The birth of a new child is one of the most precious moments for any parent – but for many it can also be a stressful and difficult time.
The challenges associated with parenting in the early years of a child’s life can affect families very differently. In some cases, this requires specialised support, beyond that available through universal services such as maternal and child health services.
To address this need, a new Early Parenting Centre will be built and established in Bendigo, being one of eight new centres around Victoria.
For more information on EPCs, visit: https://www.health.vic.gov.au/maternal-child-health/early-parenting-centres
Families will need to meet the following requirements to be eligible for EPC support:
· Victorian residency: the family resides in Victoria.
· Child’s age: the child for which support is sought is from birth up to their fourth birthday.
· Need for EPC services: the family has needs relating to sleep and settling, parent–child relationships, child behaviour and/or health and wellbeing that have not been met, or are unlikely to be met, by other available supports, such as: MCH sleep and settling supports or enhanced MCH support. EPCs recognise the importance of the health and wellbeing of the entire family unit in respect to the health, wellbeing and development of the child.
· An EPC can respond effectively: EPCs provide families with support to achieve their parenting goals during their stay, the parents/carers remain responsible for caring for their child while they are at the EPC.
Please note that:
· No income means test applies to EPC services.
· Families can access more than one program for the same child.
· Families do not need to have a Medicare card to be eligible to access the service.