The arrival of a new baby makes a big difference to family life
Maternal and Child Health
Our Maternal and Child Health service can assist with these changes.
It is free and available to all families with children from birth to six years of age.
We continue to provide support to families during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have just had to alter our way of connecting with you slightly.
Your consultation with the nurse will commence with a phone or zoom appointment and may be followed up by short face-to-face consultations for weight checks, physical examination, breastfeeding support and developmental checks.
Priority face-to-face appointments will be offered to all families with infants four months and under, Aboriginal infants and children with additional needs.
Please note that a face to face consultation will not proceed if the parent / carer refuses without valid reason consistent with State Government requirements to wear a face covering when attending for a centre appointment. In this situation, the client will be redirected to their General Practitioner.
Families will initially receive a booked phone consultation to discuss their child’s needs and development. During the phone consultation the MCH nurse will discuss the next steps and may offer a short face-to-face appointment.
Note: If you or a person in your household has experienced a headache, fever, dry cough or shortness of breath in the past 24 hours, or if anyone has been tested or diagnosed with COVID-19 or been in close contact with someone who has, then you cannot attend a centre. Please call 9243 1895 to reschedule.
For a centre visit, please bring:
- a face mask
- a clean blanket to cover the scales
- your child’s green book ‘My health, Learning and Development Record’
- a pen
Conditions of entry to a Maternal and Child Health centre
- All staff and families attending a centre must be well and free of any illness symptoms
- Consistent with State Government requirements - all staff and people over 12 years old must wear a face covering
- Only one carer and the child booked for the appointment are to attend
- Hand sanitiser must be used upon entry to the centre
- All persons must answer COVID-19 screening questions and have their temperature checked on arrival
- Physical distancing requirements must be followed. The only exception to this is when a nurse performs a physical assessment of a child
Looking for more information?
The 24-hour Maternal and Child Health Line is always available on 13 22 29.
You can read the Victorian Maternal and Child Health Services 'Information for parents with infants and youth children' factsheet here.
While the Raising Children website has information about the coronavirus and children.
Maternal and Child Health service
Maternal and Child Health nurses are registered nurses with additional qualifications in midwifery and maternal and child health. The nurses have the knowledge and experience to deal with all aspects of child and family health and wellbeing.
The service provides information, support, advice and referral on:
- child health and development
- play and learning
- maternal/paternal health and wellbeing
- accident and injury prevention (including safe sleeping)
- home safety
- local support services and resources.
Our nurses contact new parents after their child’s birth, approximately within one week of being home, to organise the first home visit*.
Families who move to Moonee Valley with young children are also invited to contact us on 9243 1895 to find out their closest Maternal and Child Health Centre.
*If parents have not been contacted within this time and/or have pressing questions, please contact our Maternal and Child Health Support Officer on 9243 1895. Extra visits are available where particular needs are identified for an infant and family.
Key ages and stages visits
Nurses involve parents in assessing the development and wellbeing of their child using the Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) screening tool.
At these visits nurses discuss the health and development of the child, physical and emotional effects on the family, parent health and wellbeing and any concerns families may have.
There are 10 key ages and stages consultations that coincide with the child’s milestones from birth to 3.5 years:
*Make sure to scoll down to the bottom of each page for helpful "Tips sheets for this visit" section.
We also offer additional support for parents, including:
- new parent groups and transition into playgroups
- breastfeeding support clinics
- sleep and settling telephone support
- information sessions on a range of topics.
Where families require additional support, a home visiting program by a Maternal and Child Health Nurse is available. The nurse provides families with extra support and guidance in their own home environment.
To refer, contact a nurse in one of our centres.
New parents groups and playgroups
Our nurses deliver a seven-week program for new parents offering parenting information on health, wellbeing and family matters and the opportunity to make friendships with local families. Partners are also invited to attend. Your Maternal and Child Health Nurse will organise your invitation.
Near the end of the program, parents are supported to transition into community playgroups. The playgroups provide parents and caregivers with the opportunity to meet new people, gain support and exchange parenting ideas. Find out more about playgroups.
Creepy Crawlies and Walkie Talkies
Drop-in information and assessment sessions are available for families with questions and concerns about their children from birth to preschool ages.
Sessions are provided by Allied Health Professionals from cohealth in partnership with our maternal and child health nurses.
2020 dates will be provided soon.
Maternal and Child Health Centre locations
Maternal and Child Health services often share facilities with childcare centres, kindergartens or community centres. Families have access to multiple services in one location and foster connections with the local community.
Staff work collaboratively and exchange perspectives on children as they interact in a range of environments. Privacy is respected and parents are involved and informed about the conversations.
Our centres welcome all mothers who are feeding to drop in and use the waiting rooms for feeding and baby care.
14-22 Clarendon Street, Avondale Heights
97 McNamara Rd, Airport West
Milleara Integrated Learning Development Centre
1-5 Keilor Park Drive, Keilor East
47 Lawson Street, Essendon
Strathmore Children's Centre
28 Loeman Street, Strathmore
For more information
Maternal and Child Health Line
This telephone advice service is available throughout Victoria for the cost of a local call 24 hours a day and is staffed by Maternal and Child Health nurses. Call 13 22 29.
An interpreter service is available. The service is also available to deaf callers who have access to a telephone typewriter (TTY).
Maternal and Child Health app
The Maternal and Child Health app provides reliable information that Victorian families can use every day. See information relevant to your child's age and development, useful contacts, and ask the 'Virtual Maternal and Child Health Nurse' questions - with reliable, evidence-based replies you can trust.
Better Health - Maternal and child health services website
For reliable information on what the Maternal and child health service provides; what to expect from your appointments; a full list of MACH centres and more. Better Health channel provides trusted, easy to understand information, backed by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Visit the Maternal and Child Health Services page.
For any further information, talk to your Maternal and Child Health nurse or call Council's Maternal and Child Health Coordinator on 9243 1895.