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 such as baby change and feeding rooms for babies and younger children. Train transport is relatively stroller friendly, but bus and ferry travel can be a little more challenging. Most suburbs will have maintained parks with play equipment for youngsters.
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Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
The phone book offers a comprehensive list of childcare centers, family day care and kindergartens.
Also, consider a referral service that specializes in babysitters and nannies.
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Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Sydney is a safe environment for children, though it is recommended that you speak to your local school to determine if there are any concerns specific for your area. Bike helmets are compulsory when riding a bicycle at any age and normal supervision of children is required. In the summer, children should wear hats and sunscreen to protect against harmful rays. At surf beaches, be sure children swim between the flags where lifeguards are on duty.
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What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Taronga Zoo, Luna Park, The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Wildlife Word, Sydney Aquarium all close to the heart of the city and popular excursions.
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What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Schools provide after-school activities such as sports, art and drama classes. In the summer, swimming at a local beach or pool is a favorite pastime.
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What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
You and your older children should be familiar with local drinking and driving laws.
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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 Guild Guides are popular, as are church groups and supervised youth discos. Summer camps focused on a particular sport, such as tennis, are also popular.
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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 Sydney Festival in January is Sydney's main festival event. It has free outdoor events that include music, theater and dance.
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