Back to school time can be exciting for children and parents alike. But these feelings can quickly be diminished when you’re struggling to afford the school supplies your child needs. Many low-income families find the costs hard to bear, especially if they have more than one child. Luckily, there are multiple organisations that can help lessen this financial burden and may even provide some school supplies to children in need for free. Here are a few options you can explore if the cost is too much to handle.
There are some government programs that can help with school costs. Nationally, there’s the Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme. Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, and New South Wales all have separate programs as well.
Each form of assistance has a means test and may require parents to hold a concession card to qualify. However, they are worth exploring if you don’t have the necessary funds for school supplies.
St. Vincent de Paul Society
The St. Vincent de Paul Society provides support to low-income families throughout the year, including at back to school time. Members work with area families individually, helping to ensure that every child has what they need to succeed.
While they don’t hand out school supplies directly, St. Vincent de Paul Society can help with the associated costs.
The Salvation Army
Another potential source of free school supplies is the Salvation Army. This charity does a lot to help low-income families and may have access to important items your child needs for the academic year. Often, they partner with large retailers to help give the children of needy families what they need to succeed during the school year, so contacting the organisation to see if a program is being offered this year is worth the call.
State Schools’ Relief
For Victoria residents, assistance may be available through the State Schools’ Relief organisation. They provide support to students, including providing school supplies like workbooks and pencils. Some families will qualify for free items, and other may be eligible for discounted school supplies.
As with many of these organisations, specific criteria must be met to receive the free or discounted items. Additionally, the student must be attending a Victorian government school to be eligible for assistance.
There are numerous charitable organisations throughout Australia. Some may provide free school supplies to low-income families directly while others may be able to give financial assistance, allowing you to purchase the necessary items yourself. Many only serve their local area, so you have to be a resident to qualify. However, it is certainly worth checking out.
If you are having trouble finding free school supplies, you can explore other forms of financial support that may free up some extra money in your budget, giving you a chance to purchase the needed items without experiencing financial hardship. Check into government and non-profit organisations in your area to see if you qualify for help.