Sunday, May 20, 2018

Note About Schooling In Melbourne For Those Who Are Planning To Move


   One of the important factors that every parent needs to consider before making a decision on moving to Melbourne or for that matter anywhere in Australia is children's education. I wish this write up helps you in this regard.

First of all, there are certain important documents that we need to get  before travelling to Australia

1. Birth Certificate-.Make sure that your child has a birth certificate. If not apply immediately and get it before moving to Australia.

2. Immunisation records-if you don't have it in a legible format, please get in touch with the hospital/Doctor and get a report with the signature/seal of the Doctor/Hospital. Make sure that your child's immunization records are up to date. There are certain vaccines like Meningococcal which is a mandatory vaccine in Australia but is not routinely administered to children in India,  Don't bother about those, you can get those vaccines administered from Australia for free.

    Once you are in Australia, call the local city council for your area and check with them regarding the immunization schedule. They will definitely have one near you. Take your kid to the venue on the scheduled date. Make sure that you carry the immunization records from your country. Submit it to them and request them to update the Australian Immunization Register(AIR). They may review the immunization records and advise you about any mandatory vaccines here in Australia which is missing in your child's records. They will administer it for free. You may also consult your local GP for immunization and updations. Updation to AIR may take a few days and you may be able to check your child's Immunisation History Statement in below website or using  Medicare online account through myGov.

    Now that you have the records ready, the second important thing that you can do before you travel is to research on good schools for your kids. I am not elaborating on the types of schools, their advantage/disadvantage etc. since those details are available widely on the internet. 

    Basically, you have two choices, either your kid can go to a private school or a Govt school. If you are planning for a private school, you may have to pay school fees. There is no fee involved in Government schools. However, an important thing to consider is that the Government schools are zoned, which means you may have to live within a certain area around the school in order to attend a particular Government school. Here are the resources which might help to decide on the schools and their zone.

   Although there is no fee for Government schools, you may need to budget for stationery, uniform as well as fees for camping and sports. Stationary will be covered under $200, uniform under $300 and camping - generally two times a year will cost you under $400 each time. Apart from that, you may need to spend on sports and games, mainly travel charges in case your kids' school team is going to other schools to play against them This will be around $6 each time.

   In Australia, the academic year starts by end of January. Although it is a good idea to reach here by mid-January and settle down by then, as per rules here, kids need to be admitted to Government schools anytime during the year.

   The Government school may ask for proof of address to make sure that you are living in the zone designated for the school. For me, the school did not ask for proof.

   Victoria school schedules are available in below website. Generally, there are 4 terms with breaks in between.

  Before and after school care is another concern especially if both parents are working. Most of the Government schools have some arrangements for it. For example in my kid's school, the before and after school care is managed by Camp Australia. They start at 7AM in the morning and will take care of your kids until school time and after the school to 6:30 PM.

  You may have other options based on the area. For example, here I have a family day care which starts as early as 6:30AM and they are there until 8PM to take care of kids. They take the school going kids to school on time and collect the kids from school once the school time is over.

  The expense for before and after school care or child care, in general, depends on your income and certain criteria laid out by Centrelink. But if you are unemployed at least for the initial period, your out of pocket expense for childcare might be very less.

Here schooling is stress-free and your kid will definitely enjoy schooling here !!! All the Best!!!

Tech Notes :- Making Google Drive Available As A Windows Drive

It is always a  convenience to have your Google Drive available as a drive in your Windows Explorer. Here are the steps to configure your Google Drive in windows and then having it as a drive in your windows explorer

Download Google drive software(Backup and Sync) for Windows from below link

Install it and configure the folder to be Synced say E:\Google Drive

Once you select the folder to be synced, the contents of the folder will be synced with google drive

Now download a software called Visual Subt from below link or any trusted link

Launch Visual Subst and then map the folder that you have selected for syncing(say E:\Google Drive) with Google Drive.

Now you should be able to see an additional drive in My Computer which is the local folder synced with Google Drive. It's that simple!