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Specialist centres 08 July 2024

New Early Parenting Centre opens its doors in Geelong

Parents and caregivers in Geelong and surrounding communities are now able to access more specialised support to care for their little ones.

Construction is now complete on the Geelong Early Parenting Centre (EPC) and staff are already welcoming families.

This brand-new centre is the fifth new EPC to open its doors in Victoria as a part of the Victorian Government's early parenting centres expansion and upgrade program.

The centre is located at the McKellar Centre, 45-95 Ballarat Road, North Geelong. It is close to shops and other community services.

The Geelong Early Parenting Centre includes:

  • 10 residential family units
  • four day stay places
  • kitchen and dining areas
  • playrooms
  • outdoor play areas.

The residential family units can support different family structures. Families can bring multiple children or accommodate an older sibling, grandparent or other carer during their stay.

Thoughtful design ensures the centre feels safe and serene, with lots natural light and spaces that feel like home.

This centre was built in partnership with Barwon Health who will also manage the centre.

What is an Early Parenting Centre (EPC)?

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 where parents can stay at the centre for multiple days to build parenting competence and capacity.
  • telehealth services – support is provided to parents over the telephone. It can be provided as stand-alone support or complementary to other EPC services.
  • home-based services – individually tailored, flexible, intensive early parenting services. They aim to provide 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.

About the EPC expansion and upgrade program

The Geelong Early Parenting Centre is the fifth centre completed through the Victorian Government's early parenting centres expansion and upgrade program. The program is delivering:

  • upgrades to two existing EPCs in Footscray and Noble Park
  • building eight new EPCs in growing areas across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Find out more about the early parenting centres expansion and upgrade program by visiting our dedicated program page.

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Last updated: 08 July 2024