Early parenting centres (EPCs) are a free primary health service that provide specialist support for Victorian families with children aged 0-4 years. They deliver flexible, targeted services that aim to enhance the parent-child relationship and support parents with strategies for achieving their parenting goals. These goals are often in areas such as sleep and settling, child behaviour, and parent and child health and wellbeing.

The Victorian Government is investing $135.1 million over four years to expand Victoria’s EPC network. The initiative will modernise and expand facilities run by two of our existing centres, and build and establish seven new centres.

Regional Victorian families will benefit from the first residential early parenting facilities ever provided outside the metropolitan area, in Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo, while our fastest growing suburbs will see facilities based in Casey, Frankston, Whittlesea and Wyndham.  

Strategic framework

The Expanding Victoria's Early Parenting Centre Network 2019-24 Strategic Framework (Word) outlines the significant expansion and reform of Victoria’s publicly funded early parenting centres. It aims to provide a foundation for engagement and collaboration as we move forward with this important initiative for Victorian families.

The information in this framework will support this engagement process, ensuring that the new and expanded centres meet community needs and expectations as effectively as possible.

How are Maternal Child Heath (MCH) services involved?

These new and upgraded EPCs form part of the Government's $213.7 million investment to provide parents with the information, extra support and care their family needs. This includes more enhanced maternal and child health home visits, and expansion the 24-hour MCH phone line.

This will assist in the early resolution of parenting problems in order to boost healthy child development, parents' wellbeing and positive family functioning.

EPCs offer tiered support and are part of the continuum of support offered to parents via the MCH Line and the universal MCH and enhanced MCH programs.

Who can access to these services?

All Victorian families with children from birth to 4 years who need more specialised or targeted support to:

  • Strengthen parenting capacity and skills
  • Enhance parent-child relationships
  • Increase parental confidence in responding to their infant/toddlers needs
  • Build on a family's link with their community

Early parenting centres also offer a range of other education, programs and parenting advice. Refer to the early parenting centre websites for more information.

Referrals to early parenting centres are usually from maternal and child health services, maternity services, general practitioners, Child FIRST and Child Protection.

What services are available?

EPCs are funded to provide:

  • Residential: 24-hour multi-day centre-based intensive early parenting programs
  • Day stay: centre-based day programs provided at EPCs or at outreach locations
  • Group services: group-based programs attended by families, which are designed to improve parent-child relationships and interaction.

Early parenting centres also offer a range of other education, programs and parenting advice. Refer to each of the early parenting centre websites for more information.

How can families access their local early parenting centre?

Early parenting centre services are provided by:

These centres operate several satellite services across the state. Please contact the centres for more information.

Referrals to early parenting centres are usually from maternal and child health services, maternity services, general practitioners, Child FIRST and Child Protection.

More information

For information for families, see