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LKC

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LKC last won the day on April 24

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About LKC

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  1. LKC

    child care is subsidized but pre-school is not

    I wonder if it is because child care/day care is to allow parents to go to work (hence the subsidy, kind of like a bit of tax back to encourage people to work), whereas pre-school is more of an optional thing and it isn't thought necessary that kids attend pre-school before school? I can't think of any reason other than that. I think there are a few government pre-schools, but they tend to be in low socio-economic areas and usually oversubscribed.
  2. LKC

    Autism and Special Education Needs

    The advice from Snifter is great. Have a look for UK based autism Facebook pages too. There are often lovely people on those who are happy to help out if you have questions. Things like Autism Support UK or ADHD and Autism Support etc. We returned to the UK (Scotland) in September, and our eldest was diagnosed with Asperger's (as it was called at the time) while we were in Australia. She doesn't need much in the way of support, but we've found it really easy to access the support that we have needed. This is in contrast to Australia (NSW) where she wasn't deemed 'bad enough' for help at school or anything, and most of the psychologist visits etc (to help her with anxiety and also things like social skills etc) were paid for privately, above the amount she could have on the mental health care plan thing. She often fell into the 'too hard' basket at school, and at one point I was having to pick her up from school early almost every day, because the teachers weren't really able to help her with meltdowns/shutdowns. When we arrived in the UK we needed to take her to the GP for something, and let her GP know about the diagnosis so that it was on record. We've since been back to the GP for something else, and whilst we were there she asked how eldest was getting on and if we felt she needed any extra support from CAMHS at the moment (which she doesn't), so have just agreed to hold back for now. We gave her new school the information about her diagnosis and the psychology visits she had in Australia, and within four weeks I was in a meeting with the school SEN teacher, and the SEN teacher from the high school she is starting in August, to see what extra support they could give. They arranged an assessment with an OT, and now she sees an OT once a week at school. She has just recently been away on a residential outward bound type trip with school, and beforehand her teacher and I met a few times and worked out ways he could support her on the trip. Our experience here has been far better than our experience in Australia, but we are in Scotland and the girls go to a lovely village school, which is very different to the large school they attended in Sydney.
  3. I agree with everyone else, and to be honest I think you know it is the right thing to do. I was unhappy in Australia in the end (we were there for almost nine years, I was unhappy for three or so), but put a smile on and stuck it out because my family were happy enough to stay. Unfortunately it affected my mental health to such an extent that I am still suffering the horrendous consequences, and I truly wish I'd felt able to speak up and put myself first sooner. Things are improving, but it has been the most awful time. The trouble is, once you start having children you enter dangerous ground, and may end up completely stuck against your wishes if your partner won't let the children go. Even if you go for a little while, just so that you can put some distance between you and Australia in order to work out how you feel, you can always go back if you choose. Or it might give you new opportunities that you might not have had.
  4. LKC

    Rainbow street Vs south coogee

    To be honest, the best thing you can do is actually visit them once you arrive, and get a feel for which school will suit. It is a fairly quick process to enrol them once you've decided, so they won't miss out on too much. Bear in mind which high school the schools feed in to, since your eldest isn't too many years away from high school. Both schools should have NSW education department websites, so you could have a look at those (and in particular the newsletters) which might give you an idea of the things that they do at school. I don't have any direct experience of these schools, because we were living in Sutherland Shire. However, if you use Facebook you could have a look and see if there are any local Facebook groups which you could join to ask. We had a few local ones, both Sutherland Shire-wide ones and also more specific suburb groups, and people were always asking about schools and things on there. You usually need to live in the area to join them, but you could always contact the page admins and say you're moving to the area and ask if you could join to ask advice. The other place you could look is on the MySchools website https://www.myschool.edu.au/. There is information about schools on there including demographic information and results from the NAPLAN exams. I would take the results data with a pinch of salt, they aren't compulsory and it isn't unheard of for schools to remove less well performing kids from the exams so as to boost their scores. However, it might give you a starting point to compare the two schools you are interested in.
  5. LKC

    1000 questions.

    Our 20ft container from Sydney to Edinburgh (Grangemouth) was about $8000. We had to pay a little bit more on top of this because we had narrow access to our UK rental house, so they had to offload the container into a smaller truck. We took four cats back and didn't have any trouble at all in finding a cat friendly rental, so I would assume you'd be okay with a dog. We offered an extra bit of deposit, but the letting agents said it wasn't necessary. We did pay for the carpets to be cleaned when we left, but again the agents had said it wasn't necessary (we were renting someone's home whilst they were living overseas so I felt we should, since it was their home).
  6. They are completely random, it's probably just the nth person in the queue or a random nth person this time, xth person next time or something. I wonder if the scanner machine flashes a light every so many people on a random pattern or something, so the security staff know who to pick? We flew from Sydney to Tullamarine and then from Avalon back to Sydney last year, and on both occasions our eldest daughter was selected for the random search/swab. She was an 11 year old tiny little girl, nothing remotely suspicious about her at all, but it randomly picked her both times. The airport staff did tell me it was completely random, unless there is someone they have suspicions about, and that I wasn't to worry.
  7. LKC

