Note that the sites below are provided by third parties and not endorsed by Council.
Topics on this page:
Schools and education
Parent involvement in learning
Health and wellbeing
Bullying and violence
Drugs and alcohol
Students with additional needs
Gifted and Talented students
General parenting advice
- See here for information and resources to help families starting school.
- ACT's Education Directorate runs ACT public schools, under the direction of the Education Minister, Yvette Berry. The Directorate takes enrolments online, and has information for parents and detailed policies and much more on their website. Their guide on starting school is excellent.
- If you need to raise concerns about something at school, check our guide. You can call the Education Directorate with complaints or feedback: 62055429
- The Australian Curriculum describes what students should learn in each year of school. Check out the excellent information for parents
- NAPLAN tests are run by ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority). They also have information for parents
- The My School website gives information on the performance and resources of more than 9500 schools
- The Great Schools checklist has been put together by the Victorian Council of School Organisations as a practical tool for community conversations and school improvement planning.
- Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) use research about education to improve learning.
- Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) promote "evidence-based programs and strategies to improve the wellbeing of children and youth".
- Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) have information for families on early childhood education, including day care and preschool.
- See here for information and resources to help families starting school.
- Starting Blocks is a brilliant new site from ACECQA designed specifically for parents of children from birth to 5 years. It has tips on how to choose a quality child care service, appropriate developmental milestones and suggestions on how to encourage your child's development at home.
- The History of ACT Preschools was put together by previous Canberra Preshool Society council members.
- ACECQA have all you need to know about NQF - the National Quality Framework for childcare and preschools.
- Council is an effective representative of ACT parents and your school's P&C is an excellent way to be heard.
- If you need to raise concerns about something at school, check our guide.
- Parents and carers are also represented on ACT school boards.
- The Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO) is the National Parent Body. Subscribe to their informative email bulletin here.
- There are also representative bodies, like Council, in other Australian States, listed here.
- This Council fact sheet provides parents and carers with basic information about supporting their children at school. Available from Companion House in Arabic, Tamil, Burmese, Mon and Karen.
- The ACT Education Directorate has this website with practical tips for supporting your children and enhancing their learning, for various age groups.
- The Learning potential App and website helps parents 'be more involved in their child's learning from highchair to high school.' It has loads of age-specific tips to help you make the most of everyday opportunities to learn.
- The Family-School & Community Partnerships Bureau supports Australian schools, families and communities build sustainable, collaborative, productive relationships.
- Great start is a fabulous website with ideas and activities to help parents make the most of everyday learning possibilities. Families are busy, so some ideas tie into activities that you are already doing, others will only take a few minutes. There is also extra information so parents can learn more about the literacy and numeracy that a child will be developing and how this will link to learning in later life.
- This article is a good guide to you child's reading stage and how to help.
- Read4success has useful advice for parents on supporting struggling readers.
- The NSW Education Department has an excellent online homework and study resource.
- ABC's Splash site has a fabulous range of information and videos on common homework topics. They also have wonderful articles on how parents can help.
- Read4success has useful advice for parents on supporting struggling readers.
- Headspace have a guide to coping with exams.
Careers and pathways planning
- The Education Directorate's Pathways Planning website aims to support students as they transition from one school level to the next and on to further education or employment. It helps them to consider their strengths and career options and plan for their favoured pathway (entry requirements etc). Students can share their considerations with parents as they work through the program at school.
- The myfuture site helps people of all ages make career decisions, plan career pathways and manage work transitions and includes a specific section for parents assisting their children with career questions.
- CareersXpo is an annual ACT event showcasing career options.
- The ACT Government's Good Habits for Life site contains a mass of fun and useful resources for families - from printable games to play and ideas of things to do in Canberra to resources to plan your grocery shopping. You can complete a quiz to develop a program of tips and challenges to improve you family's habits.
- To keep the kids active and outdoors, checkout the great ideas at Nature Play Canberra. There are activity sheets by age and season and you can request a "Passport to an Amazing Childhood’ which will send your kids on a series of outdoor 'missions'!
- Suffering from a lack of lunch-box inspiration? Try the FreshTastes website or these ideas. See also ACT Education's fact sheets on lunchboxes and tap water.
- This list of resources for families will help you make good food choices.
- The Student Wellbeing Hub has advice and information to help parents and carers support children and build positive communication with their school.
- The Healthy Schools Network provides a 'one stop shop' for ACT school teachers wanting to tackle school health and wellbeing issues. Council is a member of the network, comprising 15 respected local not-for-profit groups working in the area of student health and wellbeing. The site has information ab out resources for parents and programs for schools covering asthma, sun smart, mental health, healthy eating and more.
- Avoiding RSI in kids. This presentation was given at a Council meeting and provides tips for helping kids use devices safely.
- Walking and riding to school has many health benefits - see below for resources.
- This Family Challenge is a great place to get started with a new routine of walking or riding to school (you might only walk some of the way or only a day or two a week)
- Our Tips for Active Travel will help you address some of the practicalities.
- The benefits of walking or riding to school are well established
- KidsMatter is an in-school mental health and welbeing initiative for Primary Schools. Their website includes information for parents and carers.
- Beyondblue's Healthy Families site is a fabulous resource for parents with handy mental health checklists. There is also a guide for parents to anxiety and depression in young people which provides professional advice on supporting your child through difficult times, getting support and looking after yourself, including real-life stories from young people and the adults who care for them.
- The Generation Next Youtube Channel has the latest strategies and information on youth mental health in an easy to listen to form. It provides useful tips to better support your young people and covers topics from racism to eating disorders, anxiety to sexual abuse.
