The Early Childhood Service follows on from postnatal maternity care and provides a range of community health and support services for children and their parents/carers to give every child the best possible start in life. By providing parenting support, health promotion, early intervention and prevention services we aim to ensure that children are nurtured, safe and able to realise their full potential.
Services are free of charge and may be offered in the home or in community child health clinics or in local early years community centres.
Care is offered by a multidisciplinary team of child health nurses and early intervention clinicians (either social workers or psychologists) as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advanced Health Worker.
Available should you wish to check your baby’s progress between routine clinic visits. These open clinics focus on supporting your infant’s early feeding, sleeping and settling issues and other parenting concerns. Nurses can offer you guidance and reassurance as you adjust to your new role as parents/carers.
No appointment needed. Available at various locations on specified days.
Please call 5687 9183 to register with our service before attending Drop-in clinics.
Practical assistance for mums experiencing breastfeeding concerns. Drop-in available - no appointment needed. Appointments also available by referral. Please call 5687 9183 to register your baby before attending breastfeeding drop-in clinic.
Development checks are conducted at key ages 0-4weeks; 6-8weeks; 4, 6, 12 and 18months; 2, 3 and 4 years as set out in the Personal Health Record (red book).
The checks involve routine tracking your child’s growth and assessing developmental progress including gross motor and fine motor skills, speech and language as well as social and emotional development. Health advice and guidance is provided to help you better understand your child’s development needs with a focus on health promotion and building your confidence as a parent/carer. Referrals can be made to other services if there are concerns about developmental delay.
By appointment only by calling 5687 9183
Practical assistance for those parents experiencing more complex parenting concerns (eg, feeding, sleep/settling, maternal distress) where a longer period of one-to-one time with a Child Health Nurse is required. Referrals to Ellen Barron Residential support may be made if further support is needed. This service is by referral only. Speak to your local child health nurse or GP for more information.
Our team of social workers and psychologists provide parenting strategies and short-term support for parents with children from birth to six years of age, either at a community health centre or in the home. This service is by referral only. Speak to your child health nurse for more information.
An informal way to get to know other parents and to discuss health issues common to all. These groups often result in further socialising opportunities and lasting friendships for many. A wide range of topics are discussed including sleep and settling; transitioning to parenting, infant social-emotional development; introducing solid food; safety; speech and language; play, development milestones and oral health. Ask your child health nurse for more information.
The Early Childhood Service offers a range of parenting programmes such as Circle of Security, a relationship-based early intervention program designed to enhance attachment security between parents and children. Booking is by referral from the community child health team. Please see your child health nurse for information on other programmes.
Our Advanced Health Worker links closely with the Gold Coast Waijungbah Jarjums Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maternity and Child Health Programme to ensure families are appropriately supported by providing culturally safe, high quality care.