Back to School Tips for Lane Cove Mums and Dads

We know how busy parents are at this time of the year so we have put together a list of tips and suppliers to make your life easier.

Is your child starting school this year?  We have put together some tips for you.

Dr Leigh Disney, School of Educational Psychology & Counselling, Monash Education
has the following tips for Kindy kids (and parents).

“Before entering school or kindergarten, acknowledge children’s thoughts related to the transition process. Some children may be overwhelmed, others just curious. Allow children to express their thoughts; often drawing is a good way to get an insight into their thinking.

“If possible, get into a routine of parking slightly away from school; in this way, you can walk with your child and discuss their day, always acknowledging both the ups and downs your child may have.

“Ask children to take pride in their school property, i.e. bags, lunch boxes, stationery etc. This will help the children reflect on the importance of the school context.

“Share with your children’s teachers about your child’s interests and passion. This will help the teacher think about your child’s motivations and strengths.

“When possible, attend school events (assembly, working bees, calendar events etc.), to help your child feel that you value the educational context.

“Sometimes leaving your child at school for the first time is harder on the parents than the child! Acknowledge your own emotions and tell your children how much you love them.”

Maggie Dent, one of Australia’s leading parenting educators, offers advice on how to support the transition here.

Active and Creative Kids

From February 2024, eligible parents, guardians and carers of school-aged children can apply for a new voucher.

The voucher is valued at $50 and:

  • will be available twice a year, starting from February 2024
  • can be used for eligible active or creative activities with registered providers
  • must be redeemed before the expiry date on the voucher.

Vouchers applied for in 2023 must be used by 31 January 2024

You are able to apply for a voucher if:

Further details here

First Lap

From 1 July 2023, parents, guardians and carers of children aged 3 to 6 years who are not enrolled in school, can apply for a $50 voucher towards the cost of swimming lessons.

The voucher can be used for a structured swimming lesson program with an approved First Lap provider.

The voucher is valid until 30 June 2024.

So where in Lane Cove do you use those active kids and creative kids vouchers?

TERM 1 is very soon! We have compiled a list of local activities for babies, pre-schoolers, primary school students, tweens, teenagers/secondary school kids – in other words, something for everyone.  Read More Here.

Music Lessons and Music Gear

Music Lessons

We have a list of music lesson providers in this article.

Musical Instruments and Sheet Music

If your child is playing a musical instrument, there is a local music store in Lane Cove. Syrinx Music can help you with instruments and sheet music.

If your child does AMEB exams and needs a particular piece of music, all you have to do is email Derek below and he will source the music and send you an invoice.  You can then pick it up at your own convenience.

Miss ITC played a musical instrument, and shopping locally saved me so much time (as your child will always tell you they need new reeds or music 24 hours before they are actually needed).  Syrinx Music (previously known as Lane Cove Music Supplies) is located in Central Arcade on the First Floor.  Just call Derek and he will organise sheet music, instruments, reeds, music stands are much more.  The convenience factor is HUGE.

Contact Details

Address: Shop 18, 105-108 Longueville Road, Lane Cove NSW 2066
Email:  Derek Galloway Director
Phone:(02) 9420 4499
Mobile: 0450 045 753
Facebook: @syrinx

Dance Uniforms and Costumes

If your child attends a dance school or is thinking of attending a dance school, they will need dance uniforms.  This can be a costly exercise, particularly if your child only decides to dance for one term or likes it so much they want to do ballet, jazz and hip hop (all with different uniforms).  Lane Cove Local Alison Bird had this exact problem when she had three girls who danced.  Alison founded and now sells affordable dance uniforms for kids online throughout Australia. You can read about Alison here.

Note they no longer operate their Lane Cove store on Rosenthal Avenue, but it is easy to order online.

Ballet Stuff stocks very reasonable priced dance and gym gear.  Their Best Seller Ballet Pack – which includes shoes, leotard, tights & skirt – is a really affordable way to get the entire outfit. This pack contains premium quality dancewear drastically cheaper than you will find in any retail outlet.  Some local dance studios here.


Eye Test

Getting your child’s eyes tested (particularly if you or your partner wear glasses) is a good idea.  Some local optometrists are listed here.


Back to School means back to sport, and if you need a mouth guard, then speak to Apple Dental.

A mouthguard is a priority if your child (or you) is playing a contact sport.  Your child’s teeth are precious, so make sure they are protected.

It is highly recommended that you go to a Dentist and have a mouth guard properly fitted. The ones you buy from a chemist don’t fit as well, leading to kids complaining about wearing them or not wearing them at all.

Apple Dental offers a huge range of mouth guard colours and would love to fit you or your child.  Find out more here.


Speech Pathologists/Occupational Therapists

People are often surprised to learn that speech pathologists work with a wide range of communication and swallowing issues that people may experience throughout their lives.

To help assist your little ones, speech pathologists work with babies with breastfeeding/swallowing difficulties the toddlers who are not talking yet, the pre-schoolers with a stutter and primary school-age child struggling with social interaction, language or literacy skills. Did you know that speech pathologists are specialists in written language skills, i.e. reading, spelling and writing?

See ITC’s list of Speech Pathologists/OT here.

How to Find Out About Your Child’s Day At School

If you have ever struggled to find out about your child’s school day, local speech pathologist and mum Catherine Lavery from Sydney Speech Clinic has some great tips here.

Sport Clubs

A list of our local sports clubs and registration details will be published on ITC soon.

It takes time for clubs to register kids for sports to start at the end of term 1, so registration has already started for most local clubs that play a “winter” sport.  If you are really keen to register your child for a sport, do it asap.


Make sure your child’s backpack fits properly and is not overloaded –

Sai Praneeth Jasti, a Researcher at Deakin University, published an article in The Conversation about how to ensure your child’s backpack is not causing them back pain.  He noted:

“Students are often not just carrying books to and from school, but technology, sports and musical equipment as well. Studies have noted problems occur when students carry bags that weigh more than 20% of their body weight.”  Read the article here.

Lunch Box Ideas

Clare Dix Research Fellow in Nutrition & Dietetics, The University of Queensland and Stella Boyd-Ford Research Fellow with the Grow&Go Toolbox, The University of Queensland published an article about the challenges is preparing healthy, easy, affordable and appealing lunchboxes.  You can read the article here.

Cover photo by Kylie Dunlop of Kylie Dunlop Photography

Many of the businesses listed above support In the Cove by listing in our business directory.  Please support those who support In the Cove.  Without their support, ITC could not undertake our community and advocacy work.