The Victorian Government is investing $135.1 million over four years to build seven new early parenting centres in outer metropolitan suburbs and major regional locations as well as upgrading existing centres in Footscray and Noble Park.

This investment will more than triple the capacity across Victoria, giving new parents better access to the specialised support and advice they need - expanding the system from three existing early parenting centres to ten across the state.

New early parenting centres will be built and established in the local government areas of Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Frankston, Wyndham, Whittlesea and Casey.

Early parenting centres provide specialist support for Victorian families with children 0-4 years old. They deliver flexible, targeted services that aim to enhance the parent-child relationship and support parents with strategies for achieving their parenting goals. These goals are often in areas such as sleep and settling, child behaviour, and parent and child health and wellbeing. 

Scope

The Victorian Government’s investment will upgrade two existing early parenting centres and build seven additional centres.

The expansion project will be delivered in stages:

  • The first stage of the expansion will upgrade two existing centres: Queen Elizabeth Centre in Noble Park and Tweddle Child and Family Health Service in Footscray.
  • The second stage of the expansion will build seven new early parenting centres.

The first stage is expected to begin mid to late 2020. The second stage is expected to start in 2021 and to be completed in 2024.

Benefits

 The expansion project will:

  • allow more families to access specialist services
  • offer support closer to home for families in regional and outer metropolitan areas 
  • support a wider range of families in need 
  • reduce wait times

The early parenting centres are being planned and designed to be adaptable to local community service needs

Strategic framework

The Expanding Victoria’s early parenting centre network 2019-24 strategic framework (Word) outlines the significant expansion and reform of Victoria’s publicly funded early parenting centres. It aims to provide a foundation for engagement and collaboration as we move forward with this important initiative for Victorian families.

The information in this framework will support this engagement process, ensuring that the new and expanded centres meet community needs and expectations as effectively as possible.

Early parenting centre model of care

The Early parenting centre (EPC) model of care (Word) describes how funded EPC services will be provided across Victoria. It outlines the high-level purpose, eligibility, functions and role of EPCs in the health and wellbeing service network for children and families.

The model will support consistent, high-quality services, and will outline the service specifications for commissioning new EPCs. It also provides flexibility for services to be tailored to local needs.

More information

For more information, including information about accessing these services, please visit the Better Health ChannelDHHS Early Parenting Centre page or contact the Early Parenting Centre team at epcproject@dhhs.vic.gov.au.