Getting started with school
School education is similar all around Australia. There are only minor differences between states and territories. Primary and secondary school are compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16.
School education is for 13 years, divided into:
- primary school for 7 or 8 years, from kindergarten or preschool to year 6 or 7
- secondary school for 3 to 4 years - years 7 to 10 or years 8 to 10
- senior secondary school for 2 years - years 11 and 12.
To start primary school, your child must be the compulsory starting age for your state or territory. You’ll need to contact your chosen school to find out how to enrol.
Your child must be at school by the time they reach the compulsory school starting age.
During primary school, we may be able to help with care outside of school hours.
If you need before or after school care
You may be able to get Child Care Subsidy to help with before and after school care. You may also be able to get it if you use vacation care during school holidays.
You’ll need to contact your chosen school to find out how to enrol.
Secondary school students and their families may be able to claim payments from us.
Payments for students
Payments will depend on the student’s situation. These may include:
- ABSTUDY for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander students
- Youth Allowance for students and apprentices
- Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme payments for students who can't go to a local or state school.
What other payments you can get
Depending on your child’s age, you may be eligible for:
If you get FTB or CCS, it’s important to update your family income estimate.
What you can do online
For help, use our guide to update your family income estimate and payment choice.
You can also:
- claim and manage CCS, FTB and other payments
- confirm child care enrolment so you don’t miss out on CCS
- update your child's education details.
Read the guide to update your child's education details for FTB.
If your child has disability or extra needs
Our Assistance for Isolated Children Scheme can help if your child can’t attend their local government school. This can be because of disability, special needs or living in an isolated area.
Child Disability Assistance Payment is a yearly payment. It helps with the costs of caring for a child with disability.
Carer Adjustment Payment is a one-off payment. You may get it if your child is under 7 and has:
- a severe illness
- a medical condition
- major disability.
Carer Payment is income support if you give constant care to a child with a severe disability or illness.
Carer Allowance is a supplement you may be able to get if you get Carer Payment.
Help managing your money
Your children's education could be one of your family's biggest expenses. We have tips and information on how to plan and manage your family’s money.