- ReachOut is a leading mental health organisation for parents of teens. They have practical support, tools and tips, including Apps to quickly help you find the most relevent help for your child's situation. Everything is evidence based to help parents and young people cope with tough times. They also offer free online coaching sessions for parents.
- BRAVE is a free, online therapy for children aged 8-17 year who are experiencing anxiety. It is proven to be effective and comprises 10 sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy which parents can complete together with their child or separately.
- Headspace is the national youth mental health foundation, helping young people through tough times. They also have a guide to surviving exams.
- Suicide prevention and support: www.livingisforeveryone.com.au
- Support is also available for schools through the Education Directorate's Student Wellbeing team
- Walking and riding to school has proven benefits for the mental health of children and young people - see resources above.
- Council has a working group on this topic and is currently calling for case studies from parents. A workshops are planned for early 2019.
- If you’re concerned about bullying or violence, you can call the schools complaints line: 62055429
- The Student Wellbeing Hub includes resources that nurture student responsibility and resilience, build a positive school culture, and support students who are impacted by anti‐social behaviour, including bullying.
- Bullying No Way provides information for parents and carers about bullying, harassment and discrimination in schools, and what to do if your child is being bullied. The Victorian Department of Education also has a Bully Stoppers site.
- Reach Out have some great resources to help parents of teens with bullying.
- This printable download is a quick reference that children and young people can carry with them, and a resource that parents/carers and teachers can use to start conversations about the importance of shared community values and the role that bystander behaviour can play in preventing, reducing and responding to bullying and violence.
- Act on Alcohol is an ACT initiative with great resources for parents and young people. They also run information forums for parents on teenage alcohol use and reducing the risks.
- Drinkwise has information for parents on how to be a good role model, advice about talking to your kids about alcohol, and managing teen drinking.
- Positive Choices is a web portal with information on illicit drugs, reducing harm and making good choices, for parents, schools and secondary students.
- QuitNow is the Federal Government's quit smoking site.
- Relationship Things is an online resource designed to help people aged 14 through 18 decide what kinds of relationships are good for them. It deals with gender, choice, communication, relationships, consent and safe sex, and includes information for teenagers, educators and parents.
- For younger kids, check out these resources from KidsMatter.
- ASIC's Money Smart site provides financial advice for all age groups, including the under 25s. MoneySmart Teaching provides teaching resources and training so that schools can develop the financial literacy of young Australians.
- The Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner has excellent parent resources and information about keepipngyour kids safe online and assessing how you're doing. Their Rewrite Your Story site empowers teens, with great videos to help start a conversation about cyberbullying. Young &eSafe helps young people counter online hate with advice & resources developed by youngh people, stories, short films and expert advice. Their image-based abuse portal provides tangible support and advice to anyone who has had intimate images or videos shared without their consent. For young children, this family tech agreement sets boundaries - with the help of the Playschool toys! The eSafety Office is also well worth following on Facebook or Twitter.
- ACT Libraries are now eSafe spaces, where you can access help and support from library staff, trained to assist children affected by cyberbullying.
- It can help for parents to understand the tactics which online bullies use. This excellent article , and this list are great places to start.
- The Student Wellbeing Hub also has many great resources on online safety for various age groups.
- This is a great guide to sharing photos with friends and family while keeping them private, avoiding the pitfalls of sharing photos of your children (and other children in the background at school) on social media.
- There is an extended list of resources on CyberSafety here.
- The Australian Council on Children and Media (ACCM) website offers a variety of helpful resources including ’Know before you go’ and ‘Know before you load’ that gives an objective review of movies and apps that are currently available.
- Council has produced an extensive guide to disability resources for young people in the ACT. To get a copy of the booklet (titled "Who Can Help?"), please contact us.
- ILPs (Individual Learning Plans) - your questions answered and how to make them work for your child.
- The Education Directorate is currently undertaking a program of reform and culture change to meet the needs of all students, called 'Schools for All' and is providing regular parent updates. See also the Directorate's Disability Education page and Gifted and Talented Education advice. They also have excellent fact sheets on a range of specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, and information on who to talk to at school about this.
- The Education Directorate's Support at Preschool program works with schools to make adjustments to support the inclusion of children with a disability.
- See also the Canberra Dyslexia Information Facebook page.
- The Early Childhood Early Intervention resources help step you through early intervention, using the NDIS, how the process works and what parents and carers can expect. There is a website, brochure and case-study video.
- The Transition to School website assists children with a disability to smoothly transition to school.
- Disability ACT have advice and services for all stages of life.
- ACT Education Directorate have information on their G&T policy and parent fact sheets.
- The US National Association for Gifted Children has great resources for parents.
- The Davidson Institute has a great range of articles to searchand read through.
- Help supporting the emotional needs of gifted kids.
- The Acceleration Institute has everything you need to know about accelerated programs.
- The ACT Safe and Inclusive Schools Initiative provides information and support to schools and parents on including members of their community who are gender diverse or same-sex attracted. It's the place to go if you don't feel confident discussing gender diversity with your kids Parents of children questioning their gender/sexuality can also directly access support. P&Cs can also request information or even an information session for their community.
- Safe Schools Coalition have resources for families and young people on supporting gender diversity and sexual diversity.
- Great start is a fabulous website with ideas and activities to help parents and carers make the most of everyday learning and events. Families are busy, so some ideas tie into activities that you are already doing, others will only take a few minutes. There is also extra information so parents can learn more about the literacy and numeracy that a child will be developing and how this will link to learning in later life.
- The Raising Children Network has information and practical tools on child health, safety, learning (including at home, schools and homework), parental wellbeing, family management and kids activities.
- Starting Blocks focuses on helping kids through their first 6 years