Candice Warner on the back to school tradition COVID might ruin

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

Between her appearance on the gruelling TV series, SAS Australia to solo-parenting three kids during lockdown while her husband was away for work, Candice Warner’s 2020 was pretty jam-packed.

“It was busy but I loved it,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle in an exclusive chat.

Candice Warner has opened up about the sweet back to school tradition that might be shelved due to COVID. Photo: Instagram/candywarner1.
Candice Warner has opened up about the sweet back to school tradition that might be shelved due to COVID. Photo: Instagram/candywarner1.

“So at Christmas time, it was nice to sit down and put the feet up and enjoy time with family,” the mum-of-three adds.

But with the holidays over and the new year underway, Ironwoman Candice has hit the ground running in order to get her two eldest daughters, Ivy, 6, and Indi, 5, prepped and ready for their first day of school.

While Ivy is returning for year 1, Indi is starting fresh with kindy which has Candice, 35, feeling emotional.

“Even though she’s our middle child for so long she was our baby and I still see her as our little Indi.

“For her to start school... I’m getting emotional now, I definitely think I’ll be emotional [on the day]. She’s only just turned five and I know she’s going to love it but I just see her as my baby.”

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Candice and her two eldest daughters, Indi and Ivy, enjoy a story from the ABC Reading Eggs online program. Photo: supplied.
Candice and her two eldest daughters, Indi and Ivy, enjoy a story from the ABC Reading Eggs online program. Photo: supplied.

Off to school during COVID

Candice is all too aware that Indi’s first day at kindy will likely be a world away from Ivy’s own first day last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing measures might put an end to the sweet tradition of parents and carers walking their little ones into their class.

“Last year, COVID hadn’t hit when Ivy had first started school so we were able to go into the classroom, we were able to go into the school and kiss her goodbye and everything.

“This year, well, it will look a little bit different and I don’t know what we’ll be able to do, if we can take them into their classroom or pick them up inside.”

Candice isn’t sure if a scaled-down, COVID-safe drop-off will make things easier or harder for everyone involved but she’s confident that big sister Ivy will step up and show Indi the ropes.

“If it’s a case that we just have to drop [Indi] at least I know she’ll have her big sister there who’ll be able to help her out,” she says.

David Warner (L) and Candice Warner arrive ahead of the 2020 Cricket Australia Awards at Crown Palladium on February 10, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia
Candice and her husband David Warner glammed up for the Cricket Australia Awards in Melbourne last year. Photo: Getty Images.

Uniform woes

Before they even get to the school gates, however, Candice and her husband, Aussie cricketer David Warner, 34, are facing another hurdle with Indi that other mums and dads might be familiar with.

“Getting my daughter to try on her school uniform for the first time this morning was a massive challenge,” Candice admits.

“She just doesn’t like it at all, she’s very particular,” she chuckles.

What hasn’t been a challenge is strengthening both Ivy and Indi’s reading skills in the lead up to their big first day.

Candice and her girls have been long-time fans of online reading program ABC Reading Eggs, which uses interactive lessons, colourful animations, fun games, songs and activities to get kids learning from an early age.

“Doing ABC Reading Eggs over the last two years has been instrumental in giving Ivy and Indi confidence and I know that they’re starting school with some knowledge already,” Candice explains.

“Seeing their little faces light up when they learn a new sound or they recognise letters or lower case and upper case is so rewarding,” she adds.

The girls love the program so much that Candice thinks she might introduce her youngest daughter, 18-month-old Isla, to ABC Reading Eggs when she reaches the age of two, even if it’s just 10 to 15 minutes a day.

“If they’re going to be on their iPads I’d much prefer them to be having positive screen time,” Candice says.

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