Students with Children
The following information aims to help you through the adjustment phases involved in being in a new country with children. It contains important information about health, child care, schooling, and leisure activities for children.
If you have any questions about your children's needs that aren't answered below, please do not hesitate to ask us and we will help you find the answer.
In Australia, child care is available for children until they start school (usually at the age of five). Children between the age of four and five are entitled to attend kindergarten, but only for the equivalent of four half days per week (see the Preschool section for more information). If you have a four-year-old child, you may choose to use a combination of child care and kindergarten.
- Childcare Centres
Childcare centres provide care for babies, toddlers and children less than six years of age. Care may be provided for part of a day or for full days. Most centres are open for a minimum of eight hours a day, 5 days a week, 48 weeks a year. Permanent or regular bookings are usually required.
Childcare centres may offer preschool programs. Care for a limited number of primary school children before and after school and during school holidays may also be available in some centres. Centres may be managed by a voluntary committee of parents and other community members, or they may be privately owned and run as a commercial business. Work-based child care is supported by some employers. The University has a childcare centre on each of its campuses.
For more information about the University’s childcare centres, look at the website: www.adelaide.edu.au/childcare/
All childcare centres must be licensed and meet nationally agreed standards relating to the facilities and quality of service. All licensed childcare centres participate in the formal Quality Improvement Accreditation System (QIAS). This system supports high quality childcare.
Fees vary from centre to centre and are approximately $470 per week for full-time care and $95 per day. Childcare centres are listed in the Telephone Directory under “Child care” and include both Community and private childcare centres.
Issues to Consider
Choosing the right child care option for your child is one of the most important decisions you will need to make. Parents and families seeking quality care and education for young children are encouraged to consider what to look for in an accredited childcare service. When choosing child care it is important to look at how carers and staff interact with the children and whether the atmosphere is warm, friendly and welcoming. Some helpful things to consider are:
- Am I welcome to visit my child at any time?
- Are parents encouraged to participate in activities?
- Is information shared between the staff, carers, and parents?
- Is information readily available about the child care service's policies?
- Are families informed about proposed changes to policies?
- Is there a planned program of day-to-day activities for my child?
- Are individual learning goals set for each child?
- Can my child choose activities of interest?
- Are meal times pleasant?
- Does toileting, nappy changing, and rest time meet my child's individual needs?
- Are there activities that foster my child's creativity?
- Are the children encouraged to explore and take on new challenges?
- Are the equipment and play spaces safe for children?
- Are my child's individual needs being met?
- Are there clear procedures for raising any concerns I may have?
- Home Based Care (Family Day Care)
Family Day Care is a childcare service for babies, young children and school aged children in the homes of approved care providers. Family Day Care utilises the rich resources of a home environment in providing authentic experiences for children in care.
The service caters for parents who are working, studying, need respite, or have a child with a disability. The care available may be full-time, part-time, out of school hours, outside normal working hours, overnight, or on weekends.
An approved care provider is able to care for up to seven children (including his/her own) at any one time. Care may be provided for a maximum of four children who have not started school.
Each provider sets their own fee and this will depend on the age of the child.
Care providers are independent contractors working within a government approved framework. Care must meet the national standards set for Family Day Care. All care providers are approved by the Department of Education and Child Development, and quality of care is regularly assessed by departmental staff.
The cost of Family Day Care is negotiated directly with the care provider. For further information on family day care services and providers in your area call the Family Day Care Office on 8343 6533 or the country hotline 1300 551 890. The main office is located 5 Harewood Ave, Enfield, SA, 5085. The office will refer you to the district office nearest to you.
For more information: www.decd.sa.gov.au/familydaycare/
Private Nannies usually come to your home and generally are the most expensive form of care at approximately $20-$40 per hour. Their qualifications vary. You will find individuals advertising in the local newspaper or you can arrange a nanny through a private agency.
- Financial Assistance for Child Care
Most international students will find child care very expensive and will have to rely on personal savings to cover the costs. If you are sponsored by your home government or employer you may wish to check directly with your sponsor as to whether any financial assistance is available to you to cover the cost of approved or registered child care (approved care and registered care are classifications associated with the different types of care for which you can receive Child Care Benefit, if assessed as eligible).
Please note that most sponsored and private fee paying students are solely responsible for the cost of child care, except those students who receive an Australian Commonwealth Government Scholarship. Students who are recipients of Australian Commonwealth Government Scholarships may be eligible for Child Care Benefit (CCB) (For example, Australia Awards Scholarships, Endeavour scholarship recipients). CCB assists families with the costs associated with approved or registered child care.
The amount of financial assistance provided will depend on your total family income and the number of hours your child or children are in care. Generally, families using approved care for study or training purposes can claim up to 50 hours of Child Care Benefit a week for each child. Contact Centrelink on 13 6150 for further information.
Approved Child Care is provided by child care services approved by the Australian Governmenmt. Most long day care, family day care, before and after school care, vacation care, in-home and occasional care service is approved child care. To find an approved child care service in your local area you can ring the Child Care Access Hotline on 1800 670 305 between 7.30am-5.30pm (Australian Central Standard Time) Monday to Friday.
