Families under financial strain are being forced to choose between school books and paying the rent.
St Vincent De Paul received 5,000 calls for help last month in the run up to the start of the academic year.
The charity has said thousands of parents are struggling to keep a roof over their families heads.
SVP spokesperson Tricia Keilthy has said they are in serious difficulty.
"Families are coming directly looking for help with educational costs but we also have many other families who are looking for help with utility or food costs and this is due to pressures placed on families paying for uniforms, books and so called voluntary contributions," she said.
"Educational costs are continuing to be a huge pressure for families, in particular low income families which SVP support."