Parenting Programs, Courses, Groups

Early intervention and mental health
General programs, courses, groups
Multicultural parenting programs, courses, groups
Growing Healthy Families
External programs and services

Early intervention and mental health

Children’s Behaviour and Emotional Wellbeing Clinic

Consultation clinics for parents of children under 8 years to provide information on child development, behaviour management strategies and support to address concerns.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who: Parents with children under 8 years
How: Contact your local centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

Circle of Security relationship-based parenting program

This international and widely researched program provides opportunities to develop and enhance a secure relationship between parents and their children.
Parents will learn how to recognise, understand and meet their children’s emotional needs in order to prevent and manage behavioural and emotional difficulties. This is an 8-week, small group program which uses observation, reflection, practice and discussion.
The group is appropriate for parents of children aged 0-8 years.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who: Parents of children aged 0-8 years
How: Call your local centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

Cool Kids

A group for primary school children aged 8-12 years, focusing on teaching them better ways to manage anxiety.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who: Children aged 8-12 years
How: Contact your local centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres at Gungahlin and West Belconnen, Bungee at Tuggeranong

Cool Little Kids

A group for parents of children aged 3-8 years, helping them learn strategies to assist their anxious child.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who: Parents of children aged 3-8 years
How: Contact your local centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

Health in Mind-Child Mental Health Service

Health in Mind-Child Mental Health Service is a free counselling service for children under 12 years of age who are experiencing a mild to moderate mental health condition.

The service can provide up to 12 free counselling sessions for children with mild anxiety or depression,
who experience difficulties at school, or bullying.

To be eligible, a child requires a referral and completed Mental Health Treatment Plan from their GP and
be facing financial barriers to gaining other treatment options.
Who: Children under 12 years of age
How: Speak with an intake worker at any of the Child and Family Centres or contact 6287 8090 for assistance or further information.

A partnership between Act Government and Capital Health Network

Top

General programs, courses, groups

GET UP (Group Engaging The Under 25 Parents)

A group for young parents under 25 years where parents can meet new friends, tap into creative skills, play with their child/children, connect with support and find out useful parenting tips.
Where: West Belconnen
When: Friday mornings during school terms
Who: Young parents under 25 years
How: Contact the centre
Facilitated by West Belconnen Child and Family Centre and partners

Learn, Giggle and Grow

Parents and children have the opportunity to interact and play in a safe and supported environment. The emphasis is on encouraging parents to engage with their children in play, enrich the parent-child relationship and help parents build confidence. Groups run from weeks 2-9 of each school term.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who: Parents and children birth to 5 years
How: Contact your local centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres and partners

Parents as Teachers

A monthly home visit program to help parents recognise everyday learning opportunities in their child’s lives. During visits, trained parent educators provide parents with practical information and guidance to help their child develop skills essential for later learning.

Emphasis is placed on developing children’s thinking and curiosity, language, motor and social skills. Support can start later in the prenatal period and continue until a child reaches 3 years of age.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When: By appointment
Who: Families with a child under 2½ years of age
How: Contact your local centre
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

POPPY (Parents Opportunity to Participate in Play with their Young)

A supported group for mums and dads with mental health issues where parents can meet other parents and share experiences while having fun playing with their children.
Where: Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When: Tuesday mornings during weeks 2-9 of school term
Who: Parents with mental health issues with children birth to 5 years
How: Contact your local centre
Facilitated by ACT Mental Health, Richmond Fellowship and Child and Family Centres

Top

Multicultural parenting programs, courses, groups

Atfaal Family Playgroup

A group for Muslim families with children under 5 years living in Gungahlin. The group aims to build links with the community and provide access to parenting information and services.
Where: Gungahlin
When: Tuesday mornings from week 2-9 of school term
Who: Muslim parents and children under 5 years
How: Contact the centre
Facilitated by Gungahlin Child and Family Centre

