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The Bare Necessities of Back to School

Whether it is starting school for the first time or returning, it is no secret that back-to-school time can be overwhelming. We want to make this process as easy as possible, therefore, we have put together a list of some necessities (and one ‘nice to have’) for you to manage the back-to-school rush. Simply click on each item to expand.

We have also included a handy downloadable checklist that you can print out and stick to the fridge! Click here to download

This may seem like an obvious one but there are so many options when it comes to the school uniform. Although some schools may have strict uniform policy, you may still be able to source a cost-saving option through your local mother’s group, online marketplace, or buy/swap/sell sites. 

You can even try uniform swap shop, which is an online marketplace that has a handy search function where you can search by school. If it is just the school colours you need, different coloured polos, shorts, pants and skirts can be sourced at almost any clothing store. Tick!

What would back to school be like without a backpack and lunchbox? These are two important necessities for a successful day of learning. A good backpack can last a long time so dust off last years’ backpack and you’re all set! For children who are just starting, this is another great item that can be found on local online marketplaces. 

Click here for tips on how to choose the right school bag.

Filling children’s lunch boxes can be challenging for any parent or carer, but when it comes to working out the best items to nourish little ones during the school day, there can be endless choices. Keep it simple and get your child involved in choosing, preparing and packing their own lunch box. This is especially helpful if you have a fussy eater on your hands!

Raising children has a helpful resource for guidance on packing lunches. Click here for more.

Back-to-school shopping can be exciting for parents and children, but it also can feel like a chore. During this time of year, there is no shortage of school supplies in the stores. Pens, pencils, notebooks and pencil cases are everywhere you look so it might be worthwhile picking up a few things every time you do the grocery shopping. Also, schools will usually provide a list of items that your child/children will need and you can always call up the school and ask for assistance. 

Hats, sunscreen and SunSmart clothing are a must-have when beginning the school year. Our children start school during some of the hottest days of summer, so these are important items to tick off your list. 

Click here to get to know more about sun safety. 

There are a few different ways your children could travel to school. Is it walking distance? Will you need to drive? What about a car pool? Is there a school bus that comes by? The school will be able to give you some guidance on school transportation but it might also be worthwhile to connect with local neighbourhood groups, either in-person or online. 

It is definitely not a big deal if children go to school with some extra hair but this is a nice one to have on the to-do list. It’s nice to be looking smart for those first-day-at-school photos, but there is no reason you can’t take photos another time, especially when there is already plenty to do before that first day. 

And after all the things we do for the children in our care to get them off to school prepared and ready to take on the world, it is important to give yourself a break. Depending on your child’s age, they may have some homework to do but they could still spend some time helping you around the house. Add smaller chores for after school such as emptying the rubbish or setting the dinner table.

Click here for chore ideas by age group.



It has been a difficult few years for many parents and carers, but there is assistance available through the Victorian Government’s State Schools’ Relief program, which helps with the cost of new school uniforms, shoes and other essential items for families who are facing hardship.

If you are unsure please contact your child’s school directly. The school may also sell uniforms and school necessities second hand, and direct parents and carers to resources within the school community.

Bestchance is here to help in any way that we can. If you are not sure what services are available and need help to find information that can help your family please get in touch with our Family Support Team and we will do our best to assist. Click here or call 1300 224 644.

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