An organisation for one-parent families says an increase in the back to school allowance is not going to make a big difference to children living in poverty.
The allowance is set to increase by €100, with school transport fees being waived.
While almost one in three parents are getting into debt because of back to school costs.
The latest survey from the Irish League of Credit Unions shows parents are spending €1,518 on secondary school children - and €1,195 at primary school level.
Karen Kiernan, CEO of OneFamily, told Newstalk Breakfast these changes are a good place to start.
"It's a great start - it's certainly not enough when you look at the figures in terms of what parents are paying every year.
"There's still a gap of nearly €1,000.
"For somebody who's very reliant on social welfare on a low income, and they're getting the back to school clothing and footwear allowance, the extra €100 is welcome.
"But they've still got a massive gap between what they get from Government and what the actual cost of returning to school is".
She says such increases are unlikely to make a big difference.
"We know from our helpline and our services that this is a massive issue for parents right now.
"People are really, really worried... because they simply don't have enough money and they're being squeezed in terms of the cost of living increase, their electricity bills, trying to get their children minded for the summer... and as well as food, the cost of food.
"So whilst it's welcome, it is really not sustainable - it's not going to make a big difference to all those thousands of children living in poverty".
'Already not got enough money'
And she says while moves towards more support are welcome, longer-term initiatives are needed.
"If you really want to support children who are living in poverty week after week in Ireland, you're talking about free school meals for all those children and you're talking about free school books.
"You're talking about uniforms that are affordable, and washable and replaceable.
"But the cost of education for many children is still €1,000 a year or more depending on what age they are.
"So that's incredibly expensive if you've already not got enough money to live from week to week in Ireland.
"We literally are working with people who are trying to decide 'Do I pay the top-up on my rent, or do I leave my electricity bill go, or how much I can afford to eat?'
"People are making terribly difficult choices - and what we're seeing is children's lives are really restricted then as a result of this".