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Early parenting centres expansion and upgrade
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Early parenting centres expansion and upgrade

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.

What's new?

Providers appointed for seven new early parenting centres

Victorian health and family services providers have been appointed for the seven new early parenting centres. The seven new centres will be built in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Frankston, Casey, Wyndham and Whittlesea.


The early parenting centres expansion and upgrade project will be delivered in stages.

Upgrades

The first stage of the expansion will upgrade two existing centres:

  • The Queen Elizabeth Centre in Noble Park
  • Tweddle Child and Family Health Service in Footscray.

New centres

The second stage of the expansion will build seven new EPCs. Construction will be completed in phases – the Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong centres will be delivered in the first phase by late 2022 and the other sites completed in 2024.

Phase 1:

  • Ballarat
  • Bendigo
  • Geelong

Phase 2:

  • Casey
  • Frankston
  • Whittlesea
  • Wyndham.

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.

Community Advisory Groups (CAGs) will be established to help inform planning for each of the seven new early parenting centres.

Membership will include representation from key stakeholders, such as local councils, local maternal and child health service providers and community groups, and Aboriginal representation.

This project is being delivered by the Victorian Health and Human Services Building Authority in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services and the following health and family services providers:

New centres

  • Ballarat – to be managed by Ballarat Health, in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Centre
  • Bendigo – to be managed by Bendigo Health, in partnership with Tweddle Child and Family Health Service 
  • Casey – to be managed by Monash Health, in partnership with the Queen Elizabeth Centre
  • Frankston – to be managed by the Queen Elizabeth Centre
  • Geelong – to be managed by Barwon Health, in partnership with Tweddle Child and Family Health Service
  • Whittlesea – to be managed by Mercy Health (O’Connell Family Centre)
  • Wyndham – to be managed by Tweddle Child and Family Health Service.

Existing centres

  • Noble Park – managed by the Queen Elizabeth Centre
  • Footscray – managed by Tweddle Child and Family Health Service.
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Last updated: 09 October 2020