Analysing survey data from 32 selected cities across China in 2003, this article examines parents' expenditure on their children's education from two aspects: factors affecting domestic education expenditure and factors affecting expenditure on overseas education. The main findings that emerge from this study are as follows. First, household income has significant effects on the magnitude of the domestic and overseas educational expenditures. Second, households where mothers have senior secondary school or college education, and fathers are working in professional occupations are likely to spend more on education for their children. Third, being in the highest income category, having a college-educated father, having a mother who is a cadre or middle professional and living in a coastal area significantly enhances the probabilities for the households sending their children overseas for education.