News: There is a new Ehell Kindness Project!  Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • February 09, 2016, 04:52:41 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling  (Read 433 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

lilfox

  • Member
  • Posts: 2165
Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« on: February 04, 2016, 04:15:25 PM »
Thanks in advance for any tips or advice!

There's a possibility that I will be working for part of the year in Australia (Newcastle area). (eee!) Since it'd be for several months, I'd like to bring my family with me.  For DS (2) that would mean finding a daycare with availability for a few months.  For DD (6) it's a bit tougher - she's in first grade and depending on when my work starts, she might miss the last 6 or so weeks of the school year, which is too much for her to miss and still qualify to move up to 2nd grade*.  Whether she's in school or not, she'll need some form of full time care too since neither DH nor I will be able to do that with our work schedules.

I'm guessing my options are:
- daycare for both kids during the day, with DD being homeschooled by DH/me in the evenings/weekends to make up for missing school.
- a nanny for both kids, with DD being homeschooled
- daycare for DS and some kind of tutoring/full day care for DD

So a couple of general questions on daycares and primary schools - what age range do most daycares go up to?  Around here (US) they age out when they turn 6 but are expected to be in kindergarten or first grade at that point.
Is it possible to enroll a (foreign national) child in primary school for just a month of first grade? 
What is the winter break in the school calendar?
Are nannies a common thing?  Is it wildly optimistic to hope for a nanny who is also a tutor, or even one who would accept a job for just 3 months?

*We're not worried about the academic component, just meeting the school system requirements for moving up to the next grade level.

CakeEater

  • Member
  • Posts: 3384
Re: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2016, 05:49:54 PM »
I'm in Qld, but here's a little info and will leave the rest to someone who knows the are better.

Here's the link to school dates for this year in NSW:

https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/calendar/?do=setViewperiod&categoryid=21&viewType=yearView

The school year there goes from January to December, and you'll probably have to contact the department on education to find out which grade they'd enrol your daughter in. IME, that can depend on both her age, and her academic ability. For example, she might be of an age to be enrolled in Year 2 here, but they might enrol her in year 1 if you wanted her to be, or her academic background suggested that she'd be better there, and for so short a time, or vice versa.

The enrolment application suggests that temporary visa holders can be enrolled, but you'd probably have to contact them to find out details.

Finding childcare at an institution that isn't a school would be quite difficult for a child of school age. I'm sure a Nanny would be an option - Newcastle is a large metropolitan area, and I'm sure you could find someone to care for/homeschool DD, even for that long. I would suggest that a state (public) school would be an easier option.

Be aware that most state schools have a uniform for students to wear, but you'd probable be able to get second hand fairly inexpensively to wear for that length of time. Or they might allow a more generic, but similar coloured shirt/shorts combination for a couple of weeks.

I'd probably start investigating daycare options ASAP for DS - depending on all sorts of factors, daycare options can be difficult to find in Australia.

Hope this helps!

Psychopoesie

  • Member
  • Posts: 1424
Re: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2016, 05:53:43 PM »
Not a NSW parent but can help with term times at least.

http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/key_dates/vacations.html

Also, have some connection with Newcastle area (lived there age 0-7, still have family there plus planning to move back so visiting more at the moment). Lovely place.

ETA: CakeEater pipped me at the post with the calendar.

Psychopoesie

  • Member
  • Posts: 1424
Re: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 06:00:52 PM »
Also NSW Department of Education has information up for international students, including temporary residents wanting to enrol from kindy through to year 12. This popped up as the first result on my google search for foreign enrolment nsw primary school.

http://www.decinternational.nsw.edu.au/study

http://www.decinternational.nsw.edu.au/study/schools/temporary-residents


CakeEater

  • Member
  • Posts: 3384
Re: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 06:02:01 PM »
Just to add - homeschooling isn't as common here as the US - or that's the impression I have, anyway. I would think that you'd probably bring a curriculum with you that would suit and have a tutor here implement it rather than trying to find an appropriate curriculum here, if you went with that option.


