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.

Nutrition education

Does the thought of reading food labels overwhelm you? Do you need more information to make the right food choices? Would you like to learn about what your body needs?

Our free nutrition education sessions will teach you what it means to eat a balanced diet.

Call our Eaglehawk site on 5434 4300 to book a place on the next tour.


Our physiotherapy team will support you to live independently by helping with mobility and function for daily life activity.

Our physiotherapists provide assessment, manual therapy, exercise programs and treatment or rehabilitation techniques to manage musculoskeletal conditions.

A referral is required from your doctor or other health service provider to access this service, which is provided from our Kangaroo Flat site.

There is a $10 appointment fee for this service.

For more information on physiotherapy call our Kangaroo Flat site.

Kangaroo Flat

Address: 13 Helm Street, Kangaroo Flat.

Phone: 5430 0500.

Hours: 9am to 5pm.

Our physiotherapy service is supported by the Australian Government Department of Health and the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services. Please visit and for more information.


Bendigo soup kitchen: Helping those in need

Our Soup Kitchen operates from the Fork In The Road community hub at 165-171 Hargreaves Street in Bendigo every Thursday from 4pm to 4.45pm.

You can enjoy a free meal of quiche and salad or chicken and salad.

We serve hearty soup during the winter months.

Find out more about our Thursday Soup Kitchen or Fork In The Road by calling our Central site on 5448 1600.

Our Thursday Soup Kitchen is made possible with the wonderful help of the following sponsors and supporters:

  • Strath Hill Hot Bake (Tuyen Nguyen pictured above).
  • JL King and Co
  • Department of Justice in Bendigo.

We thank all these organistiaons from the bottom of our hearts for helping us make life better for people in need.

To see or download information on Bendigo Food Relief options across the week click on this link: pdf Bendigo Food Relief - where and when you can go for food support (262 KB)

Last updated: November 2019

Fees list: Why some BCHS services carry fees

Bendigo Community Health Services needs your help to ensure everyone has access to the care they need.

All consumers who can afford a small out-of-pocket fee towards the cost of their healthcare will assist us in delivering the same care to the most disadvantaged in our community.

As a not-for-profit healthcare provider, all fees are directed back into improving and delivering our services and programs.

Billing practice changes will be introduced for some services delivered through our Women’s Health Clinic at 165-171 Hargreaves Street in Bendigo from August 30, 2019.

Non-concession card holders will be required to pay for a consultation and/or procedure and will be eligible to claim a Medicare rebate.

Consultation fees will be based on time and complexity.

In keeping with our commitment to provide equitable healthcare, the maximum out-of-pocket fee for a consultation will be $20 (higher for some procedures).

We have enclosed a Medicare form to register your bank details as this will allow any rebate to be paid quickly into a nominated account.

Please speak to our friendly staff on the day if you are unable to pay the fee for your consultation or procedure as you will not be refused care.

You can also call our reception staff on 5448 1600 to find out the approximate cost of your consultation or learn more about how we can help if you are unable to pay the fee.

 What services do I need to pay for?

Payment for the fees listed below can be made by card or cash on the day of your appointment.

Nurse appointment

Respiratory education - No charge

Smoking cessation - No charge

Spirometer testing - $7

Diabetes education - $5

Family planning - No charge

Practice nurse - No charge

Women's health clinic  - No charge

Quit clinic - No charge

Allied health appointment

Physiotherapy - $10 (consumables charge)

Podiatry - $15 (consumables charge)

Speech therapy - $10 per visit


Pharmacotherapy - $22.50 per week

Family Day Care - As per current fees

Children's specialist services

Paediatric physiotherapy - $10 per long appointment, $15 per extended appointment

Paediatric podiatry - $10 per long appointment, $15 per extended appointment

Women's health clinic

Consultation - $20 gap fee

Antenatal visit - $20 gap fee

Pregnancy test - No charge

Procedures - $30 gap fee

IUD insertion/removal - $80 gap fee

Skin excision - $50 gap fee


Strength training - $72 affordable card, $96 flexible card. To get more detailed information on the different card options: click here

Walking - $25 per year (pro rata).

