Early parenting centre now open

Blair, Delilah, and Courtney Taylor at the new Barwon Early Parenting Centre in North Geelong. (Louisa Jones) 413138_20

By Jena Carr

An early parenting centre (EPC) is open in North Geelong to make it easier for new parents across the region to access specialised support.

The Barwon EPC was officially opened on June 12 by Barwon Health staff and Geelong members of parliament, with the facility operated from the McKellar Centre at 45-95 Ballarat Road.

Member for Lara Ella George said the new facility was the eighth early parenting centre open in Victoria, with numbers set to increase to 13 centres in the future.

“No two journeys towards motherhood and raising children are the same and it’s so important to have a different approach for every individual person,” she said.

“Strengthening the parent-child relationship, helping parents with their goals and supporting children in those crucial first few years is incredibly important.

“These centres deliver flexible, targeted services that aim to enhance the parent child relationship and support parents with strategies for achieving their parenting goals.”

The North Geelong facility has 10 residential family units and four day-stay spaces to ensure families of all sizes can access short-term and week-long support.

Ms George said the state government had invested $148 million to expand the early parenting service network, with the centres designed to feel like a home away from home.

“This EPC will enable families to access critical early parenting services closer to home without the need to travel to Melbourne,” she said.

“It will support families across its broad catchment, which includes local government areas across western Victoria from right here in Geelong, stretching out to Warrnambool.

“Health and well-being of parents, carers and the whole family is vital to the child’s developmental outcomes, and this will ensure that babies and toddlers can thrive during their early years.”