MommyPenguin

  • Member
  • Posts: 5363
    • My blog!
Re: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2016, 07:28:49 PM »
If she's going to miss the last few weeks of school here, but you'll be in Australia for a few months, then I assume that means that you're going in April or early May and will be there for several months?  In that case, since Australia's schools are on a January-December schedule, could you start her in school when you arrive but keep her in school for the several months you'll be there?  She won't get a "summer break," but then, Australian kids will be in school then anyway, since it's winter.  It might give her structure and a chance to really get to know some kids there, plus give you a break on the childcare, since I assume you would have to have some sort of childcare for her when she's not in school but you're working.  While I'm normally a big proponent of homeschooling, with your work schedule it seems to make sense to let her enjoy a few months of school.
Emily is 9 years old!  1/07
Jenny is 7 years old!  10/08
Charlotte is 5 years old!  8/10
Megan is 3 years old!  10/12
Lydia is 1 year old!  12/14

lilfox

  • Member
  • Posts: 2165
Re: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2016, 07:31:09 PM »
Thanks for the links and the advice, it's been really helpful!  Our first choice would be to get her into a school, but I started to get nervous about misaligned schedules and whether it'd even be possible.  I believe we can get an equivalency homeschooling packet from our school district if we had to go the homeschool/tutor route, but I think she'd be much happier in a school environment.

As soon as I find out that this is really going to happen, I'll be seeking out daycare options too, to line something up.

Ceallach

  • Member
  • Posts: 5146
    • This Is It
Re: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2016, 04:08:27 AM »
I'm in NSW.  Was there a particular time of the year you were looking at moving?  You refer to winter break, so I assume you mean June/July?   Here that's nothing, it's a tiny 2 week school holiday period, same as throughout the year, the only major holiday is at Christmas.   Exact dates will vary slightly be school as they may have pupil-free days etc, but based on official term this year the July school holidays are 4th to 15th July.

Most daycares go up to 6 years, because by law children must be in school (or registered as homeschooled) in the year they turn 6.  So if you're child is 6 going on 7 it's unlikely they would take them, but might depend on the director of the centre.    Cut-off is 31st July each year. My son has a January birthday so must start school that year when he turns 6 at the latest (although he will actually start the year beforehand, when he's 5, most likely) whereas my daughter has a Sept birthday so must start in Jan/Feb of the following year when she's 5yr 4 months old.    Because she turns 6 in that calendar year she can't wait any longer than that, she also can't start any earlier as she wouldn't turn 5 before 31st July.   

Depending on the time of year and age, I would definitely consider putting them in the local public school if you're staying longer than 8 weeks or so.   Such a great way to make friends and fully immerse in the local community!     I don't think you would have any issue with enrolment if you're living in the area, just talk to the local principal.

Otherwise I would skip all daycare/school altogether and go with the nanny option.   
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 04:21:38 AM by Ceallach »
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


katycoo

  • Member
  • Posts: 4078
Re: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 04:03:15 AM »
With daycare, it can be hard to get a place- it's in extremely high demand at some places.  SO just bear that in mind and you may want to start looking and get your younger's name down at a few places well in advance.

Re school - while I agree that going will be great for her socialisation while you're here, be prepared for her lessons to be a bit out of whack.  My sister and I lived in the USA for a few years as kids, and she was in year 2 when we moved back, and I started kindy.  It took sister a year or so to get back on track as the Australian class was just starting the lessons that she had already learnt in the USA, and she missed altogether the stuff that they'd already done that she otherwise would have learned in the second half of the year if we'd stayed.  It worked out in the end, but it certainly made things a bit more complex.  So that may be another reason to consider a nanny who could care for both kids, and perhaps even run some homeschool.

Carotte

  • Member
  • Posts: 1802
Re: Questions for NSW Aussies re: kids and schooling
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 06:44:53 AM »
I twice lived the out of wack school year, at 9 Y/O - last year of primary school I moved from France to Brazil and then again at 13 - last year of middle school going back.
The first time I jumped 6 months ahead and never finished the year, the second time I repeated the last six month.
It helped that it was the same school system (I was in the French expat school) so the program was the same. But I doubt elementary programm is so different betwen both that your DD will be uterly lost.

I think it's better to keep her in school even for just a few months, independently from what grade they put her in, at that age there shouldn't be anything a few hours a week of catch up can't compensate.