About Early Parenting Services

Who provides these services?

Early parenting centre services are provided by:

  • Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre (OConnell) located in Canterbury
  • Queen Elizabeth Centre (QEC) located in Noble Park
  • Tweddle Child and Family Health Service (Tweddle) located in Footscray

What early parenting services are available?

Early parenting centres offer a range of specialised support, counseling, 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.

Early parenting centres are funded to provide:

  1. Day stay services - an intensive day program providing early parenting support
  2. Residential services - a centre-based intensive parenting program in which parents stay at the centre for a five day period to build their parenting competence and capacity (Canterbury, Noble Park, Footscray)
  3. Home-based services- Services where skilled staff visit the family in the home to provide one-on-one parenting skills and education
  4. 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, including pod casts. Refer to each of the early parenting centre websites for more information.

Who can access these early parenting centre services?

Early parenting centre services are for vulnerable families with children, from pregnancy to four years of age, who are assessed as needing additional intensive parenting support to build their skills and confidence in caring for their infant/toddler.

How can you access/contact your local early parenting centre?

As early parenting centres provide specialist services to families identified as needing intensive additional parenting support, before attending an early parenting centre service families should visit their local Maternal and Child Health Service or General Practitioner for a referral.

Your Maternal and Child Health Nurse or GP will refer you to the most appropriate service to meet your needs.

A range of other professionals can also refer families to these services.

Request more information about this topic.

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