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Childcare, education and family activities in Austria

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International schools

There are several international schools in Austria, located mainly in Vienna and Salzburg. These schools provide a curriculum based on the American or British system (or occasionally others, such as French, depending on the school) for students in pre-kindergarten through secondary school. Most schools offer the international baccalaureate program, which provides a high standard of education and is recognised by universities worldwide.

Schools can be competitive and offer a high quality of education, so if you are moving to Austria, it is best to apply early for your child to attend. Some local students may attend these schools, but they are mainly designed to cater for international students from expat families.

International schools in Austria include:

American International School Vienna
International Christian School of Vienna
American International School Salzburg
Lycée Français de Vienne

Childcare in Austria

If you have young children in Austria, there is a wide range of preschool and childcare facilities, which offer a high standard of care, which includes socialisation, learning, meals, and supervised play time. Parents can enrol their child in kindergarten through the local council from age five for free, although parents will have to pay for childcare for children younger than five.

Many parents also consider the option of a nanny or au-pair, who can live in the home and provide childcare assistance for younger children.

 Good to know:

Most Austrian residents are eligible to receive a childcare allowance, to assist with the cost of childcare.

Activities with children

Austria is very family and child-friendly, with children welcome in most places. In larger cities, such as Vienna, consider exploring the children’s museum, the local amusement park, called Prater, and visit one of the many public parks. The Innsbruck area is also popular with families, who can enjoy the Alpine Zoo and outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, skiing, and the toboggan course.

In restaurants, children are also welcome, with most restaurants offering child menus, or smaller portions for young diners. Austrian cuisine is usually enjoyed by children, but casual foods such as pizza, sandwiches, and chocolates are also easy to find.

Adoption policies in Austria

Foreign parents can adopt Austrian children under certain circumstances. However, there are a limited number of children waiting to be adopted, and there is often a long waiting list of Austrian families who are waiting to adopt. If you do not have personal connections to Austria, the waiting time can be very long. It is therefore recommended to hire an Austrian lawyer, with power of attorney, who can assist with locating a child for adoption.

Married couples must adopt jointly, and adopting parents must be at least 18 years older than the child they are adopting. The processing time for an adoption is at least 12 months.

 Useful links:

Austrian adoptions
Family-friendly attractions
Childcare in Austria

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
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See also

Looking for work in Austria as an expat? How to search for work as a new arrival or how to open a business and information on paying tax as a business.
Information on Austrian visas for expats, including requirements for tourist visas, entry and residence permits, and documents needed to apply for visas.
Austrian travel information for expats. Air, train and bus travel offer many options for expats to explore Austria. You can also hire a car to get around.
Austrian expat tax information. What expats in Austria need to know about income tax, sales tax, corporate tax, and double taxation.

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