Summer is still in full swing but holiday programmes are wrapping up and backpacks will soon be filled as children set off for the first day back at school.
And for families struggling to make ends meet, help is at hand.
Dave Eaton, The Warehouse and Warehouse Stationery Fraser Cove store manager, said the store had been particularly busy with back to school buys.
Eaton said the store was expecting the next couple of weeks to be busy with parents stocking up on school supplies.
But it was not so straightforward for some.
Tauranga Salvation Army Community Ministries manager Davina Plummer said each new school year, families could find it tough to cover essential costs of school fees, uniforms, shoes, bags and stationery/devices - especially if they had children at multiple schools.
Plummer said it was even harder to afford extra activities such as camp or sports.
"We have been pleased to see school buses being provided free in 2020 as transport was a real struggle for many families to afford in 2019."
The Salvation Army could help in a number of ways, she said.
"Our family stores stock affordable second-hand uniforms, shoes and stationery items.
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"Our Community Finance offers no-interest and low-interest loans for necessary items.
"Our Community Ministries, thanks to donors through our appeals, can support with Warehouse Stationery and Kmart vouchers and lunch box food supplies.
"For those who are regularly engaged in our social work programmes we have a small amount of funding for new uniforms."
She said their financial mentor was also available to help families apply for funding and scholarships to help with camps and extracurricular activities.
Meanwhile, there will be an extra focus on the roads as police keep a close eye on back to school driving behaviour.
Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe urged parents of school-age children to take some time to go over basic road safety rules with them before school started. After the school holidays, it was likely some would need a reminder about keeping themselves safe, he said.
"No doubt they will be excited about getting back to school and catching up with their friends, which could mean they are less likely to be aware of any traffic hazards going on around them," Crowe said.
"Remind them that any time they cross a road they need to stop, look and listen for any vehicles or cyclists before they step out.
"Help them choose a safe route to get there, use pedestrian crossings where available, join a walking school bus if provided and for the younger ones walk them to school until they are confident to walk unaccompanied."
If children are cycling to school, it was important to ensure their bikes are checked and their safety helmet fits well.
Parents also needed to set a good example for their children, he said.
"If you break the rules, kids will think that's okay - and that can put lives in danger."
Motorists also have a huge role to play when the roads become busier as school starts back, he said.
"If you're driving in a school zone please remember to slow down, look out for children, and pay particular attention at school crossings."
Police will monitor school zones at the start of the term and encourage all motorists to drive extra carefully.
How one student is feeling ahead of the school year
It is a melting pot of excitement and nerves for Keira Thornborough ahead of her first year of high school.
The 12-year-old will be starting at Tauranga Girls' College and said she was excited to get involved in everything the school had to offer.
"There are some great opportunities at high school with things like choir and music and I am also looking forward to meeting new friends."
Keira said she thought it was strange but she loved maths and was eager to start learning in the extension class, knowing it will push her further.
"I am very nervous but also excited as a whole bunch of my friends from intermediate will be there and I love seeing them.
"It's been really stressful sorting out everything and I'm definitely nervous about the first day, like everyone else.
"It's exciting too though because college has a lot more privileges like being allowed your phone at school, using our own Chromebooks so it's something to look forward to."