For a list of CCB approved providers, see www.mychild.gov.au
Registered Care is care provided by grandparents, relatives, friends or nannies for work-related care and who are registered with the Family Assistance Office. To get Child Care Benefit for registered care, you and your partner must satisfy the work, study and training test.
Further information about the Child Care Benefit can be found here.
- Payment Rates for Childcare Benefit
Payment rates appear below as a guide only. Contact your nearest Family Assistance Office at Centrelink for a personal assessment. An annual cap of $7,500 will be applicable to the CCB until June 2017.
This payment can be paid directly to child care services to reduce the fees charged or as a lump sum to parents after the end of the financial year. You are limited to 24 hours care per child per week unless the work test is met. If the work test is met, you can get up to 50 hours care per child per week. This payment is subject to an income test. This payment is not subject to an assets test.
Status Approved Care Rate Per Hour Non School-Age Child in 50 hours of care Up to $4.17* ($208.50* per week)
Note: * Rates for school age children are 85 per cent of the non-school age rate.
This payment is paid by direct credit when you show the Family Assistance Office your receipts. This payment is not subject to an income test. This payment is not subject to an assets test.
Status Approved Care Rate Per Hour Non School-Age Child in 50 hours of work
Up to $0.696* ($34.80 per week)
Note: * Rates for school age children are 85 per cent of the non-school age rate.
Income Test for Child Care Benefit
Child Care Benefit is subject to an Income Test if you use Approved Care. Registered Care is not subject to an income test.
This income test is effective from 1 July 2012. Child care payments are adjusted every 1 July of every year.
Minimum rate payable over the following thresholds
Number of children in care Upper income threshold 1 $152,147 2 $157,654 3+ $178,023
plus $33,671 for each child after the third
For more information see the Centrelink website.
- To Obtain Financial Assistance for Child Care Expenses
First, you will need a letter from the International Student Centre verifying your student and scholarship status. In the letter we will include your stipend (living allowance) details. You will need to attach this letter to your application for child care benefit, plus provide any further information requested to enable assessment of your eligibility.
To apply for Child Care Benefit, visit the Family Assistance Office at your nearest Medicare office or Centrelink (phone 13 61 50 to make an appointment). These are the Government agencies responsible for assessing eligibility for Child Care Benefit.
To obtain information in your native language, you can contact Centrelink on 13 12 02, or view their website.
Preschool services are provided for children in the year prior to their first year at school. They aim to further children's social, emotional, physical and intellectual development, their knowledge and understanding of the world, and to enhance their transition to school. A preschool may also be known as a kindergarten, CPC (child parent centre), or children's services centre.
Your child is entitled to attend preschool ‘full-time’ provided they will be turning four before 1 May of that year. Full time means four sessions per week. Sessions last for up to three hours. Arrangements can be flexible depending on need, for example, in some circumstances two sessions a day may be arranged. Depending on the size and location of the preschool a range of staff will be working in the centre to support your child's needs.
The aim of preschool is to enhance and develop children's social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. Your child will be actively learning through play experiences that allow her/him to construct, test, and apply her/his developing knowledge. Playing is important because it allows children to practise skills over and over again, and to develop ideas at their own pace. At preschool, children are involved in indoor and outdoor learning experiences and also activities within the local community that have been selected by kindergarten staff. Staff are available to talk with parents about the kindergarten program.
- Choosing a Preschool
To find a list of preschools in your area, go to this link in the Department of Education and Child Development website.
This will allow you to select the region of Adelaide in which you are living and then see a listing of preschools in your region.
Before your child turns four it is helpful to visit the preschool to complete the enrolment procedure and learn what will happen once your child starts. Phone and make an appointment with the director so that staff can be available to talk with you when you visit.
Issues to Consider
Some things to consider when choosing a Preschool:
- Are you made welcome?
- Do children receive individual attention?
- Are there opportunities for children to work at their own activities, as well as in a group?
- In what ways are family members encouraged to be involved?
- Are the rules and policies of the centre explained to you?
- Are they written and made available to you if you ask?
- Are you made welcome?
- Do children receive individual attention?
- Are there opportunities for children to work at their own activities as well as in a group?
- What information is available for parents? For example, is there a handbook, philosophy statement or newsletters for you to read?
- Do you feel your child will be safe both in the inside and outside environment?
- What is the outside play area like?
- What is the daily routine?
How can you find out about your local Preschool?
You can find preschools listed on the website of the Department of Education and Child Development. Alternately, you can access information about local preschools from your local council.
- Starting Preschool
To enrol your child you will be asked to fill in an enrolment form giving information about your child. The information is needed by preschool staff so that they are able to contact you in an emergency and so that they have health care management information about your child. The staff also know that you have valuable knowledge about your child that will support them in developing a learning program that is responsive to your child's needs and so may also ask you for some information about your child such as
- Their interests, likes and dislikes
- Their friends already attending the centre or starting at the same time as your child
- Any additional needs your child has
- Custody and access issues
You will also need to show the preschool director or teacher your child's immunisation record and proof of your child's date of birth. The information you give about your child and family is kept confidential by staff and is used when necessary in the best interests of your child.
