Early parenting centres offer a range of specialised support, counselling and advice services aimed at supporting parents who need additional support to care for their infant/toddler. The services are focused 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 (Canterbury, Noble Park, Footscray)
- 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 families with children, from pregnancy to four years of age, who have been assessed as needing additional intensive parenting support to build skills, capacity and confidence in caring for their infant/toddler. Intensive specialist early parenting services may work with other services such as child protection to minimise risk to the child.
How can you access your local early parenting centre?
Early Parenting Centre services are provided by:
- Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre (O’Connell) located in Canterbury
- Queen Elizabeth Centre (QEC) located in Noble Park
- Tweddle Child and Family Health Service (Tweddle) located in Footscray.
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.