Is it about time for your kids to have their own smartphone? Perhaps you're concerned about their safety and want them to stay in touch, or perhaps you're just sick of them begging to play Minecraft and Fortnite on your phone.
Questions about age and screen-time are important and contentious topics, but it's something that all parents of young kids will face at some point, and probably sooner rather than later. If it's time to get a phone plan for your kids, here are a few tips.
For starters, definitely get a plan with unlimited calls and SMS. You want your kids to be able to contact you whenever they need to, and you don't want to leave them high and dry because they've wasted their credit sending gifs over MMS. Plans with unlimited calls start from about $10, so I'd avoid anything else.
If you're a Telstra, Optus or Vodafone customer, consider getting them a plan with the same provider and tapping into data sharing. These plans won't be the cheapest in the market, but it'll put your leftover data to good use and you'll have the added benefit of dealing with a single bill each month.
SIM Only phone plans with 1GB Data
If you're just testing the water with you kids and phones, a no contract plan for $10 per month is a great place to start. My guess is that your kids will need more than 1GB of data per month, especially once they find the YouTube app, but you can always step from here to something more substantial.
The SpinTel plan with 3GB of data is definitely worth a look. You'll access the Optus 4G Plus network, and you'll pay over $20 with another provider for that much data.
A cheap phone and plan
It can be a bit tricky to compare cheap phones and plans because most of the providers range different models in the sub-$300 category. The Alcatel A3 is a phone we've had a chance to use and we quite liked it. The camera was better than we expected, especially for $129.
If your kids is particularly well-behaved, and bringing home good grades from school, you might splash-out and get something a bit better. Oppo phones punch above their weight, and the A73 is a good example of this.
If you're interested in data sharing, you should get in touch with your provider. You need to buy your kids an 'eligible' phone plan, which in most cases is any post-paid phone plan, but you should double check this detail before signing up.
Joe Hanlon is Publisher at WhistleOut, Australia’s phone and internet comparison website. He’s been writing about phones and plans for far too long.