Tips for Starting Preschool
- Learn the names of the teachers. This will help you to talk with your child about what happens at kindergarten and ensure you keep updated on your child’s progress with the teachers.
- Communicate all information about your child, especially medical & special needs.
- Provide emergency contact numbers. In the case of illness or in an emergency, the kindergarten will need to contact you.
- Inform the kindergarten of any special family circumstances. Any changes to your child’s family situation, such as birth of a sibling or the divorce or death of a loved one, can impact their ability to cope at kindergarten.
- Establish routines and stick to them. Prepare your child for a more structured day by establishing routines and repeating them every time you come to the kindergarten.
- Label all clothing and equipment. Replacing lost equipment can be expensive and inconvenient.
- Dress your children in appropriate clothes. Clothes should be comfortable and allow your children to dress and undress independently for toileting.
- Organise a back up to collect children in case you’re held up. Familiarise a family member or neighbour with the routine of picking up your child. Notify the preschool in advance if someone else will be picking up your child.
- Teach basic skills to your children. Instruct your children in the correct way to grasp a pen, use scissors, and so on.
- Teach your child to say ‘STOP’ to another child whose behaviour is inappropriate. Teach children to talk instead of reacting physically.
Fees start from approximately $40 per term (10 weeks).
- What Can You Do To Help Your Child?
Children attending preschool are usually taken by their parents or by their child care service to the preschool program. You can help your child settle into preschool by being positive about it and by talking with your child about preschool and what they might be able to do at preschool.
Every child reacts differently to new situations. Some children will settle into preschool easily from the beginning, while some will take longer to become comfortable with their new surroundings and routines.
The most important thing you can do is to talk with them about how they are feeling and ask them how you can help. Also, talk with the staff about how your child feels.
Help your child to be as independent as possible. Your child will feel more confident if he/she can do some things such as being able to open a snack container and drink bottle, put jumpers on and off and recognise his/her bag and other belongings when you are not there. However, they do not have to be able to do these before starting kindergarten.
Plan with your child how you will say goodbye. Make a routine for leaving your child, such as: arrive at preschool, put your child's bag in the appropriate place, do a puzzle or read a story, then say goodbye and leave. If you use the same routine each time, your child knows when you will be leaving and will find it easier to accept.
- Can You Be Involved In The Preschool?
Parents play a crucial role in the management of their local preschool. Through the management committee, parents provide input to the program, contribute to policy development, help make decisions, fundraise, and are responsible for maintaining the buildings and equipment. If you would like to join the committee, ask a staff member how you can join.
Preschools on school sites are managed by the principal and the school council. Ask the staff or the school principal, if you would like to be involved.
Parents are always welcome at the preschool and can undertake activities with the children and staff.
- Support For Children With Additional Needs
Some children have additional needs, which may relate specifically to:
- disability/developmental delay
You may find that your child's needs will be met within existing programs and facilities offered. If not, the staff will work with you to ensure a coordinated, planned response to your child's needs, and this may mean that a range of support agencies and staff from regional services may be involved.
School attendance is compulsory for all children in Australia aged between six and sixteen years of age, with most children commencing school at five years of age. School attendance is from Monday to Friday, and generally from 8.45am to 3.30 pm each day. The academic year commences in late January, and the year is divided into four terms of approximately ten weeks each. There is a six-week holiday over the Christmas period and shorter holidays between each term.
- Primary Schools (Elementary Schools)
Most children start school at the age of five, although school is not compulsory until a child is six. Government schools will not allow children to start before they turn five. Primary Schools in South Australia finish at the end of year 7, which is when a child is aged 12 or 13.
- Secondary Schools (High Schools)
Children go to secondary schools (or high schools, as they are generally called) for five years from Year 8 to Year 12. Some government high schools specialise in particular subject areas. For example, Glenunga High School is an international high school that offers the International Baccalaureate, as well as a program for children who are gifted. There are four specialist music high schools in Adelaide, as well as some that specialise in a particular sport. Adelaide High School is a specialist school for children studying languages and is also a selective high school, which means that local children who do not live in the catchment area for this school can only attend if they sit, and do well in, an academic selection test.
There are also some government high schools for girls only, such as Mitcham Girls High and Gepps Cross Girls High. As an international student paying tuition fees, you can choose any government school, but if you are not living in the local area for that school, you could be denied a place (if places are limited at the school). If you are interested in sending your child to an independent school, you will need to contact the school to see if they have a place (many have waiting lists).
- Choosing a School
In choosing a school, you will need to consider many factors, including:
- The educational program and facilities on offer
- The distance from your home or campus
- Public transport access
- English language support (particularly if your child speaks little or no English)
- Availability of before- and after- hours school care and vacation care
Some other schools have excellent English language support programs and bilingual school service officers, and so you might choose to send your children to the local school if it has such a program.
In Australia there are two main types of schools: government (public), and independent (private) schools.
