Tweddle Partner with Barwon Health to Support local families

Tweddle Partner with Barwon Health to Support local families


A new state-of-the-art Early Parenting Centre (EPC) operated by Barwon Health in partnership with Tweddle Child and Family Health Service will open in 2024. The new EPC will give local families the support they need with their babies and toddlers.

Funding from the Andrews Labor Government will see new mums and dads accessing early parenting support in a comfortable, modern, and culturally safe environment.

Minister for Health Martin Foley today unveiled a first look at the multi-million-dollar facility and announced the facility will be located at Barwon Health’s McKellar Centre.

Geelong’s new centre will provide parents and carers with the advice and care they need, including support with sleep and settling, feeding and extra care for babies and toddlers with additional needs.

Tweddle CEO Ms Jacquie O’Brien said that the partnership will strengthen families and provide valuable early intervention and prevention support services in the first 1000 days. “We know that travel can be a barrier to families seeking support. This new EPC will make a difference and help local babies, toddlers and their families get off to a healthy and strong start in life.” she said. “Tweddle’s priorities include building secure attachment, parent and infant mental health, and connecting families to services and community. This partnership will build on those priorities for Geelong families”.

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 impact a child’s behavioural and physical development.

With 10 residential units and four day stay units, the centre will provide both day stays and long residential stay programs to improve the health, wellbeing and developmental outcomes for children aged up to four-years-old.

Early works have begun on site to deliver new car spaces and prepare the site for major construction works.

Member for Lara John Eren reflected on Barwon’s new Early Parenting Centre saying that it will deliver flexible, targeted services to help parents with sleep and settling issues, supporting hundreds of local families a year.

“Facilities like this are great for new mums and dads, they give you the certainty that when things go wrong or you wonder if you’re doing something right, you won’t have to leave Geelong to get the support or answers you need.” said Member for Geelong Christine Couzens

Barwon Health chief executive Frances Diver advised that the much-needed centre will provide support for hundreds of families in Geelong and the Barwon South West region, reducing the need to travel to Melbourne.”

“We know the first four years can be particularly challenging for families; this centre will provide a holistic approach to common concerns in the early years.” she said.

Barwon Health and Tweddle are committed to partnering with the Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative and other groups to create a culturally responsive service.

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