Multicultural Group

A playgroup to assist multicultural families with children from birth to 5 years to settle into the community by providing them with a variety of support services. The playgroup also supports families by nurturing their child’s development through play.
Where: Tuggeranong
When: Thursday mornings from week 2-9 of school term
Who: Parents and children birth to 5 years who are from
a culturally and linguistically diverse background
How: Contact the centre
Facilitated by The Smith Family and Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre

South Sudanese Group

A group for South Sudanese families with children from birth to 5 years. The group aims to build links with the community and improve access to parenting information and services.
Where: West Belconnen
When: Wednesday mornings from week 2-9 of school term
Who: South Sudanese families with children from birth to 5 years
How: Contact the centre
Facilitated by The Smith Family and West Belconnen Child and Family Centre

Growing Healthy Families

Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities

Each Child and Family Centre offers a range services to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities.
These include:

  • case management
  • group programs
  • community activities and events
  • links to other services and community
  • advocacy
  • school-based programs.

Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
How: Contact your local centre for current programs or more information
Facilitated by Child and Family Centres

Top

External programs and services

ACT Child Development Service

Developing Kids Playgroup

A targeted playgroup for children with delays in their development who are not eligible for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The playgroup is for children 2 years up to preschool age.

It is facilitated by an early childhood teacher and supported by allied health professionals from the Child Development Service. The facilitator can assist families to access parenting information and link in with additional services.

Parents are engaged with their child in group sessions that focus on developing play skills, talking and listening skills and physical movement.

Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen Child and Family Centres and Holder
When: Groups are held 2 hours per week during the school term
How: Children are referred to the playgroup through the Child Development Service Intake
line 6205 1246 and are enrolled in the group on a term-by-term basis.

Drop-in Clinics

Drop-in Clinics are an opportunity for ACT parents to talk to:

  • a speech pathologist about issues with their child’s communication skills
  • a physiotherapist about concerns they have about their child’s gross motor development and posture, movement and walking.

The clinics include informal discussion and screening of skills but are not a formal assessment. No appointment is necessary, however, an approximate timeslot will be provided upon arrival at the speech pathology clinics.

Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When: For timetables and more information visit
http://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/childdevelopmentservice/drop-in-clinics
Who: Physiotherapy from birth to the end of primary school Speech Therapy from birth to the end of kindergarten. For concerns in older children, please contact the Intake Line 6205 1246.

ACT Community Services Directorate: Women’s Information

Women’s Information Officer

A Women’s Information Officer can put you in touch with services and providers who offer assistance and advice across a diverse range of subject matters including domestic violence and sexual assault, childcare, social interaction, further education, multicultural networks, and mental health support networks.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen or Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre, Level 2, North Building, London Circuit, Canberra City
Who: Women
How: To book an appointment call a Women’s Information Officer on 6205 1075 or 6205 1076 or email wi@act.gov.au.
For more information visit http://www.communityservices.act.gov.au/women

Top

ACT Health Directorate: Hospitals

Maternity

Midwives offer outreach services for antenatal check-ups, information and advice for parents scheduled to give birth at Calvary Hospital and the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children.
Where
Gungahlin: Calvary Hospital Antenatal Clinic, and the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children
Tuggeranong: Centenary Hospital for Women and Children, and antenatal breastfeeding sessions
West Belconnen: Calvary Hospital Antenatal Clinic, and the Centenary Hospital for Women and Children

Bookings phone numbers:

Calvary Hospital

Antenatal Clinic 6201 6359
The Birthing Centre 6201 6880

Centenary Hospital for Women and Children

Birth Centre (Canberra Midwifery Program) 6174 7341
Birthing Suite 6174 7444
CatCH (Continuity at Centenary Hospital) 6174 5800
Antenatal Clinic (bookings including breastfeeding sessions) 6174 7625

ACT Health Directorate: Women, Youth and Children Community Health Program

Maternal and Child Health (MACH) Nursing Service

To book MACH Nursing Services call Community Health Intake 6207 9977, 8 am-5 pm Monday to Friday (excluding public hols).

