Geelong’s first early parenting centre on the way
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Geelong’s first early parenting centre on the way

by Freya Lucas

April 14, 2023
An image of the McKellar Child and Family Centre under construction

Geelong’s first early parenting centre is on the way, with construction progressing on the multi-million-dollar purpose-built facility. 


Minister for Health Infrastructure Mary-Anne Thomas announced that the facility at the McKellar Centre in North Geelong is on track to be completed in early 2024. Concrete has been poured and steel framing is underway, with the building expected to take shape over the next three months. 


“Being a new parent can be hard and the new centre will help parents in the Barwon region with sleep and settling issues, supporting hundreds of local families a year,” she said.


Families with children up to four years of age will be supported by the new service which will feature 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 new centre will give parents and carers the advice and care they need, including support with sleep and settling, feeding and extra care for babies and toddlers with additional needs. 


Sleep and settling is one of the biggest challenges facing new parents, with around one in two Victorian parents who are attending the early parenting centres reporting problems with their child’s sleep. This can lead to post-natal depression, isolation and stress for parents and affect a child’s behavioural, mental and physical development. 


The centre is being delivered by the Victorian Health Building Authority (VHBA) in partnership with Barwon Health, the Tweddle Child and Family Health Service, and builder Bowden Corporation

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