Intro and Moving to Sydney AU from USA (Chicago) — The Bump
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Intro and Moving to Sydney AU from USA (Chicago)

Hi all!   I've been on TB for a long time but mostly over on Parenting and the month boards.  DH's job is transfering us to Sydney, AU in Sept/Oct.  DD will be almost 3 1/2 when we get there and I'm expecting our second child in early December.  We are really excited about the move so I wanted to see if anyone on here was from the area. I'm going from a full time working mom to a full time SAHM so I'm a bit terrified of both the move/loss of support structure and the transition to staying home.

For anyone who's become an ex-pat after having kids, what were some good ways you found for connecting with other mom's/people in the area? 

I've also got a couple random questions I'm hoping to get some input from some AU moms on if possible:

We would like to keep DD in some sort of daycare situation (ideally a daycare center) to make the transition as smooth as possible and to allow me to get stuff settled as well.  For anyone in and around Sydney what are typical costs for full or part time daycare?  Have you found there to be crazy long wait lists or is it not to bad?  Any recommendations on places to avoid/look at?  Also any good resources on places to check for goverment inspection records of centers etc?

I'm working on getting ahold of our insurance provider, but for those of you who've given birth there were midwives a common alternative to using an OB?  I've got a midwife now that I love (still delivering in a hospital) so I'd like to try and find another.

Thanks!

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Re: Intro and Moving to Sydney AU from USA (Chicago)

  • Hi there! I'm not in Sydney but in Perth. Moved here 3 years ago from Ohio :) I can't speak for Sydney daycares but in terms of having a baby here, yes, midwives are the alternative to obgyns. I just had my baby 4 weeks ago and as long as the pregnancy isn't high risk, you just check in with midwives or a general practitioner (GP). You also take your babies to see a GP instead of a paediatrician after their born.
    I'm not sure how it'll be with you just moving over but check out centrelink. They offer childcare rebates and family tax incentives from the government. The centrelink website will explain it better and you'll be able to see if you qualify for anything in terms of payments or rebates.
    Hopefully that gives you a good starting place but just message me if you have any other questions, I'd be happy to help :). Best of luck with the move and welcome to oz!
  • Hi!

    I am an American living in Scotland. I'm sorry I can't help you out on any Australian specifics, but one way I was able to connect with other moms was by joining an expat community. They should have on in Sydney. My expat group is made up of women from not only the US, but other countries as well. It has really helped to meet other moms, and it has provided me with a wealth of information on living in the UK and abroad. (some of the women have been expats for a really long time and are extremely knowledgeable)

    Good luck with the move and if you have any more questions, I would be happy to try and help!

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  • Hi there
    No help on AU but you might want to post this over here as well. There are a few ladies with kids from AU
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  • Hi there!

    I moved to Sydney from New Jersey in September. We just had our first child in June! I didn't have time to even apply for private healthcare to seek out on OB since we got pregnant right away. I used the public system which was amazing and free. You only see midwives if you use the public system unless you have any complications. I had a large baby so I often went back and forth between midwives and doctors. I could not have received better care. It was an amazing experience for our family. We had the baby in RPA (royal Prince Albert hospital) since we live in the inner west suburbs and its one of the best!
    What part of Sydney will you be moving too?

    What type of visa will you have? I ask because you may be eligible for many "perks" through centrelink. Since I married an Australian I had free healthcare and now paid maternity leave from the government! There are also links and payment options with childcare etc. I'm still learning and figuring that out.

    In terms of friends, I had a part time job and made some friends that way. I am now going to join a mothers group set up by the hospital. Honestly, I've found it hard to make friends here. I've never had that problem before. It's been a slower process for me here.

    I also went from working full time to being a sahm.

    Please let me know if you gave any questions or if I can elaborate on anything! Maybe we can meet up when you move?!

    :)


  • Hello

    I'm from Minnesota, and have lived in Sydney for nearly 6 years now

    Daycare - check careforkids.com.au, that's the best, most comprehensive site. It goes through prices, availability, etc. Also - make sure you only choose an accredited daycare - that means they have passed the goverment checks of standards. The price really varies by area. But prices are around $100 a day. People who are permanent residents (visa wise) or citizens get half that back from the government, but if you're not a pm or citizen, you pay full price. Nearly every place will do a daily rate like that. That price usually includes all drinks/food/nappies (although that doesn't apply to toddler:) Preschools are usually a bit cheaper, and shorter hours that what a daycare would operate. That site will have all the info you need (or let me know if you have any other questions - I did a LOT of research for my dd as I wanted her in the best place possible).

