Welcome to Canberra!
If you are moving to Canberra, and want to keep your family in touch with the German language and make German friends here, consider moving to the north side (north of Lake Burley Griffin), as that is where most of the Spielwelt action and schools offering German for children are located.
Was your child born overseas or interstate?
Children living in Canberra are entitled to a “Blue Book” (children’s health record book). You can get one by ringing the ACT Health Intake line on 6207 9977.
Early Entry Preschool for Non-English Speakers
If your child is 3 years old, and speaks very little English at home, he or she may be eligible for Early Entry into a government preschool here. (Preschool is for 4 year olds, and the government offers everyone 12 to 15 hours per week for free.) Contact the ACT Department of Education, Early Childhood section, for more information.
Easy access to medical help
The Government runs a fabulous free program called Health Direct. You can ring any time (24 hours / day, 7 days a week) and talk to a nurse about any health issue you or your child has. Anything from ‘my child has a fever’ to ‘my pregnancy is feeling unusual’ or even ‘my child has had a bump on the head and seems groggy, what should I do?” They will give you advice about home-treatment or what sort of treatment you should seek. By all accounts, they are excellent, and give fantastic advice, and are friendly and helpful.
The number is a free call, on 1800 022 222. Put that on your fridge door!
They even have a special number for questions about pregnancies and babies: 1800 882 436.
Living, Working and Schooling in Canberra
There is some good basic information about Canberra and its services (written for diplomatic families).
Where to find German products in Canberra
Download our Welcome Pack (compiled by Spiel und Spass parents) for Germans / Austrians / Swiss families new to Canberra… find out where to buy “proper” bread, second hand kids’ clothes, where to borrow a cot, where the Sunday markets are, where you can buy organic produce, who is the best internet or phone provider, and more…