Education and schools lie at the heart of the Catholic Church’s mission to provide a high standard of academic learning and help develop a Christ-centred faith relationship.
“By starting a savings plan early, even at baptism, you can reduce the burden of taking on attendance dues and school expenses as the financial pressures of family life set in.”
Many parents and grandparents want their child or grandchild to have an education similar to the one which laid the foundations of their own youth. New to the Faith, some may seek an education in a loving, faith-filled community where everyone is valued and respected as a whole person, made in the image and likeness of God.
Let future generations learn, and “Teach their young to trust God” (Psalm 78)
Aware that a challenging financial time is often when our children are young, saving for their education becomes important. School costs or financial contributions and attendance dues (to pay for the costs associated with school land and buildings) can range from $400 (primary) to over $3,000 (secondary). By starting a savings plan early, even at baptism, you can reduce the burden of taking on attendance dues and school expenses as the financial pressures of family life set in.
Student savings account with a difference
Aware of the need to set money aside for her children’s education, Lydia Sula, teacher and Director of Religious Studies at St Teresa’s School and mother of three, opened a CDF Education Savings Account when her eldest child, Andre, started school in 2009. “What I like about the CDF is it’s similar to a bank – the money I invest is still my money – I can get it back when I want or need it. But I also like knowing I have a values-based investment. Ironically I feel like I am getting a bigger return – my money is making a difference to our Catholic community.”
With zero account fees and interest paid quarterly, the CDF Education Savings Account helps investors develop good money habits and save for the future while helping others.
As Lydia states, “The CDF is a support for our family as it helps us budget and save. And now, with my youngest child Marco about to start St Bede’s in 2022, our CDF account is ever more important.
“I don’t worry about when the school costs are due as my direct debit covers them. I like to contribute fortnightly from my pay into the CDF. I don’t even get the paperwork as it goes straight to Mel (Melanie Perry, CDF Administrator). It’s so easy – we never hear nor see anything to do with attendance dues throughout the year. We just get an annual statement! I don’t give it a second thought. However, what I like most about the CDF is knowing my small contribution helps the Catholic Education Office create environments for nurturing and developing the whole child. A physical environment can certainly make a huge difference to how you teach and how our students absorb education.”
In the past decade, the Catholic Development Fund has lent over $8m to meet the needs of schools (for roll-growth classrooms), parishes and Catholic organisations.