Family Life and Childcare for Expats in Australia

Author: Jason Zhou
Submitted: July 2013

Family Life in Australia

Australia is a highly diverse country in terms of ethnicity. It was reported in the 2011 Census that Australians come from more than 200 countries and speak more than 300 different languages, though the most common language spoken in Australia is English. There are also more than 100 different religious groups among them.

A typical Australian family is a couple with two children. According to the 2011 Census, 71% of the Australian population live in such families. About half of these families had children, normally two, living at home. The average ages for the two children were nine for the elder child and six for the younger. Most of the couples were employed and they normally drove to work.    

Nearly 93% of Australians are city or town dwellers, including smaller towns. Most of them (74%) live in a detached house, while only a few (4%) live in flats or apartments in high rise units. These can usually be seen in large cities. 

For more information about the family life in Australia, you can visit this


Childcare in Australia

In Australia, if you cannot look after your children by yourself you have many choices. There are many types of childcare service such as nanny, au pair, mother's helper, babysitter, day care, family day care, pre-school and kindergarten prep, out-of-school-hours care and in-home care. For more information about the differences between these, you can visit

The cost of childcare in Australia differs between the types. For example, the costs are between A$15 and A$25 per hour for a live-in nanny and between A$15 and A$35 per hour for a live-out one. A full day of care in a childcare centre will cost between A$65 and A$164 per day. For more information about the general picture of costs, you can visit

Children who reach four years of age become eligible to attend 12 hours of public preschool per week. You would need to contact your local preschools to confirm when your child should be enrolled. If your child attends a private preschool, you would still need to discuss with the head of the school about enrolment. For more information about the age for preschool, please visit

Though there are many types of carer in Australia, you may find it difficult to find a suitable one. A common way is to ask you neighbours or friends for recommendations. Furthermore, there is an Australian Government Child Care Access hotline: 1800 670 305. You can call this number between 8.00 and 6.00 from Monday to Friday. You can also find a carer using

The government also publishes a useful factsheet kit, Information for Families using Childcare, to help families make decisions about childcare.   The government states that the factsheets ‘include information on Child Care Benefit, the Child Care Rebate, Jobs, Education and Training (JET) Child Care fee assistance, Child Care Services Support program; and Child Care Access Hotline.’ You can find all the sheets here:




Moving to Australia

If you are considering moving to Australia or are soon to depart, you can find helpful information and advice in the Expat Briefing dedicated Australian section including; details of immigration and visas, Australian forums, Australian event listings and service providers in Australia.


Living in Australia

From your safety to shoppingliving in Australia can yield great benefits as well as occasional drawbacks.  Find your feet and stay abreast of the latest developments affecting expats in Australia with relevant news and up-to-date information.


Working in Australia

Working in Australia can be rewarding as well as stressful, if you don't plan ahead and fulfill any legal requirements. Find out about visas and passports, owning and operating a company in Australia, and general Australian culture of the labour market.



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