First look at Whittlesea’s new early parenting centre


New mums and dads in Whitttlesea will get the specialised support they need to care for their little ones, close to home, with the second of 12 new and upgraded early parenting centres to open its doors later this month.

Health Infrastructure Minister Mary-Anne Thomas and Mill Park MP Lily D’Ambrosio on Sunday toured the new multi-million-dollar centre in South Morang.

Designed to feel like a home away from home, the centre will support families with children up to four years of age, giving them the advice and care they need, like support with sleep and settling, feeding and extra care for babies and toddlers with additional needs.

The new centre features 10 residential family units and four day-stay places, providing both short-term and longer residential stay programs to improve the health, wellbeing and developmental outcomes of children.

The residential family units are designed with flexibility in mind and support different family structures. Families can bring multiple children or accommodate an older sibling, grandparent, or other carer during their stay.

The purpose-built centre also includes kitchen and dining areas, playrooms and outdoor play areas, delivered in partnership with Mercy Health.

Ms Thomas said the birth of a new child is one the most precious moments for any parent.

“But it can also be a stressful and difficult time and this new centre will help hundreds of families in the northern suburbs with sleep and settling issues every year.”

Ms D’Ambrosio said, “we know that sleep and settling can be some of the biggest challenges for new parents and caregivers to face, so we’re bringing more specialised support to mums, dads and caregivers in the City of Whittlesea and surrounding communities.”