- Government (Public) School
In order to enrol your child in a government school, you must firstly register with the Department of Education and Child Development. You are required to complete either:
- the Dependants of Australian Scholarship Holders application form or
- the Dependants of International Students application form
For more information, please see here.
When you register your child with the Department of Education and Child Development, you will be given a Letter of Authority that you can take to the school of your choice. Whilst you are free to choose any government school, not all schools will have places available. You will have a better chance of gaining a place if you live in the geographical zone for that particular school, or if the school offers a particular program or subject that your child wants to study; for example, if it offers a particular language (see above section).
Government School Fees
Fees for the children of international students attending government schools are subsidised. 2016 fees are as follows:
School Level Per Year Per School Term Primary School $4,160 $1040 Secondary School $5,160 $1,290
This single fee includes intensive English language development and support.
There is also an application fee of $600 per family for the first year, which then changes to a $300 per child annual administration fee.
You will also be required to pay the School Materials and Services Fee each year. This is a fee paid by all parents – local and international. It helps the school buy exercise books, pens and other personal resources for students. This annual fee is set by the school and ranges from $110 up to $920 per child per year depending on the School and level of services offered.
Please visit this website for the most current information.
Government School Term Dates 2016
(Private Schools have very similar dates – check with each school)
Term Start Date End Date 1 1 February 15 April 2 2 May 8 July 3 25 July 30 September 4 17 October 16 December
Exemptions from Fees
Certain children may be granted a reduction to or exemption from fees.
Australian Government Sponsored Students
If you are the holder of an Australian Government scholarship (e.g. IPRS, ACIAR Scholarships) then your dependent children can attend government schools and pay the same fees as local students.
Please ensure you lodge the Dependants of Australian Scholarship Holders application form with the Department of Education and Children’s Service. The Letter of Authority you receive from the Department of Education will explain that you have an exemption from fees.
As of 1 July 2009, the South Australian Government is extending fee waivers for the education of dependant children to Research Students (PhD and Masters by Research – visa subclass 574) in receipt of a scholarship from their home government. This includes scholarships from public universities and statutory bodies and multilateral agencies. Please note that the eligibility for the fee waiver does not extend to research students who are self-funded or in receipt of a scholarship from a private agency or company.
If you hold an approved scholarship and have children attending a State Government primary or secondary school and want to apply for a fee exemption please take the following steps.
Step 1 - Complete the Dependants of Scholarship Holders Application Form which can be found here.
Step 2 - Bring the completed form along with your passport and e-visa letter (if you do not have a visa label in your passport), your children’s passports, evidence of your scholarship, and a copy of your current Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) to the International Student Centre. If you do not have a copy of your current CoE, we can provide you with a copy.
Step 3 - The International Student Centre will complete a Tertiary Scholarship Verification Form as proof of your eligibility for dependant fee waivers.
Step 4 - The International Student Centre will scan all of the required documents and send them via email to the Department of Education and Child Development.
Step 5 - The Department of Education and Child Development will contact you directly with their decision, generally via email.
If you have any questions please visit the International Student Centre or contact us by telephone on 8313 4828.
- Intensive English Language Support
If your primary school aged child needs English language instruction within the government school system, you can enrol them in the Intensive Primary English Course (IPEC) which is an intensive English course designed to provide young children with the skills required for entering mainstream primary education classes. Students usually attend the IPEC program for one year. They can then continue at the school in the mainstream program or go to their local school if they wish. Similar intensive English language support is also available at secondary school for older dependent children. Contact the Department of Education and Child Development for details of primary and secondary schools offering intensive English language support in South Australia.
For further information on public school services contact:
Department of Education and Child Development
Ground Floor West, Education Centre
31 Flinders St, Adelaide 5000
Ph: 8226 3402
Fax: 8226 3655
Please be aware when accessing the above website that some information is for international students, rather than the children of international students.
If you wish to visit the Department of Education and Child Development when you arrive in Adelaide, it is best to arrange an appointment beforehand.
- Contact Details for Primary Schools & Secondary Schools
For a list of all schools in South Australia go to: http://www.decd.sa.gov.au/locs/
Schools are listed as Primary or High/Secondary. A College is often a secondary school. Area schools generally include both primary and secondary levels. They are listed by name/suburb title, so it is a good idea to look for schools in suburbs near your house.
- Independent (Private) Schooling
There are many types of independent schools and many are affiliated with religious organisations. For example, you might choose to send your child to a Catholic, Anglican, Islamic, or Jewish school. Some independent schools may not have a religious association but may follow a particular educational philosophy, as do the Waldorf and Montessori Schools. Fees for independent schools vary greatly, and you will need to contact the schools directly to find out what they charge. Some are very expensive and others are relatively cheap. Catholic school fees are generally cheaper than the fees for other church-related independent schools, ranging from $800-1500 per year for primary students and $2,500-$5,000 per year for secondary students. Some private schools begin from Reception (first year of school) and continue to Year 12 (last year of school).
