Breaking down the cost of school supplies in Czechia this year

Equipping a child for first grade will cost around CZK 6,500 this year as schools supplies become more expensive. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 15.08.2022 17:45:00 (updated on 15.08.2022) Reading time: 3 minutes

Families in the Czech Republic are already stretching their budgets to pay for rent, energy, and groceries. In August, parents' expenditure will rise even more due to back-to-school shopping.

As inflation runs rampant, households will pay more for children's school supplies (Školní potřeby) this year. This year, the prices of school supplies have increased by an estimated CZK 200 due to rising energy costs and wholesale paper prices.

According to a report from ČT24, parents now pay an average of CZK 6,500 to get a child ready for the first year of school. But that estimate is more likely to reach up to CZK 7,000 and higher when you add pencil cases which can cost up to CZK 500, water bottles, lunch and snack boxes as well as inside shoes, and the endless other apparel required in Czech schools.

Which supplies are seeing the biggest price hike this year and how can you save on critical items commonly used in Czech classrooms?

The most dramatic increase in prices is seen in the aforementioned school backpacks. Called "aktovka" in Czech, these are rolltop structured rucksacks that can accommodate a number of books and supplies and are typically purchased from first grade. Their prices range from CZK 1,600 to CZK 2,500 and upwards of CZK 5,000 for sets that include pencil cases and snack boxes.

The prices of notebooks and school supplies have also risen significantly this year, confirms the McPen store chain which says that increase in price applies to all products in which paper plays a major role.

Czech stationery store Koh-i-Noor Hardtmuth, also confirms a price hike on paper supplies and plans to raise prices in several waves. "On average, we increased the price by ten percent. Another increase is then announced in the fall of this year," a company spokesperson told ČT24.

Czechlist Important school supplies to buy in Czechia

  • Kufřík na výtvarné potřeby (suitcase for art supplies)
  • Pouzdro/penál – pencil case
  • Tužka – pencil
  • Pero – pen
  • Pravítko – ruler
  • Ořezávátko – sharpener
  • Guma – rubber
  • Učebnice – textbook
  • Sešit – notebook
  • Žákovská knížka – pupil’s notebook for marks/reports
  • Obaly na sešity/učebnice – plastic covers for notebooks and textbooks

Low-income families and single-parent families are the hardest hit by the higher cost of living expenses driven by inflation. Several organizations exist to lend support to those who need it most. In mid-July, the Single Mothers Club launched its back-to-school program.

The club provides financial, material, and professional legal assistance to single-parent families. It also helps them to pay for children's lunches in kindergartens and schools, summer camps, and even Christmas gifts. It also has an e-shop and a brick-and-mortar shop in Prague 7 (those who want to help children in need with backpacks and other school supplies may do so via their online platform).

In addition to non-profit organizations, parents can also turn to the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and request the payment of a contribution for extraordinary immediate assistance.

To help offset the effects of inflation, the Czech government recently approved a CZK 5,000 one-off bonus per child under 18 for families with an annual gross income under CZK 1 million in 2021. The aid, which thousands of households have already received, could be used to cover the rising costs of school supplies. Foreigners can also apply for the benefit.

Experts give several tips for saving on school supplies: Don't wait to shop until school starts, start shopping for school supplies now while there is enough in stock; seek out online deals, and, in the case of backpacks consider if your child needs the traditional, "aktovka" (usually purchased in first grade) or can make do with a backpack.

Compare prices via Heureka and shop the sales on which is currently offering "aktovky" for as low as CZK 1,000 and look to larger retails chains such as Lidl for deals on paper supplies.

How much do you spend on back-to-school supplies for one child in Czechia?

Below 2,000 CZK 24 %
2,000-4,000 CZK 10 %
4,000-6,000 CZK 10 %
6,000-8,000 CZK 5 %
Above 8,000 CZK 10 %
I don't know/curious to see the results 41 %
21 readers voted on this poll. Voting is open
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