Child Health Clinics (babies and young children to 4 years)

Health checks, immunisations, information and advice on parenting issues, including development, lactation, feeding, sleeping and settling for babies and young children to 4-years.
Where: Tuggeranong and West Belconnen

Drop-in Clinics (brief consultation)

Best suited for quick questions and updates, not comprehensive health checks. Self-weigh facilities available to weigh your baby. No-appointment necessary, 15-20 minutes allocated for each child.
Where: Tuggeranong and West Belconnen

Early Days (babies up to 3 months)

Group sessions to assist parents with babies up to 3 months, with early issues with feeding and settling their baby.
Where: Gungahlin and West Belconnen

Fussy Eaters group (children 1 to 5 years)

A free group for parents and carers of fussy eaters. A dietician is available to answer questions and offer advice to help make mealtimes easier. Sessions go for 1½ hours from 12pm.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong, West Belconnen (and also Phillip Health Centre)
When: For timetables and more information visit the ACT Health websiteExternal Link
How: Call Community health Intake on 6207 9977 to book into a group

Top

New Parents Groups (first-time parents of babies up to 4 months)

MACH nurses offer support, information and advice over 5 weekly sessions.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen

Nutrition

Free service for children, young people and their families. Dietitians can provide advice on a range of nutrition topics including fussy eating, introducing solids, weight management, food allergy and intolerance, disordered eating and healthy eating during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Where: West Belconnen

Orthoptist (from birth to 6 years)

A secondary screening clinic for children, birth to 6 years. Referrals through MACH and kindergarten screen.
Where: Tuggeranong

Sleep and Settling Groups (3 months to 3 years)

MACH nurses run groups to help address sleep and settling issues. The three age specific sessions are: 3-8 months; 9-18 months; 19–36 months
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen

Community Paediatric & Child Health Service

Specialised services for families with concerns about their child’s development. Referrals accepted from GPs, maternal and child health nurses, allied health professionals, teachers and school counsellors.
Where: Gungahlin
How: Book through Community Health Intake 6207 9977
8 am-5 pm Monday to Friday (excluding public hols)

Women’s Health Service

Nursing and counselling services to support women’s health and wellbeing. Counsellor services only at Tuggeranong and Gungahlin. Nurse and counsellor services at West Belconnen.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
Who: Women experiencing significant barriers to health service access
How: Phone 6205 1078

ACT Dads’ Playgroup

For fathers and grandfathers and their children
A playgroup for fathers and/or grandfathers and their children. Activities include games, craft, singing and reading. The playgroup also provides an opportunity for fathers to share ideas about caring for their children.
Where: West Belconnen
When: First Sunday of each month
Who: Fathers and/or grandfathers and their children
How: Email actdadsgroup@gmail.com or phone 0415 532 115.

ACT Playgroups

Playing Together (special needs playgroup)

A playgroup providing a fun time and an opportunity to meet with other parents who have a child with special needs. Guest speakers discuss topics relevant to attendees. Siblings under 5 years welcome.
Where
Gungahlin: Thursday mornings
Tuggeranong: Friday mornings
Who: Parents and children birth to 5 years who have a disability,
developmental delay or chronic illness. Siblings welcome.
How: Phone ACT Playgroups 1800 171 882 or contact your local centre
Facilitated by ACT Playgroups and MYTIME Playgroups

Australian Breastfeeding Association

Support and advice to breastfeeding women

Counsellor-led meetings to provide support and advice to breastfeeding women.
Where: Tuggeranong
When: Monthly group meetings
Who: Breastfeeding women
How: Email tuggeranongaba@hotmail.com or Facebook Australian Breastfeeding Association-Tuggeranong Group

Belconnen Community Services (Bungee)

Cool Kids-Worry Busters and Circus

A program for children and their parents to help them to manage anxieties. It incorporates activities from the Cool Kids program. Parents meet fortnightly to discuss the parental component of the Cool Kids program.
Where: Tuggeranong
When: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday afternoons, bookings essential
Who: Children aged 9-12 years with parent/guardian participation
How: To book phone 6264 0232 or email bungee@bcsact.com.au
Facilitated by Bungee and instructors from The Warehouse Circus

