Early parenting centres provide specialist support for Victorian families with children 0–4 years old.
What services are available?
Early parenting centres deliver flexible, targeted services that aim to enhance parent-child relationships and support parents with strategies for achieving their parenting goals.
These goals are often in areas such as sleep and settling, child behaviour, child learning and development, and parent and child health and wellbeing.
Early parenting centres are part of a broader service system supporting families which includes the maternal and child health line, universal and enhanced maternal and child health programs, supported playgroups and community-based parenting programs.
Services provided focus on:
- Building parenting capacity and skills
- Enhancing the parent-child relationship
- Strengthening a family's link with their community
- Assessing infant mental health
- Providing secondary consultations to health and human services professionals.
Early parenting centres are funded to provide:
- Day stay services - an intensive day program providing early parenting support
- Residential services - a centre-based intensive parenting program in which parents stay at the centre for a five-day period
- Group services - group-based programs attended by parents and their children, which are designed to improve parent-child relationships and interaction.
Early parenting centres also offer a range of other education, programs and parenting advice. Refer to each of the early parenting centre websites for more information.
Who can access these services?
Services are for Victorian families with children up to 4 years of age who need additional intensive parenting support to build skills, capacity and confidence in caring for their infant/toddler.
How can you access your local early parenting centre?
Early parenting centre services are provided by:
- O'Connell Family Centre located in Canterbury Tel. (03) 8416 7600
- Queen Elizabeth Centre located in Noble Park Tel. (03) 9549 2777
- Tweddle Child and Family Health Service located in Footscray. Tel. (03) 9689 1577
These centres operate a number of satellite services across the state. Please contact the centres for more information
Referrals to early parenting centres are usually from maternal and child health services, maternity services, general practitioners, Child FIRST and Child Protection. Families may also contact centres directly to self-refer.
Where to get help
- Your maternal and child health nurse
- The maternal and child health line Tel. 13 22 29 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
- Your local doctor
- Family support services
- Aboriginal Health Service (VAHS) Tel. 03 9419 3000
- Parentline Tel. 13 22 89
- Download fact sheets on sleep and settling in 0 – 6 year olds