When you visit a Maternal and Child Health Centre, the nurse will review your child’s health, growth and development. The nurse will also talk to you about your own health and your experience as a parent of a new baby.
The Maternal and Child Health Service offers 10 Key Ages and Stages consultations. At each of these consultations you can discuss concerns, parenting experiences and any ways to improve your child’s health, growth and development.
There are 10 Key Ages and Stages consultations recommended to review your child’s health, growth and development from birth to 3 1/2 years. These include: a home visit and consultations at 2, 4 and 8 weeks; 4, 8, 12 and 18 months; 2 and 3 1/2 years of age for all children and their families.
Visits for babies and children are recommended at key ages to assess:
speech & language
fine & gross motor skills
social & emotional development
Maternal and Child Health Nurses can provide up-to-date health information and referral as required. Parents are offered information and discussion on a variety of parenting and child related topics including:
From four months of age parents are requested to complete a short questionnaire - The Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) at each key visit. This alerts the Maternal & Child Health Nurse to any concerns you may have about your child's health, development, learning or behaviour.
All Maternal and Child Health consultations are free.
Information about your baby’s health and development is recorded in the My Health, Learning and Development Record. At particular stages there will be more specific assessments, including those related to hearing and vision.
The Service is supported by the 24-hour Maternal and Child Health Line:13 22 29.
First time parent groups are offered at all Maternal & Child Health Centres in the City of Ballarat. This six-week program is for parents with new babies and a range of parenting topics are discussed at the weekly sessions. For more information, contact your MCH Nurse.
For all enquiries and appointments at the City of Ballarat Maternal and Child Health Centres, call +61 3 5320 5720.
The City of Ballarat Supported Respite Program offers short-term childcare to families with children aged birth to six years experiencing stress or illness. A written referral from a Maternal and Child Health Nurse or medical person is required, although self-referral may be acceptable.
For information on the City of Ballarat Supported Respite Program, call 5320 5720