    Yes the common options here for birth are midwife or OB. An OB runs around 5k, which insurances here don't cover (the birth, hospital stay, etc is covered by insurance, but not the ob service itself). Midwife births are usually through a public hospital - and as far as I know you get who ever is on that day. I'm not sure if specific midwife programs operate where you can get to know/always see the same person. If you know where you're going to living - I'd research the public and private hospitals in that area and call their labour wards to ask. Just FYI if you want to go private you have to book in early in your pregnanacy to get a 'bed' reserved for you (they just book it in around the time of your due date. I had an OB and a birth in a private hospital and it was great - definitely doing that for the second time around too :)

    I did look on meetup.com to look for groups for myself - but since I work part-time nothing really suited me. I did see an expat group of SAHMs though in Sydney - worth looking into

    GL and let us know if you have any other questions :)

     

     

     

    numeria11
  • GalLaura said:
    Hi there! I moved to Sydney from New Jersey in September. We just had our first child in June! I didn't have time to even apply for private healthcare to seek out on OB since we got pregnant right away. I used the public system which was amazing and free. You only see midwives if you use the public system unless you have any complications. I had a large baby so I often went back and forth between midwives and doctors. I could not have received better care. It was an amazing experience for our family. We had the baby in RPA (royal Prince Albert hospital) since we live in the inner west suburbs and its one of the best! What part of Sydney will you be moving too? What type of visa will you have? I ask because you may be eligible for many "perks" through centrelink. Since I married an Australian I had free healthcare and now paid maternity leave from the government! There are also links and payment options with childcare etc. I'm still learning and figuring that out. In terms of friends, I had a part time job and made some friends that way. I am now going to join a mothers group set up by the hospital. Honestly, I've found it hard to make friends here. I've never had that problem before. It's been a slower process for me here. I also went from working full time to being a sahm. Please let me know if you gave any questions or if I can elaborate on anything! Maybe we can meet up when you move?! :)


    Hi! 

    Glad to hear things went well for you with the midwives and insurance programs there.  From my understanding we will still be on private insurance of some sort thru Cigna since our visas are just Long Stay Temporary Visas (457s).

    You mentioned you are in the Inner West area.  I was just looking at places online there today.  Do you mind if I ask what neighborhood/suburb you are in and what you think of it?  I was looking at Glebe today and it looked really promising.  DH wants to stay on the North side of the Harbor closer to Lane Cove (where he works) but I'm really thinking closer to the older parts of the city is where I'd rather be.

    I would love to meet up once we hit the ground, like you said making friends is one of the hardest parts of this move. :)  I should hopefully be there the first week of October so let me know if you'd like to get together in Oct/Nov.  

    Thanks for the info as well!

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  • Good luck with the move! I'm in Germany, so no tips on Australia. I did want to say that I made friends by enroll long my 2 year old in various mother and kid activities. When I was pregnant with my second the friends I had made were great support to have.
  • @AmericaninOz that is an awesome website thanks for the recommendation!

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  • Hello there! Glebe is great and a very nice place to live. It is not too far from where I live in stanmore. i love it with all the Little shops, close to the train etc. Annandale and enmore are worth looking at too. You should check out Newtown. It is a bit funkier but if you are way from the Main Street would be nice for a family. Would love to meet up when you arrive. Feel free to ask questions about anything! I'm happy to help :)
  • @GalLaura and @AmericaninOz sorry one more random question. From looking at Domain.com it looks like we should be ok but in your experience is 4k a month in AUD enough to get a decent 3 bedroom place with 1 parking spot in the Inner West areas (Glebe, Newtown, Annadale) or near Lane Cove?  DH is worried the amount his company gave us won't be enough to get a good place in a good area so just looking for perspective from folks on the ground. 

    Thanks again for all the help from everyone on here!

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  • I think 4k a month will get you a 3 bedroom and parking spot in the inner west. I'm not sure about lane cove as that is on the north shore which can be more expensive. Ameticaninoz may know better since she has lived here much longer.