Out of School Hours Care
This is care provided for school age children before school starts (usually from 7.30am-8.30am) and after school finishes (3.30pm-6.00pm). Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) services provide quality care and recreational activities specifically for primary school aged children (5-12 years) in a fun, relaxed, and safe environment. Many Out of Hours School Care programs also provide Vacation Care during the school holidays.
Many primary schools provide care on the school grounds. You can find the schools providing both Out of Hours School Care and Vacation Care listed in the telephone directory, or just ask the school to which you are interested in sending your child.
The costs vary slightly; however, you can expect to pay approximately $8-9 per day for after school care, $4 per day for before school care and around $30 per day for vacation care. Check charges directly with the care provider. Attendance in OSHC can be on a casual, part-time, regular, or emergency basis. OSHC services are very accommodating to families' needs.
Out of School Hours Care services must follow the standards set by the department. For more information see the website of the South Australian Government.
This section contains information pertaining to health and medical services in Adelaide.
- Women's & Children's Hospital
Women's & Children's Hospital Address 72 King William Road, North Adelaide Phone (08) 8161 7000 Website www.wch.sa.gov.au/ Emergency Paediatric Emergency Department Fax (08) 8161 7459 General Enquiries & After Hours (08) 8161 7044 Times Open 24/7
Please note: Only emergency first aid advice is given to patients, parents or carers.
The Women’s and Children’s Hospital provides emergency care to the children of South Australia, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Hospital is the leading provider of specialist care for children with acute and chronic conditions in South Australia, as well as the State's largest maternity and obstetric service.
- Parenting Helpline
Phone: 1300 364 100 (Local call cost from anywhere in South Australia)
The Child and Youth Health Parent Helpline provides telephone information, counselling, and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year. It is available to parents of children/young people from birth to age 25 living in South Australia.
It provides information about health, behaviour and relationships for parents and people working with children and young people, including teachers and child care providers. It is also able to give information about where callers can get further help. Calls are confidential and you do not have to give your name unless you wish to.
The Helpline has a computer database with information, which is based on research and continually updated so they can give you the best service when you call. Staff are qualified nurses and community health workers with selected volunteers. All staff receive ongoing training and support. Here are just a few examples of the information available from the Child and Youth Health Parent Helpline:
Health head lice, infectious diseases, immunisation, teething, bedwetting, cold sores, AIDS, gastro, and fevers Behaviour aggression, sibling rivalry, problem solving, toilet training, sleeping, lying, stealing, settling babies, bullying Nutrition breast feeding, fussy eaters, general nutrition information, vitamins Parenting building self-esteem, grief and separation, resources for counselling, step families Youth Issues communicating with adolescents, teenage runaways, managing adolescents, behaviour, self esteem, drugs and adolescents, adolescent aggression, adolescents and the law Parents postnatal depression, pregnancy, mastitis, coping with problems, support
Here are some websites with more information and resources about parenting in South Australia:
Immunisation protects children (and adults) against harmful infections before they come into contact with them in the community. Immunisation uses the body’s immune system to build resistance to specific infections. Nine diseases can be prevented by routine childhood immunisation:
- Whooping cough
- Poliomyelitis (polio)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b
- Hepatitis B
All of these diseases can cause serious complications and sometimes death. Immunisation is given as an injection or, in the case of polio vaccine, taken as drops by mouth. Immunisation helps children stay healthy by preventing serious infections.
Immunisation & Vaccination
Technically ‘vaccination’ is the term used for giving a vaccine - that is, actually getting the injection or swallowing the drops. ‘Immunisation’ is the term used for the process of both getting the vaccine and becoming immune to the disease as a result of the vaccine. Most people use the terms 'vaccination' and 'immunisation' interchangeably but their meanings are not exactly the same because immunity follows vaccination in most, but not all, cases.
How Does Vaccination Work?
When someone is injected with, or swallows, a vaccine, their body produces an immune response in the same way it would after exposure to a disease but without the person getting the disease. If the person comes in contact with the disease in the future, the body is able to make an immune response fast enough to prevent the person getting sick.
What is in Vaccines?
Some vaccines contain a very small dose of a live, but weakened, form of a virus. Some vaccines contain a very small dose of killed bacteria, or small parts of bacteria, and other vaccines contain a small dose of a modified toxin produced by bacteria. Vaccines may also contain either a small amount of preservative or a small amount of an antibiotic to preserve the vaccine. Some vaccines may also contain a small amount of an aluminium salt that helps produce a better immune response.
The Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule
Adapted from Chapter 1.7 of The Australian Immunisation Handbook 9th Edition 2008
The Australian Standard Vaccination Schedule (ASVS) shown below is recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Over recent years a considerable variety of vaccines, which combine together various antigens, have become available in Australia. The ASVS is therefore now based on antigens rather than on specific vaccines.
The new immunisation schedule (below) incorporates all vaccines recommended as 'best practice'. Immunisation providers are responsible for advising patients and parents/caregivers of available vaccine choices at the time of consultation, including those provided free under the National Immunisation Program. For information about the National Immunisation Program visit Immunise Australia, visit their website or contact the Immunisation Infoline on 1800 671 811 or your State or Territory health authority (South Australia: 1300 232 272).
