New Early Parenting Centre for Ballarat

A partnership between Ballarat Health Services and the Queen Elizabeth Centre will deliver more parenting supports for new parents and their young children giving them the best possible start to life, with the establishment of an Early Parenting Centre in Ballarat by 2022.

The Victorian Government’s $123 million new Early Parenting Centres will be built in Ballarat, Bendigo, Geelong, Frankston, Casey, Wyndham and Whittlesea and two existing centres in Footscray and Noble Park will be upgraded to meet increasing demand.

The centres will provide a critical role in ensuring parents are getting the advice and care they need, including support with sleep and settling, feeding, extra care for babies with additional needs and enhancing the parent-child relationship.

Sleep and settling is one of the biggest challenges facing new parents, with around one in two Victorian parents seeking assistance from Early Parenting Centre’s reporting problems with their child’s sleep.

This can lead to post-natal depression, isolation and stress for parents, and impact a child’s behavioural, mental and physical development.

The centres will provide day-stays and longer residential stay programs to improve the health, wellbeing and developmental outcomes for children aged up to four years old. Each new centre will include 10 residential units and four day stay units helping more than 5,000 extra families a year.

Construction will be completed in two phases – the Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong centres will be delivered in the first phase by late 2022 and the other sites will be completed in 2024.

Community Advisory Groups are being established to help inform planning for each new centre.

Quote attributable to Member for Buninyong Michaela Settle

“Parenting can be challenging and stressful, especially in the first few years, and some new mums and dads may need extra support to give their child the best start in life. Ballarat’s new centre will help with sleep and settling issues and will include day stay and residential programs.”

Quote attributable to Member for Wendouree Juliana Addison

“With half of all parents reporting problems with their child’s sleep and settling, we know that this is particularly challenging for new mums and dads. 

The establishment of an Early Parenting Centre in Ballarat means that parents will get the specialised support they deserve close to home.

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