    Btw, it's winter and has been between 65-75 degrees the last 20 days! It sure beats NYC winters and I'm sure Chicago winters!
  • Yeah I was laughing one day a couple weeks ago because here we were at the end of July in IL (normally hot as hell and humid) and it was actually colder here than it was in OZ.  It's a screwy summer but I'll happily take a winter that looks like that!

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  • Yea I'd definitely say 4k can get you a lot - even north of the bridge

    If you have a garden (or rent a house), rents are more expensive - if you just get a flat with 3 beds & a carspot it'll be cheaper. Check out realestate,com,au too for other listings. I took a quick look and it looks you could even rent a house in Lane Cove for $700-800 a week! They look nice :)

    Also be aware the market is REALLY tough right now for buying & rentals - you need to be prepared to sign up the day you see the place or lose out (at least fill out an application on the spot). I have friends who have been looking for ages, especially in popular areas.

    I've really only lived in the Northern Beaches and now I'm just on the border of the West (Hills area), but I do think you could get something in that range - GL!

    You might even want to consider areas like McMahons Point or Crows Nest

  • Thanks guys.  DH's boss freaked him out about rents, but I think he lives in a really rich area, pretty much the equivalent of the North Shore in Chicago which is where all the "old money" families live and real estate is nuts.  I researched a bunch of places in Chatswood, Lane Cove, Hunters Hill, down thru Glebe and Newton and was like "dude calm down we will be fine" but it's good to hear it from both of you as well.

    Yeah @AmericaninOZ, his boss mentioned the same thing about stuff moving horribly quickly.  That scares me a bit but it was it is I guess.  Hopefully being off work and being able to go see stuff during the week (of course assuming they will show it then) will prove to be an advantage and I can find something quick.  Thanks again ladies!

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  • Yea there's no way you'd find somewhere with 3 beds to rent in a really wealthy area like mosman or rose bay for that price, but in most areas that's more than enough :) GL!!
  • Have you had luck finding a place? There is a beautiful home for rent in stanmore. It's listed on gerber properties. It's across the street from st Michele's primary school and weekly park. It's 80 percival road in stanmore. I've only seen the outside and it's very pretty. It's a block from the train.
  • So we just hit the ground on Friday here. DH's temp housing is in North Sydney for now.  We've got a 2 bedroom corporate apartment for now just off Pacific Highway thru mid November and start looking at permanent places next week hopefully.  Right now we are thinking Crow's Nest, Drummoyne (and the surrounding area), Balmain or maybe Breakfast Point.  DH ruled out Paddington, Glebe and that are since he's worried his commute will suck.  I spent some time walking around Crow's Nest today and liked it.  Well as much as you can like anything pushing a stroller with a 40lb 3 year old in it up hills at 32 weeks pregnant :)

    We got a chance to go to the fireworks last weekend which were amazing, We had an awesome spot down by Lavender Bay.  We also went over to the beach at Balmoral Beach on Sunday and had fun playing there.  Today DD and I went up the North Sydney Community Center to go to a playgroup they have.  It was pretty great but the parents weren't super friendly so it seems like it might be a challenge to make friends here as you guys said.  Thanks for all the advice and help so far and I would love to get together with any of you (obviously the ones in Sydney :) ) whenever you have time.

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  • Ah I LOVE Balmoral, I took dd there last week - so great that it doesn't have waves

    Beach wise I still perfer Manly, but for calm waves Balmoral rocks

     

    I don't work on Wednesdays if you'd ever like to catch up - I have a 3 year old dd too :)

  • Hi ladies!

    Welcome to sydney, numeria11! You are brave moving at 32 weeks pregnant! How are you feeling?

    I would love to meet up too. My little guy is just 16 weeks so I don't take him to the beach yet. I'm in a different part of city but could get us to say bondi junction shopping center to meet up. I'm not working at the moment. So can be flexible. I don't have a car so will take the train. Weekends are good too.

    It would be very nice to meet you both!

  • Any AU ladies willing to do toy shopping for me?  There's a toy that my social worker friends are really looking for, and they have run out in the US. 
  • perhaps, if you cover shipping costs too in advance

    where is it available??

  • perhaps, if you cover shipping costs too in advance

    where is it available??

    AmericaninOz,

    PM'ed you. Thanks!


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