NOTE: If your child has not been immunised, or has missed some according to the schedule, you should discuss a revised schedule with your doctor.
This section might give you some ideas for activities you and your children can do together.
- Parks & Gardens
The Botanic Gardens
The Botanic Gardens on North Terrace is a beautiful place to visit and one that children of all ages enjoy. Children can wander around the gardens and paths and look at the many varieties of trees and flowers. At the lake, they can feed the ducks and look at the turtles, swans, and water rats. Some particular places they may enjoy include the cactus garden, the herb garden, and the glasshouse on the western side of the gardens.
The Mount Lofy Botanic Garden
The Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is also a wonderful place for children to explore. It is in the Adelaide Hills about 30 minutes drive from the city centre. Drive up the freeway and turn off at Crafers and then follow the signs to Piccadilly. The Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is on the eastern slopes of the Mount Lofty Ranges. This large hills garden is in a spectacular setting overlooking Piccadilly Valley and was started in 1952 and first opened to the public in 1977. It features plants from the cool climates of both the northern and southern hemispheres which do not grow well on the hot, dry Adelaide plains.
The Mount Lofty Botanic Garden is open Weekdays from 8:30am — 4:00pm and on weekends, public holidays, and during the winter months from 10:00am — 5:00pm. During daylight savings, the Garden will close on weekends at 6:00pm. There is no admission charge. Car parking is available at the upper car park off Mawson Drive, or in the lower car park off Lampert Road.
Free 90 minute Guided Walks leave from the lower car park off Lampert Road at 10:30am every Thursday during spring (September, October, November) & autumn (March, April, May) but are cancelled if the temperature reaches or exceeds 36 degrees.
Mount Lofty Botanic Gardens is on
16 Lampert Road Piccadilly, SA, 5151
(or enter via Summit Road Or Piccadilly Road, Crafers SA 5152)
Phone: 8370 8370
Fax: 8339 6851
Rymill Park is part of what is called the “East Parklands” and is very close to the east end of Rundle St. Rymill Park has a beautiful lake (when there is water!) and children enjoy walking or cycling around it, as well as hiring a boat. The lake is extremely shallow, so is not dangerous for most children. There is also a playground and a café overlooking the lake.
Elder Park is a public open space in the city of Adelaide, South Australia on the southern bank of the River Torrens and is bordered by the Adelaide Festival Centre and North Terrace. At Elder Park you can hire a paddleboat, take a ride on the “Popeye” boat, have a picnic, hire bikes, or feed the ducks. Elder Park is the home of the annual Christmas Carols by Candlelight for Adelaide and also hosts Symphony under the Stars and the Adelaide Festival of Arts.
Waterfall Gully is a beautiful area of bushland not far from the city with walking trails that children love. To get to it, go to Waterfall Gully Rd in Burnside and follow it along to the car park at the end.
- Zoos & Wildlife Parks
The Adelaide Zoo
The Adelaide Zoo is another place to take children of all ages. Located very close to the University, it sits on the river on Frome Road. While it can be quite expensive to visit once, you can purchase a year-long membership and then visit as many times as you like.
The Zoo is also a botanic garden, and the magnificent landscaping is the result of more than 125 years of care and attention. There are many areas for children to run around and play, and the Zoo itself is an immersive and interactive experience.
Most animals are fed regularly by the keepers, and everyone is welcome to watch. You can buy bags of pellets to feed some of the animals yourself in the Children’s Zoo between 10am - 12noon and 2pm - 4pm.
Exhibit Open Close Adelaide Zoo 9:30am 5:00pm Panda Exhibit 9:45am 4:45pm Reptile House 10:00am 4:30pm Nocturnal House 10:00am 4:30pm Walk-Through Aviaries 9:30am 4:30pm
Monarto Zoological Park
Monarto Zoological Park is a 1,000 hectare open-range sanctuary undertaking a major role nationally and internationally in breeding programs for rare and endangered species. The Park is located 45 minutes (70 kms) from Adelaide on the Princes Highway in Monarto and is the gateway to the picturesque Murraylands region. The Zoo features the only drive through Cheetah habitat in Australia, South Australia's first ever Southern White Rhinoceros, Australia's largest Giraffe herd, and the largest revegetation project of its kind in South Australia's history! Adventurous safari bus and walking tours operate every day of the year, which are led by trained volunteer tour guides. There are 1,000 hectares of fauna and flora within the park, of which 250 hectares have been developed for animal habitats and breeding facilities.
