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  1. #1
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    Smile Kid friendly suburbs & child care - moving from the UK

    Hello everyone!

    We might be moving from the UK to Melbourne for my husband's work this September (I know - short notice!). We're currently looking to stay for 6-18 months.

    Our son is 20 months and is attending a nursery here for 3.5 days a week and my daughter is almost 4 months so I'm at home with her.

    A couple of things I wanted to run by you:

    1. Where to live? My husband will work in the city centre and is not keen for a long commute. We'll be able to rent for $850-$1000 a week, ideally furnished. His colleague has suggested the following areas: St. Kilda, Port Melbourne, Albert Park, Middle Park, Brighton, Williamstown and finally Fitzroy, Carlton and Abbptsford for a more edgier option. Are they any good? Is childcare there a nightmare?

    2. Childcare - how long are the waiting lists normally? If we stay for 6-18 months, will I get my son into daycare at all? He's very social so I worry about him if he has to spend all day with his baby sister and me :-(

    Also so if any of you mums/dads out there have moved from abroad, do let me know about your experiences.

    I'd be extremely grateful for any comments / thoughts you might have ... Is a bit tricky organising a move from the uk on such a short notice :-)

    Best,
    S

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    kw123  (04-07-2016)

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    I've lived north and south and definitely prefer north but it depends on the person. I would make that decision first and go from there. It will be hard to get in somewhere in any of those locations but if you have flex on days you need you might get lucky. There is also family day care. I'm personally not a fan as its just one person in their home but it works really well for some families.

    Also are you renting? The more inner city you go the smaller the place you'll get. Although if you're coming from London that won't be an issue as everywhere will seem bigger 😂

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    ICEUK  (04-07-2016)

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    Hi kw123 - thanks for the info!
    Yes we'll be renting, ideally looking for 3-4beds with a garden, don't need a huge amount of space, just something nice in a good area.
    Am also totally flexible in days/hours.
    Are most kids in 5 days a week 8-9hrs a day?
    S

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    All the areas you mentioned are really expensive so perhaps have a look at what you can get in your price range and go from there? The closer to the city you are the smaller the yard you'll probably get.

    I don't think there is any typical number of days a kid is in daycare... It really depends if the parents work and how many days. My son has always been in 4 days.

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    ICEUK  (04-07-2016)

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    Hi, how exciting! Just some pre thoughts to consider based on my sis in law moving back to Melbs with her family;

    Think about the time of year you will be here eg going into summer... Maybe somewhere relatively felt close to beach will be good? Also look at west as they can be a bit cheaper and tend to have yards, even Altona has some nice spots

    Will you have a car?

    Check public transport, Melbs weather is unpredictable! You don't want hubby to be walking long distances to train/bus, or have to drive him to/from each day.

    What hobbies do you enjoy? Are you foodies? Different parts of the city have different cuisine influences eg Richmond = Asian, inner north = Mediterranean.

    Childcare I can't answer for those areas except that places can be hard to come by on short notice everywhere, especially if you're not working. You could consider nanny sharing with someone as another option, it might also help to join up a few local Facebook groups around inner Melbourne and post up some questions on there?

    Another option is inner city living. No need for a car and everything right at your doorstep?

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    ICEUK  (05-07-2016)

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    Default Kid friendly suburbs & child care - moving from the UK

    I live in Brighton, and previously we were in Port Melbourne. Port Melbourne is great for getting to the city if you can get close to the tram line. Particularly if the office is that side of the cbd. There are not a large amount of big houses with gardens as a lot of the living there is apartment and townhouse style. Great cafes and lifestyle though.

    Brighton is a bit more suburban. Bigger houses and blocks of land but quite an expensive area to live. My daughter is in daycare in Brighton 3 days a week. You'll probably find that daycare spots become available in January when the new year starts and all the kids move up a year level. It would be good to put your names down now if you plan to be in this area. I put her name down not long after she was born in Feb and got an offer in about October for her to start the following January. That was at a place that is probably the most popular near our house so other places might be a bit easier to get into. Train is the best way into the city from here and it takes about 20 minutes to Flinders st station.

    Personally, I wouldn't go for St Kilda, but Albert Park is really nice if you are looking at the areas your husbands colleague mentioned.
    Last edited by MrsErinR; 04-07-2016 at 21:38.

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    ICEUK  (05-07-2016)

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    Hi there don't be too frightened by wait lists for child care- yes you may have some issues, but the really long wait is for babies aged 6-18 months- past that stage it gets a little easier. But regardless, if you can't get him into child care there is always the option of playgroups. If you contact your local council when you arrive they can put you in a playgroup with other kids your son's age.
    That will also give you a chance to meet other families.
    Williamstown is very, very far out of the city so I would rule that out in terms of commute.
    I personally prefer the Northern suburbs but haven't ever lived anywhere else in Melbourne so don't let my bias sway you! If you are keen to be by the beach then I would say Albert and Middle Park are your best options. Northside, I'm not sure you'd find much in the size you're after unless you looked at North Carlton and North Fitzroy- which are both just lovely.

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