The $123 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. Three new centres will be built in the regional areas of Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.
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. Community consultation will ensure that the new centres meet community needs and that they are well integrated with other services.
The early parenting centres expansion and upgrade project aims to deliver the following benefits:
More families supported
Victoria is growing and so are our needs for services. The EPC expansion will allow more than 5,000 families to be supported each year.
More in-centre residential services
Many families who seek EPC support cannot access the residential programs they need. The expansion will increase the number of Victorian residential family units – where families can stay overnight for support – from 43 to more than 100.
More support for regional and outer-metropolitan Victorian families
An expanded EPC network will work towards the goal of statewide coverage, providing access and a suitable response for families – closer to home, wherever they live in Victoria.
A wider range of families supported
An expanded EPC service network will support a wider range of families and ensure that people receive early support when they need it.