Exercise physiology - First consultation $15, subsequent group sessions $10 (healthcare card/concession). $20 first consultation, subsequent group sessions $12 (no healthcare card or concession). 

Falls and balance exercise program - $10 per session (no healthcare card). $6 per session (healthcare card or concession).  


For more information on fees or services and programs please call (03) 5406 1200 or email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Last updated: November 2019.

Chronic disease

Living with chronic disease

Our staff can work with you and your doctor to help you manage. For more information on what we can do for you please call our site closest to you.

Your confidentiality will be respected and is covered by privacy laws.

If you are facing an emergency, call 000.

Address: 171 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo
Phone: 5406 1200
Hours: 9am to 5pm

Address: 3 Seymoure Street, Eaglehawk
Phone: 5406 1200
Hours: 9am to 5pm.

Kangaroo Flat
Address: 13 Helm Street, Kangaroo Flat
Phone: 5406 1200
Hours: 9am to 5pm.

Refugee health nurse

Our Refugee Health Nurse Service is designed to support people of refugee background to improve their health and wellbeing. Our nurse works closely with consumers to assess their health needs and support them to access primary and community health services across the City of Greater Bendigo.

Our refugee health nurse provides health assessments, support, advocacy and education to newly-arrived refugees in Bendigo.

This service is available from our Eaglehawk site each Tuesday and Friday from 9am to 4.30pm. Book an appointment by calling 5434 4300.

No referral is needed for the service. 

If you will need help with an interpreter during an appointment please ask our friendly staff when making a booking.

Quit smoking

Want to quit smoking?

Don't listen to people who tell you it can't be done, take the first step and let our trained Quit educator and community health nurse show you the way.

Our Fresh Start Smoking Cessation Program aims to help people who want to quit entirely or reduce their smoking.

Our Quit educator will use a one hour assessment and then a series of follow up consultations to develop a strategy based on your individual needs that offers you the best chance of getting off the smokes.

Behaviour and emotions play a major role in why people smoke and we will identify the type of smoker you are and your triggers to develop your strategy.

We can also provide information on products and medications to assist with nicotine addiction and withdrawal.

An appointment costs $5 with a healthcare card or $10 without a health care card - pocket change compared to the cost of a packet of smokes!

To book an appointment with our quit educator call our Eaglehawk site on 5434 4300.

So, the million dollar question is - will it work?

Well, there's no guarantees but we can let a past Quit program participant offer their view.

"The Quit program gave me an opportunity to look at the reasons why I smoke," they said.

"It made me realise that I had certain behaviours attached to smoking. Once I knew what these behaviours were it was a lot easier to change them.

"It was good to talk to someone to help me understand why I smoke and help me change the habits that I have formed."

Well, what are you waiting for? Call our Quit educator on 5434 4300 - it's time to butt out!



Work place education

Bendigo Community Health Services, supports businesses in their pursuit of creating a health promoting workplace.

A health promoting workplace is one where employers value the health and wellbeing of their workers.

A healthy workplace aims to:

  • Continually create a healthy, supportive and safe work environment
  • Ensure that a focus on health becomes an integral part of business planning
  • Enable total organisational participation in programs and initiatives
  • Extend positive impact to workers’ families, the community and the environment.

By creating a partnership with your workplace, we can tailor programs and plans to suit the needs of employees and help your organisation become a health promoting workplace.

Bookings and enquiries

For more information, contact our Eaglehawk site on 5434 4300 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Speaking at events

Our nurse practitioners regularly speaks at business, community, education and sporting organisations about the importance of health and why people should look after themselves.

If you would like any of our staff to attend your event to talk about community health issues please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 5448 1600. 

Alcohol and drug education programs

We have qualified staff that can deliver education sessions to your business, school, sporting club or community group. Call our Kangaroo Flat site on 5430 0500.

Male health education

The male nurse practitioner can attend for male health and sexual health education.

General health and wellbeing education

The nurse practitioner can attend for general health and wellbeing education.