How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
All major department stores and shopping complexes feature facilities for babies and younger children such as baby change and feeding rooms. Many suburbs will have maintained parks many with play equipment for youngsters.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Nanny SA is an agency dedicated to providing staff for baby-sitting, home help and child-care. The free magazine, Adelaide's Child, also has listings for childcare providers. Under the Children's Protection Act (Section 8B) people in South Australia who work in jobs which require regular contact with children are required to obtain a police clearance before they commence employment.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Adelaide is a safe environment for children, though it is recommended that you speak to your local school to find out whether there are any particular concerns specific to your area. Bike helmets are compulsory when riding a bicycle at any age and normal supervision of children is required. In summer children should wear hats and sunscreen to protect against harmful rays; at surf beaches they should always "swim between the flags" where lifeguards are on duty. As swimming is a popular pastime at the beach and many private homes have pools, it is advisable to enrol children for swimming lessons so that they can be competent in the water.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Adelaide Zoo is a popular attraction for children. Also, the Greenhill Adventure Park, at Victor Harbour, has mini-golf, water slides, go-karts and lots of amusement park-type activities. Wiggly Work is a managed indoor children's playground complex great for kids aged five to 10.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
The best resource to find after school activities for your children is to look at the free monthly publication, Adelaide's Child, which has great ideas on kid's activities and interesting articles.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Relocating teenagers can be difficult for any destination - as a parent you should be familiar with local drink and driving laws. As a newcomer it is important for young people to have a sense of place and enrolment in sporting and cultural activities outside of their school life can be very beneficial. Getting to know Adelaide and its surrounds is particularly helpful and should be encouraged.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Youth groups such as the Scouts or Girl Guild guides are popular, as are church groups and supervised youth discos. Local police often run "Blue Light Discos" which are supervised, alcohol-free discos for the under 18's. Summer camps focusing on a particular sport, such as tennis, are also popular. The Carclew Youth arts Centres provides workshops and excellent opportunities for participation in music and art related activities for young people up to the age of 26.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
The Royal Adelaide Show is a major agricultural show held each year in Adelaide City. There are amusement park rides and side shows but the heart of the show is the display of livestock and farm produce - country folk from all over South Australia come to town to show off their prize cattle, sheep, dogs and horses - and there are displays of very Australian activities such as sheep-dog trials, wood-chopping and, of course, the Grand Parade. The Christmas Pageant in the city is popular with young and old alike.
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