Maternal and Child Health

Our Maternal and Child Health service is a free service available to families with children from birth to six years of age.

The service provides information, guidance and support to parents to enable them to feel confident and competent in their parenting.

We contact all new parents after the birth of their child to organise the first consultation. All first time parents will be invited to join the new parent groups which run across the municipality at seven week intervals. Families who move to Moonee Valley with young children should contact us on 9243 8888 to find out which Maternal and Child Health centre they will belong to.

Maternal and Child Health is turning 100!

In celebration of Victoria’s Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Service turning 100, we are organising three displays of Moonee Valley City Council MCH memorabilia. 

The displays, including localised historical photos and articles, will be held at Sam Merrifield Library, Avondale Heights Library and Niddrie Library for the month of June.

The MCH service has been supporting young children and families since 1917, when the first Baby Health Centre was established in Richmond. In 1922, after local residents lobbied for a service, the former Essendon Council resolved to establish a centre, which opened its doors in January 1923.

Sister M L Hall started the centre in the cloakroom of the Town Hall in Moonee Ponds and saw 35 mothers and babies on her first day. 

The first purpose-built centre was opened in 1926 on the corner of Pascoe Vale Road and St Thomas St – renamed Kellaway Avenue in 1956 after MCH volunteer Eliza Kellaway – where the Civic Centre now sits. Other early-established centres include Maribyrnong Road, Ascot Vale, which opened in 1936, North Essendon in 1938 and Aberfeldie in 1955.

For the first 50 years, the centres were managed by a group of committed volunteers who not only raised funds but assisted the Sisters by acting as helpers at the centres.

There are now 10 Maternal and Child Health Centres in Moonee Valley consisting of 27 MCH nurses, Family Strengthening Officers and admin staff. Our MCH team sees around 1500 new babies and conducts 14,000 appointments each year, providing a free service that supports children’s health and development from birth until school age.   

If you have any memorabilia which you might like to loan for the library display, please contact 9243 1640 or eparle@mvcc.vic.gov.au.

We will also be organising an event on 20 June involving past and present Moonee Valley MCH staff, so if you previously worked as an MCH nurse for the City of Moonee Valley or the former City of Essendon and would like to attend please call 9243 1640.

Services

The Maternal and Child Health service provides information, advice and referral for parents regarding:

  • child health and development
  • child and infant nutrition
  • breastfeeding
  • maternal health and wellbeing
  • parenting
  • accident and injury prevention (including safe sleeping)
  • home safety
  • immunisation
  • local support services and resources

We also offer additional support services for parents. This includes:

  • new parent groups
  • breast feeding support clinics
  • sleep and settling clinics
  • facilitated playgroups for parents identified with particular needs
  • information sessions on a range of topics

Key ages and stages visits

The Maternal and Child Health service provides 10 key ages and stages consultations from birth to 3.5 years.

These visits coincide with the child’s milestones and we involve parents in assessing the development and wellbeing of their child using the PEDS (Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status) screening tool.

Consultations (initial home visit at the birth of the child and centre consultations afterwards) are set at the child’s milestones:

  • 2 weeks
  • 4 weeks
  • 8 weeks
  • 4 months 
  • 8 months
  • 12 months
  • 18 months
  • 2 years
  • 3.5 years

Extra visits are available if particular needs are identified around your infant or yourself. Please discuss with your nurse.

Enhanced Maternal and Child Health service

We have a home visiting program for families who may require additional support. A maternal and child health nurse provides families with extra support and guidance in their own home environment. Referral to this service is made through the Maternal and Child Health nurses.

Playgroup

Find out more about other playgroups.

Locations

Maternal and Child Health services often share facilities with childcare centres, preschools or community Centres. This allows families to access multiple services under one roof and fosters connection with the local community. Staff work collaboratively and exchange perspective on children as they interact in different environments.

All our Maternal and Child Health services welcome all mothers who are feeding to drop in and use the waiting rooms for feeding and baby care.

Find our Maternal and Child Health centre locations

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 Facebook page

The Maternal and Child Health Facebook page is now live! This page has been created by our nurses. The aim is to provide you with current, helpful and evidence based information. If you find a post helpful, or it is something that your interested in, please “Like” or share the post.   

Other useful support organisations

The Maternal and Child Health team recommends the following websites for more support and information:

Customer satisfaction

We are committed to providing the best possible service to families.

Sometimes despite the very best of efforts there may be an issue about service delivery that needs to be discussed. Parents are encouraged to discuss issues with your Maternal and Child Health nurse or call the Maternal and Child Health Coordinator on 9243 8864.

For further information please refer to the Maternal and Child Health Procedure for Managing Complaints (doc,25KB).

Last updated: Tuesday, 23 May 2017, 12:53 AM

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