    Dilemma whether to stay or go

    We found it difficult with the car. We only had one, but OH arranged a hire car for the last couple of weeks. Reason was, that I was still carrying on with normal family stuff (school run, shopping, ferrying the kids round etc), while he was taking things to the tip, ferrying boxes back from our storage unit (we packed loads of our stuff away before the open homes), taking things off to the charity shop, and running all sorts of other errands. We actually left it a bit late to sell my car, and ended up having to sell to a dealer for less than we could have got with a private sale, and with hindsight we'd have been better to sell it far earlier and hire two cars at the end. Would that be an option?
  8. LKC

    Where to stay in Sydney

    The OP might struggle to find somewhere reasonable to rent on a budget of $650 per week on the North Shore/Upper North Shore. There is lots of snobbery in Sydney, which I never wanted any part of. We lived in Sutherland Shire, which is an excellent area, but which is regarded by others as being full of bogans. This could not be further than the truth! It is a lovely area, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. Great facilities, reasonable housing costs, good transport links, excellent schools etc.
  9. LKC

    Where to stay in Sydney

    You'd need 100 points of ID (have a look at estate agent websites, they'll usually tell you what you need for that), and if you haven't got a contract/offer of employment I guess you might need to show your bank account balance to show that you can afford the rent for a few weeks/months until you've found work. Have a look at www.domain.com.au for rental listings.
  10. LKC

    Where to stay in Sydney

    You could also have a look at Sutherland Shire. You won't get anything near the water, but if you look over towards Engadine and Heathcote you'd possibly get a 3-4 bed house. They are really family friendly suburbs, with excellent schools (my kids went to Engadine West Public School, and we were very happy with it), shops, community centre, leisure centre, lots of parks/open spaces, right next to the Royal National Park (for walking, beaches), and there are train stations in both Engadine and Heathcote, with frequent and reliable trains, about 40-45 minutes to the CBD I think. We were really happy in that area. Sutherland Shire is a bit of a hidden gem, if you ask me. ETA: you'd still be fairly close to the beaches at Cronulla, Bundeena, Wattamolla, Garie, Stanwell Park and further down the coast, whereas in the west of Sydney it would be a long journey.
  11. LKC

    Where to stay in Sydney

    To be honest it will most likely depend on your budget for rent or buying a house. Do you know what your weekly budget for rent would be?
  12. LKC

    The weather 😁

    I woke up at about 5.30 to quite a thick fog, presumably from the river which is maybe 500m away. It's starting to thin out now, and the Met Office is telling me it is going to be beautiful. The forecast is even better up where eldest is, I hope she remembers to put her sunscreen on. They're raft building, swimming in the lake and orienteering, amongst other things today!
  13. LKC

    The weather 😁

    It's been gorgeous, hasn't it! Eldest daughter has gone on an outward bounds residential with school, and they can't believe their luck! I actually felt too hot at times earlier, no idea how I managed in Australia!
  14. LKC

    Applying to UK schools before we move

    We managed to find a rental here with four cats, it wasn't a problem, we just got the carpets cleaned when we left. The UK is pretty pet friendly, on the whole. You could offer a bigger deposit if you thought it might help. We bought a house here almost six months to the day that we arrived back, and have settled well. We're in a rural area, and the kids have settled well at school. Because the cut off dates in Scotland are different, both went back six months, which worked well. It gave them lots of time to settle in and make friends. Good luck with it!
  15. LKC

    Applying to UK schools before we move

    As has been said, it probably depends on area. We moved to Scotland, and managed to secure a rental from Australia (with the help of OH's new employer and his mum), but the school wouldn't do anything until we turned up with a copy of our rental agreement. We made an appointment, went to speak to the head teacher and have a tour around the school, got given a couple of school jumpers from lost property to use until their uniform came, and they started the following Monday. However, in Scotland, unless you are in Edinburgh or Glasgow, if you are in the catchment for a school you automatically get a place, regardless of how many other kids are at the school. We had had lots of help and advice from OH's new employer about the schools, so we were certain it was a good fit for our kids. As Snifter suggested, you will probably need to check the school/local authority websites to see what the policy is. You could also email and see what the advise. I wouldn't apply until you are in the area though, unless you know the area well or have someone in the area to check things out. The school may not do anything until you arrive anyway. You might not need a furnished place. We moved into our rental after a week in a holiday place. We had left our sofas and mattresses in Australia, and ordered new ones from IKEA that were delivered to the rental. We just used the mattresses on the floor until the bed frames arrived, used the new sofas and got a cheap garden table/chairs for the kitchen. We just muddled through, living out of suitcases for the few weeks until our stuff arrived. The kids thought sleeping on the floor was fun (although it did wear a bit thin for OH and I!).
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