Summary

  • The centres are registered public hospitals
  • They are available to families across Victoria
  • You can be admitted under Medicare as a private patient
  • Older children may be allowed to stay with you too
  • Ask your maternal and child health nurse about the support services available in your area.
Early Parenting Centres provide help and support for families with children 0 to 3 years who have difficulties adjusting to, or establishing, feeding and other early childhood routines. Families can stay at the centres or attend a day stay program.

Early Parenting Centres provide help and support for families who have difficulties with children aged 0 to 36 months. These difficulties might be establishing feeding or sleeping routines. Families either stay at Early Parenting Centres for about two to five days or attend a day program. Some centres offer home visits and a telephone advice service.

Help for parents

Early Parenting Centres offer help to families who have problems with:
  • Settling an infant and getting them to sleep
  • Breast or bottle feeding an infant
  • Children with behavioural problems
  • Children who need special care because of illness or a disability.
Early Parenting Centres also help with:
  • Parent-child relationships
  • Maternal well-being.

Increasing parents’ confidence

Early Parenting Centres aim to increase confidence in parenting. The services they offer include:
  • Information and advice
  • Education programs
  • Skill development
  • Counselling
  • Help and support.

Day-stay programs

Parents also have the option to attend a day-stay program which:
  • Offers a minimum of four hours intensive support per day
  • May be helpful for parents who have difficulties with infant feeding and settling

Where to find an Early Parenting Centre

The three Early Parenting Centres in Melbourne are the:
  • O’Connell Family Centre in Canterbury Tel. (03) 8416 7600
  • Queen Elizabeth Centre in Noble Park Tel. (03) 9549 2777
  • Tweddle Child and Family Health Service in Footscray. Tel. (03) 9689 1577

Where to get help

  • Your maternal and child health nurse
  • Your local doctor
  • Family support services
  • Australian Breastfeeding Association
  • New mothers' groups or other support groups
  • Your local community health centre
  • Family Relationship Advice Line Tel. 1800 050 321 Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, Saturday, 10am to 4pm
  • Contact the centres directly.

Things to remember

  • The centres are registered public hospitals
  • They are available to families across Victoria
  • You can be admitted under Medicare as a private patient
  • Older children may be allowed to stay with you too
  • Ask your maternal and child health nurse about the support services available in your area.

More information

Parents

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Communication, identity and behaviour

Raising healthy children

Common childhood health concerns

Immunisation

Keeping yourself healthy

Child safety and accident prevention

Grief and trauma

Support for parents

Content Partner

This page has been produced in consultation with and approved by: Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Last updated: March 2011

Page content currently being reviewed.

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. Content has been prepared for Victorian residents and wider Australian audiences, and was accurate at the time of publication. Readers should note that, over time, currency and completeness of the information may change. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.