Specialist centres 20 November 2023

Whittlesea Early Parenting Centre opening for families

Mums, dads and caregivers in the City of Whittlesea and surrounding communities can soon access more specialised support to care for their little ones.

Construction is now complete on the Whittlesea Early Parenting Centre (EPC), and doors are set to open to families later this month.

This brand-new centre is the second of nine new EPCs to open under the Victorian Government’s Early Parenting Centres expansion and upgrade program.

Located at 4 Anchorage Drive in South Morang, the Whittlesea Early Parenting Centre includes:

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

Take a look inside the brand-new, multi-million-dollar Whittlesea Early Parenting Centre.

Text on screen: Construction on the new, multi-million-dollar Whittlesea Early Parenting Centre is complete. It’s the second brand-new Early Parenting Centre to open its doors in Victoria this year.

Images: aerial footage of the centre

Text on screen: Take a look inside. Early Parenting Centres support parents and caregivers with babies and toddlers from 0-4 years old. They aim to enhance the parent-child relationship and support parents with strategies for achieving their parenting goals. The centre includes: -Residential family units -Day-stay places -Shared kitchen and dining areas -Multi-purpose rooms and play areas. 

Images: montage of footage of the interior and exterior of the new centre 

Images: A sliding transition screen displays the text ‘learn more at vhba.vic.gov.au’ and the Victorian Health Building Authority and Victoria State Government logos. 

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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 of natural light and spaces that feel like home.

This centre was built in partnership with Mercy Health. They will also manage this 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 Early Parenting Centres expansion and upgrade program

The Whittlesea Early Parenting Centre is the second centre to open 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.

Learn more about the Early Parenting Centres expansion and upgrade program.

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Last updated: 20 November 2023