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Bendigo Community Health Service
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Cradle to Kinder program

Being a new mum can be a challenging time, particularly for those in difficult circumstances.

Cradle to Kinder is a specialist service that offers early parenting support and advice to vulnerable young mothers and their children that starts during pregnancy and continues until the child is four years old (usually when kindergarten begins).

Cradle to Kinder aims to build positive parent-child relationships and give young families the skills and support necessary to raise healthy children in positive and loving environments.

Is Cradle to Kinder right for you?

MacKillop Family Services, in partnership with Bendigo Community Health Services and CatholicCare Sandhurst, provides Cradle to Kinder to young families living in the Loddon region.

The program is available to pregnant women aged 25 years and under who:

  • are, or have been in out-of-home care
  • have a learning difficulty
  • are Aboriginal (Aboriginal families may be referred directly through a Koori service or the local Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency).

Support available

Once accepted into the Cradle to Kinder program, our support team will work with you to coordinate access to services that can include:

  • local community programs, like maternity services, playgroups and childcare
  • pregnancy and/or health and wellbeing advice and support
  • early parenting advice that focuses on caring for a new baby
  • connecting to community cultural groups
  • educational programs through TAFE or secondary schools, universities, training or short courses
  • accessing support options for parents/carers with disabilities and make referrals to appropriate services.

If you need additional assistance, we can help you access:

  • alcohol and drug programs
  • secure housing options
  • family counselling
  • mental health support
  • disability services.

We can also work with you to build independent life skills like cooking healthy meals for the family, managing a household budget, developing good communication between parents and how to access information on education and employment opportunities.

Accessing Cradle to Kinder

All referrals for Cradle to Kinder are made through Child FIRST. The referral can be made on your behalf by a GP, maternal child health nurse or other community health service.

If you would like more information or to speak with MacKillop’s Cradle to Kinder Co-ordinator for the Loddon region, please call 1300 471 799.

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Bendigo Central

165-171 Hargreaves St, Bendigo

Phone: 03 5448 1600
Fax: 03 5441 4200

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Kangaroo Flat

13-19 Helm St, Kangaroo Flat

Phone: 03 5430 0500
Fax: 03 5441 4200

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Eaglehawk

3 Seymoure St, Eaglehawk

Phone: 03 5434 4300
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Elmore

46 Jeffrey St, Elmore

Phone: 03 5432 6001
Fax: 03 5432 610

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