Education in Australia

> >Child care and studying

Education in Australia covers a broad spectrum.

It includes child care options for infants or toddlers, then preschool, school, universities, vocational and postgraduate studies.

Education is compulsory from 5 to 15 years of age. 

Teenagers can then choose whether they want to continue their high school and get a university or similar degree or start looking for work.

Education in Australia - Child Care

If you decide to enrol your kids at child care you can choose between long day centres or family day care. Children can go there full time or part time.  

A child can attend a long day care centre from as young as a new born and up to 5 years old.

A family day care is a service provided by a family who groups a small number of children that can be of various ages. Their own children may be part of the group.

School age children can attend a child care service that provides recreational activities outside of school hours.

Child care in Australia functions under standards that regulate qualifications of staffs, how many children a person can supervise and various health and safety issues. 

Search the internet for child care services and talk to other parents around you to get some advice. 

If you find a facility that you like, it is generally good to register your child long before they start attending. This is to ensure they get a place as some child care centres have long waiting lists.

Education in Australia - Schools

A 4 year old child can start preschool and then continue to primary school, generally between 6 and 12 years of ages. 

Children start high school in year 7 and can go on up to year 10 or 12.

If you have just relocated to Australia and your high school children do not speak English yet, look for an Intensive English high school. Enrol them to study for a semester or two till they come up to speed with their new language. Then proceed to the school of your choice. 

Your children can study at a public school, where education is free or a non-government or private school. 

Private schools can vary by affiliation to a religion or by their schooling philosophy. The fees also vary, for example some schools may charge a couple of thousand dollars per year while others can charge much more. 

There are various resources that can help you choose a school, including publication of good schools guides in some states, such as New South Wales or Victoria. 

In the past New South Wales students finished year 10 with a school certificate exam. Since 2012, year 10 students who don't want to continue their studies receive a Record of School Achievement. After this it's all about choice: they can study for two more years or they can drop school and start looking for work or do an apprenticeship to learn a trade. 

There is always the option to continue their education later, either going back to study and graduate high school or going to TAFE or a private college.

If they continue years 11 and 12 they will study for a HSC or High School Certificate. Different Australian states have different names for the HSC. But what matters is that its marks count towards admission to universities.

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