To view these, there are three walks ranging from 30 to 90 minutes in duration and a free one hour guided tour bus that may be booked at the Visitors Centre. The Zoo is open from 9.30am - 5pm every day of the year, except in the case of extreme weather, but you must enter no later than 3pm. If the forecast temperature for the Murraylands region is 40 degrees or above, Monarto will be closed. For more information and tour schedules, visit www.zoossa.com.au
Adelaide Zoo & Monarto Zoological Park Entry Prices
Family (2 Adults, 2 or 3 Children) $87.50 ($5 extra for extra children, max. 5 children) Adults 15+ Years $33.50 Concession $23.50 Children $18.50 Under 4 Years Old Free
Cleland Wildlife Park
Cleland Wildlife Park is a wonderful place to see native Australian animals in a bushland setting. You can feed the kangaroos and pat koalas. There is an Aboriginal cultural guided tour that brings to life Dreaming stories and shares the ceremonial significance of Australian wildlife. Open from 9.30 - 5.00 daily. Phone: 8339 2444
Adults $22.00 Concession $18.00 (Photo ID required) Children $11.00
Access from Summit Road, via Greenhill Road, or the South Eastern freeway, Mt Lofty. For more information, check their website.
Gorge Wildlife Park
'Talk to the animals’ – kangaroos, dingos, monkeys, meerkats, alligators, birds! Free koala cuddling at 11:30, 1:30, and 3:30 daily! Open 9:00 to 5:00 daily with BBQ and picnic facilities.
Adults $17.00 Concession $14.00 (Photo ID required) Children $10.00 (3-15 Years Old) Under 3 Years Old Free
Address: Redden Drive, Cudlee Creek, 5232
Phone: 8389 2206
Thorndon Park Reservoir
Thorndon Park Reservoir has a great playground and a large BBQ space - ideal for birthday parties etc.! Located at 5 Hamilton Terrace, Paradise SA 5075.
Morialta Conservation Park
Morialta Conservation Park offers several trails, including great hiking trails; waterfalls; beautiful scenery; and the opportunity to see koalas in the wild! Located in Woodforde SA 5134.
- Art Galleries & Museums
The Art Gallery of South Australia
The Gallery is open every day of the year from 10:00am – 5:00pm except 25 December (Christmas Day). There is no charge to visit the Gallery's permanent collection; however, entry fees do apply to some temporary exhibitions.
START at The Gallery offers an exciting introduction to visual art for children and families. Held on the first Sunday of every month (February–November), the free START program includes art and craft activities, tours, trails, live music, and entertainment. Suitable for ages 5-10 years. Parent / carer supervision is required. For more information call 08 8207 7005 for the Co-ordinator. Entry to Exhibitions is discounted on SART days.
For more information about the Art Gallery’s activities for children, see their website.
The South Australian Museum
There are many museums in Adelaide, the biggest of which is the South Australian Museum on North Terrace, very close to the University. It has some very interesting displays of indigenous culture and a live animal collection, which children greatly enjoy. In the school holidays, the museum runs special activities for children. Entry is free and doors open 10am-5pm daily. For more information visit their website.
The Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum in Lipson Street, Port Adelaide is a great place to visit if your children are interested in ships and boats. It organises cruises and other activities for children in the school holidays on the fabulous steam tug “Yelta” or police launch.
Address: 126 Lipson Street, Port Adelaide
Open Hours: Every day 10:00am – 5:00pm (except Christmas Day)
Phone: 8207 6255
Family (2 Adults, up to 5 Children) $25.00 Adults $10.00 Concession $8.00 Children $5.00
- Public Libraries
Public libraries offer a great range of free services for you and your child. Apart from their great children's collections of books, and professional advice and guidance, they offer free story time sessions on a regular basis. Parents, grandparents, and friends are welcome. Often these story time sessions include special craft activities.
All council areas in Adelaide have a public library where your children can borrow books, DVDs, CDs, tapes, and videos. Libraries also have magazines and newspapers, and many have computers (and internet) for use. In the school holidays, many libraries offer free activities for children. Libraries are free.
Library & Community Centres Storytelling & Craft Sessions for Preschoolers
Library & Community Centres Storytelling/Craft Sessions for Preschoolers. (Held during school term. Ring first to check that these times and days are current)
Tynte St Library & Community Centre
Phone: 8203 7990
176 Tynte Street, North Adelaide
Wednesday 10:30am - 11:00am
Hutt St Library & Community Centre
Phone: 8203 7990
235 Hutt Street, Adelaide
Tuesday 10.30am - 11.00am
Saturday 10:30am - 11:00am
Charles Sturt Library Service
Phone: 8408 1333
Phone: 8408 1333
139 Port Road, Hindmarsh
Monday 10.30am - 11.00am
West Lakes Library
Phone: 8408 1333
Cnr. West Lakes Boulevard and Brebner Drive, West Lakes
Tuesday 10.30am - 11.00am
Civic Library (Woodville)
Phone: 8408 1333
72 Woodville Road, Woodville
Wednesday 10.30am - 11.00am
Henley Beach Library
Phone: 8408 1333
378 Seaview Road, Henley Beach
Thursday 10.30am - 11.00am
Phone: 8408 1333
Findon Shopping Centre
Cnr. Findon and Grange Roads, Findon
Friday - 10.30am - 11.00am
Marion Library Service
Phone: 8375 6785
Tuesday 10.30am - 11.00am
Phone: 8375 6755
Wednesday 10.30am - 11.30am
Phone: 8375 6745
Thursday 10.30am - 11.15am
Visit the Hallett Cove or Park Holme toy library too
Phone: 8372 8244
154 Belair Road, Hawthorn
Monday & Thursday
10.30am - 11.30am
(School terms only)
Unley Civic Centre Library
Phone: 8372 5100
181 Unley Road
Unley SA 5061
Tuesday -10.30 am
(School terms only)
Phone: 8372 5166
101 Goodwood Road,
Goodwood SA 5064
(School terms only)
Walkerville Public Library
Phone: 8344 7714
62 Walkerville Terrace, Gilberton
Friday, 10.30am (School term only)
Toddlers Group 1st & 3rd Wednesday, every month 10.30am (School term only)
Babies Group 1st & 3rd Monday, every month 10.30am (All year)
- Toy Libraries
Attached to many public libraries are toy libraries where you can borrow toys for children of different ages and obtain information about various community activities for children. Below are some of the toy libraries in Adelaide. Information about other area toy libraries can be found through this website.