DVCS

Domestic Violence Crisis Service

Outreach and group program for those affected by domestic or family violence.
Where: Gungahlin
How: Contact Intake or phone the DVCS 24-hour Crisis Line and Client Assistance on 6280 0900

Top

Legal Aid

Outreach Legal Advocacy

Legal advice for community members.
Where: Gungahlin
When: Fortnightly
How: Contact Intake to make an appointment

Mandarin for Fun

Community Playgroup

This is a mixed age and cultural background playgroup. Members are from both Chinese and non-Chinese backgrounds with children aged from birth to 5 years.
Where: West Belconnen
Who: Parents and children birth to 5 years
How: Email mandarinforfun@gmail.com or phone 0410 981 788

Marymead

KAYAKS (Kids And Youth Are Kool post Separation) Program

KAYAKS is a program for children aged 4-12 years and young people aged 13-18 years whose parents and caregivers are separated or divorced.
Where: West Belconnen
When: Friday mornings
Who: Children and young people aged 4-18 years of separated or divorced families
How: Enquiries and referrals from parents, caregivers, other service providers, the Family Court and
legal practitioners. Phone 6162 5829 or email kayaks@marymead.org.au

Migrant and Refugee Settlement Service (MARSS)

Outreach

A free outreach service that provides casework, including referrals and advocacy for clients.
Clients may be assisted with completing forms for Centrelink or migration documentation. Please note MARSS are not migration agents.
Referrals to services such as financial, legal, education, employment and counselling services, including writing support letters for clients for organisations, such as Housing ACT.
Where
Gungahlin: Tuesday 11.30am-1.30pm
Tuggeranong: Wednesday 11.30am-1.30pm
Who: Refugees and humanitarian visa holders, some family stream and other permanent visa holders
are eligible to access SGP services.
How: Drop in during MARSS outreach session or call MARSS reception and make an appointment in
advance. Phone MARSS 6248 8577 or email marss@marss.org.au
We use the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS) if required.

Paint & Play

Outdoor playgroups

Join us for some fun in the park! It’s free!
Paint and Play is a fun time for kids to paint, do puzzles, meet other kids and play games.
Don’t forget to bring your hats, sunscreen and a snack.
Where: Various Canberra locations during school terms.
When: For contact information and to find out when the next event will be held in your area visit
www.act.gov.au/paintandplay
Who: Kids (birth to 5 years) with mums, dads or carers.

Top

Red Cross Advocacy Service

Family support

A support service for birth families where a child has recently moved into or is ‘at risk’ of entering Out of Home Care.
Where: Gungahlin
How: via Intake
When: Weekly

Relationships Australia

Relationship Counselling

Counselling on relationship-based issues.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
When: Fortnightly
Who: Families using the Child and Family Centres
How: Referrals through your local centre

Kinship Counselling

Where: Tuggeranong
When: Fortnightly
Who: Kinships carers
How: Bookings through Relationships Australia 6122 7100

Street Law

Outreach Legal Service

Street Law is a free service for clients who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. It is generalist legal service that can talk to clients about most areas of law. They can also provide clients with a referral to other services.
Where: West Belconnen
When: When required
How: Contact the centre for appointments

The Smith Family

Learning for Life

The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program is a student support program set up to assist financially disadvantaged young Australians to make the most of their education.
Where: Gungahlin, Tuggeranong and West Belconnen
How: Phone The Smith Family 6283 7600

Top

ParentLink — informing, supporting, connecting

ParentLink is a FREE service of the ACT Government Community Services Directorate.

ParentLink aims to increase the confidence and skills of parents by supporting and linking them to information, ideas and community services.

ParentLink guides are full of practical information and tips to manage parenting challenges, including sibling rivalry, sleeping, blended families and grandparenting.
Whatever your child’s age, you will find lots of good ideas.
Telephone: 13 34 27
Email: parentlink@act.gov.au
Website: www.parentlink.act.gov.auExternal Link

Top