More early parenting centres to help Victorian families
We’re expanding Victoria’s early parenting centre (EPC) network to support new parents and carers.
Having a baby or child under four years of age is a special time for families. But it can also be a stressful time.
For some, support from loved ones, their local doctor, and a maternal and child health service will be enough.
Others will experience more persistent challenges. That’s where EPCs can help.
EPCs support parents or carers with children up to four years old. The centres help build parenting skills, from enhancing parent-child relationships to providing support with:
- sleep, settling or feeding
- bonding and attachment
- infant and child behavioural concerns
- strengthening parenting capacity and skills.
EPCs provide services in four main ways:
- day-stay services – an intensive day program providing early parenting support
- residential services – a centre-based intensive parenting program in which parents can stay at the centre for a multi-day period to build parenting competence and capacity
- telehealth services – early parenting support provided as stand-alone support or complementary to other EPC services
- home-based services – individually tailored, flexible, intensive early parenting services aimed at providing practical supports to assist families to nurture and care for their child independently.
Importantly, EPCs provide families who have more complex needs or vulnerabilities with access to wrap-around support. This includes care planning, referrals and community support.
More EPCs means more care and support
When parents are supported, children can thrive. That is why the Victorian Government is investing $148 million to expand the Victorian EPC network with the EPC expansion and upgrade program.
Victoria’s population is expected to reach 11.2 million by 2056. In some regional areas, health services are expecting up to 40 per cent more births in the coming decades.
It’s also estimated more than 13,000 children and their caregivers will need the extra developmental support EPCs provide by 2026. That’s why we’re tripling the number of EPCs across Victoria.
The EPC expansion and upgrade project includes: