able to participate in whatever I expressed interest in. Swimming, soccer, gymnastics, volleyball, dance and rugby; I was, and remain to be privileged in terms of what my life consists of, and reading this article is so important for others to realize just how privileged they are, if that’s the case. Give it a read; it may sway your opinion towards those soccer lessons you hated so much when you were younger.

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