Burnside Toy Library 8366 4181 Website Unley Toy Library 8372 5174 Website Tea Tree Gully Toy Library 8397 7443 Website Hills Community Toy Library 8339 1244 Website Prospect Toy Library 8342 8195 Website
- School Holiday Activities
Many schools offer vacation care programs for children in the school holidays (see school section). These provide a large variety of activities and excursions for children. They are for primary school children. The cost for these programs varies. Enquire at your child’s school.
Something on Saturday
23 April – 27 August 2014
Something on Saturday is sponsored by National Pharmacies and delights and entertains thousands of children every Saturday throughout winter each year. Many South Australian children aged 2 to 10 enjoy their first theatrical experience through the program.
To view the program, go to the “Something on Saturday” website.
Tram to Glenelg
Adelaide has a tram that goes to Glenelg, Adelaide’s tourist beach. Trams run every 15 minutes from the Entertainment Centre just northwest of the city, and the trams are free between the Entertainment Centre and South Terrace. You must pay to travel beyond South Terrace to Glenelg, and you may wish to purchase a new Metrocard from a local Newsagent or Post Office before travelling.
Adelaide is a great place to cycle because it is very flat, and it has some beautiful cycling paths. One of the best is the Linear Park track, which runs beside the River Torrens from the foothills to the sea. You can get to the track from Bonython Park. Second hand bikes can be bought cheaply in Adelaide, either from second hand shops or privately.
There are many public swimming pools in Adelaide, some of which are heated, enabling you to use them all year round. The Adelaide Aquatic Centre is an indoor heated pool complex in North Adelaide, but there are many other public swimming pools. Ask at your local council for the one that is nearest to you.
Unley Swimming Centre
Ethel Street, Forestville
(Off Leader Street and next to the Forestville Reserve) Recreation Hub
Phone: 8372 5456
South Australian Aquatic and Leisure Centre
443 Morphett Road
Oaklands Park SA 5046
Phone: (08) 8198 0198
Marion Swimming Centre
Oaklands Road (cnr. Hendrie Street)
Park Holme SA 5043
Phone: 8276 4939
Burnside Swimming Pool
The Burnside Swimming Centre comprises three pools, two playgrounds, two spas, a steam room and other facilities, set amongst the majestic gumtrees of Hazelwood Park. The Centre's foyer, indoor-outdoor cafeteria, pergola, verandah and the spa and sauna overlook the shaded lawns to the pools and playgrounds.
Greenhill Road (cnr Howard Terrace)
Hazelwood Park 5066
Phone: 8366 4290
Adelaide has more than its share of beaches, with 60 km of beachfront. Swimming is generally safe for children, as Adelaide is in a gulf and beaches do not have large waves. Popular beaches include Semaphore, Henley Beach, and Glenelg. For more information, please refer to the Surf Rescue website.
Please Note: Calls from a land line to 1800 numbers are free of charge.
|Ambulance, Fire and Police (emergency only)||000|
|Police Assistance (non urgent)||131 444|
|Women’s and Children’s Hospital||8161 7000|
|Parent Helpline (24 Hour Service)||1300 364 100|
|Child Abuse Prevention Service (24 Hour Service)||1800 688 009|
|Paediatric Emergency (24 Hour Service)||8161 7044|
|Domestic Violence Helpline||1800 800 098|
|Lifeline (telephone counselling service)||131 114|
|Men’s Line Australia (24 Hour Service)||1300 789 978|
|Parenting SA||8303 1660|
|Parent Helpline||1300 364 100|
|Pregnancy SA Infoline||1300 368 820|
|Pregnancy Counselling Australia
(24 Hour Service, Pregnancy termination alternatives
and post termination counselling)
|1300 737 732|
|Pregnancy Help Line
(24 Hour Service, Counselling & information
for pregnant women & their families)
|1300 737 732|
|Rape & Sexual Assault Service||1800 817 421|
|Rape & Sexual Assault Service (24 Hour Emergency Line)||8226 8787|
|Victim Support Service (for victims of crime)||8231 5626|
|Women’s Healthline||1300 882 880|