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Early parenting centres expansion and upgrade
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Early parenting centres expansion and upgrade

The $148 million early parenting centres expansion and upgrade project will more than triple the number of early parenting centres (EPCs) in Victoria.

It will provide support to over 5,000 extra families each year. This means that more families with babies and young children can get the early parenting support they need – sooner and closer to home.

The project will upgrade and expand facilities at existing centres in Footscray and Noble Park. It will also build and establish four new centres in the growing areas of Frankston, Casey, Wyndham and Whittlesea. Four new centres will be built in the regional areas of Bendigo, Geelong, Ballarat and Shepparton.

Victoria’s EPCs provide specialist support and deliver flexible, targeted services for families with children 0–4 years old. They 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.

Families and communities are being consulted as part of the expansion project, which will ensure that the new centres meet community needs and are integrated with other services.

What’s new?

Construction starts in Bendigo, Geelong and Wyndham

Designs have been released and works have started on the new early parenting centres in Bendigo, Geelong and Wyndham.

Childcare experts, local community groups and traditional owners were consulted as part of the design process to ensure the centres reflect the communities they serve.


 

Additional funding announced for a new early parenting centre in Shepparton

Parents in the Goulburn Valley and surrounding communities will soon have greater access to early parenting support with a multi-million-dollar facility to be built in Shepparton.



Upgrades

Two existing centres will be upgraded:

  • The Queen Elizabeth Centre in Noble Park
  • Tweddle Child and Family Health Service in Footscray.

New centres

Seven new EPCs will be delivered in Bendigo, Geelong, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Casey, Ballarat and Frankston. All new centres are expected to be finalised in 2024.

In May 2022, the Victorian Government allocated an additional $25 million to the Early Parenting Centre program to support the delivery of an eighth new centre in Shepparton. This centre is expected to be completed by 2025.

The early parenting centres expansion and upgrade project aims to deliver the following benefits:

More families supported

The EPC expansion will allow more than 5,000 extra families to be supported each year.

More in-centre residential services

The expansion will increase the number of services available to Victorian families. This includes residential family units – where families can stay overnight for support – increasing from 43 units to more than 100.

More support for regional and outer-metropolitan Victorian families

An expanded EPC network is getting us closer towards the goal of state-wide coverage, providing access to specialist parenting support for more families - closer to home.

Community Advisory Groups (CAGs) have been established to help inform planning for each of the initial seven new early parenting centres.

The CAG members include representation from key stakeholders such as local councils, local maternal and child health service providers, community groups, and Aboriginal representation.

This project is being delivered by the Victorian Health Building Authority in partnership with the Department of Health and the following health and family services providers:

New centres

  • Ballarat – to be managed by Grampians Health. Grampians Health is working in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Centre to establish the new centre.
  • Bendigo – to be managed by Bendigo Health. Bendigo Health is working in partnership with Tweddle Child and Family Health Service to establish the new service.
  • Casey – to be managed by Monash Health. Monash Health is working in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Centre to establish the new centre.
  • Frankston – to be managed by the Queen Elizabeth Centre.
  • Geelong – to be managed by Barwon Health. Barwon Health is working in partnership with Tweddle Child and Family Health Service to establish the new service.
  • Whittlesea – to be managed by Mercy Health (O’Connell Family Centre).
  • Wyndham– to be managed by Tweddle Child and Family Health Service.
  • Shepparton – health and family service partner to be appointed.

Existing centres

  • Noble Park – managed by the Queen Elizabeth Centre
  • Footscray – managed by Tweddle Child and Family Health Service.

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Last updated: 11 October 2022