Information on education in Australia including school and universities.

2019 May 02

Information on education in Australia including school and universities.

The standard of Education in Australia is particularly high. In recent years, Australian education has set the benchmark for other countries in a number of areas, which include Curriculum and Assessment.


Childcare services in Australia are available for children aged 6 weeks to 6 years. All childcare facilities are independent and have different fees and education/play-based curriculum. Most childcare centres also have long wait lists, so you will need to get in early, putting your name onto a waiting list if needed in order to secure a place for your child at your chosen childcare centre(s).

There are different types of child care and early learning services in Australia

  • Long Day Care: Long Day Care is sometimes referred to as centre-based care and is generally provided in a building that has been created specifically for use as a child care centre. Centres usually operate between 6:30 am and 6:00 pm and offer professional care for children aged 6 weeks to 6 years.
  • Family Day Care: Family Day Care services deliver flexible home-based education and care for children via a network of educators. It means children (aged 6 weeks to 6 years) will be cared for by an approved educator, in educators’ homes.
  • In Home Care: In-Home Care is similar to Family Day Care but the professional carer looks after the child in your child's home. However, it is not widely available and usually only an option where other forms of care are not suitable.
  • Outside School Hours Care: Outside School Hours Care centres provide care for primary school aged children, before and after school (7:30 am -9:00 am and 3:00 pm -6:00 pm), during school holidays and on pupil-free days.
  • Occasional Care: Occasional Care offers professional care for children on a casual basis. This service is suitable for families who do not need childcare on a regular basis but would like someone to look after their children occasionally, for example when they have a medical or other appointments.

The majority of Long Day Care centres and Family Day Cares are approved child care services. This means that families using the service may be eligible for Child Care Benefit and the Child Care Rebate.

You will also need to contact Centrelink to inform them that your child will be attending care. For more information about Childcare services, please click here.

Primary and Secondary Schooling

Migrants to Australia must enrol their children in school. You can choose to have your children educated in public (state government) or private (independent) schools throughout Australia. Education at public schools is free (depending on the type of visa you have been granted, you may be required to pay full school fees, which includes public schools) in most states, although most schools do have a small voluntary annual fee to cover extra activities. Private or independent schools have their own fee structure.

To enrol your children at school you will need to have report cards or statements from previous schools and possibly some samples of their work.

Formal schooling in Australia starts with a kindergarten or preparatory year followed by 12 years of primary and secondary school. Children generally begin formal schooling in the year that they turn 5 or 6 dependent on the state, beginning with Prep (also known as kindergarten) and continuing through Years 1 to 12.

To have more information about each school in Australia, please click here.

Things to consider when choosing a school

If you’re looking beyond the local public school, think about what will work best for your child’s characteristics, personality, strengths, needs and interests. You might also consider how different schools’ cultures and values sit with your family values and family life.

Other factors you could take into account include:

  • the facilities the school has to support your child’s learning – such as playgrounds, library, home language support, music programs, clubs and sporting teams
  • the opportunities for parent and family involvement with the school, and how communication between home and the school is managed
  • the school’s size and number of children enrolled
  • the school’s religious affiliation or otherwise
  • your preference in relation to public versus private education
  • the location of the school, cost or difficulty of travelling to and from the school, and public transport options
  • your preferences or needs – for example, boarding, or the possibility of educating your child at home
  • the connection between the school and the local community
  • the schools’ previous academic results or performance in other areas, such as the arts, sport or community engagement
  • where your child’s friends are going.

Tertiary Education

Tertiary study is available at various universities, TAFEs and private provider institutions within Australia.

The higher education sector is made up of universities and other higher education institutions. The Australian Government supports the sector through policies, funding and programmes. The Australian Government provides financial assistance to students through the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP), which consists of five different loan schemes. For more information please click here.

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