In May 2019, the Victorian Government announced a $123 million investment to expand and upgrade the early parenting centre network.
The initial investment includes:
- the upgrade and expansion of existing EPCs in Noble Park and Footscray
- the construction of seven new centres in the growing areas of Ballarat, Bendigo, Casey, Frankston, Geelong, Whittlesea and Wyndham.
In May 2022, the Victorian Government announced an additional $25 million. This brings the total investment in the early parenting centres expansion and upgrade project to $148 million. Part of this additional funding will be used to support the delivery of an eighth EPC in Shepparton.
Factors such as locations of existing centres, population growth, and levels of need for healthy child development were considered when deciding locations for the new EPCs.
Each of the initial seven new centres will be single storey and will have 10 residential family units.
The new EPCs will also include:
- four day-stay places
- shared kitchen and dining areas
- multi-purpose rooms
- indoor and outdoor play areas
- administration and staff areas.
Two of the residential family units at the new EPCs will be larger than the standard rooms to support families with special needs. These will be designed in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA).
Upgrading existing facilities
The upgraded Footscray EPC will include:
- 12 new residential family units
- including two Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant residential family units (bringing the total to three)
- private amenities for each of the units including ensuites.
The upgraded Noble Park EPC will include:
- a new welcoming entrance
- two standard residential family units
- two Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant residential family units.