There have been exciting changes at Northern Bay College Family Centre, with the addition of a brand-new building to run its family support programs from.

The new facility arrived in February and has been situated to also create an inviting new entry to the nearby childcare and kindergarten spaces. Manager Helen O’Connor said the new building offers a family playroom, office space, areas for drop-in services to operate from and a large parent education room.

“This new facility is the final link in all of what we do,” Helen said. “It’s at the centre of our aim to have a place that’s calming and inviting, so that young parents can expand their experiences in a positive environment.”

The Family Centre supports young parents and families, with a focus on promoting the best possible start to a child’s first 1000 days. This covers from pregnancy to two years old, which are identified as the key stages of early family life.

As well as running its own playgroups and drop-in service, the centre hosts a Maternal Child Health drop-in service on the first Monday of the month (10am until noon) and outside agencies who conduct specialised groups and services.

Helen said partnerships with organisations such as Barwon Children Youth Family, Bethany, City of Greater Geelong and Rotary Club of Kardinia aim to support transitions for young parents.

Further partnerships are being explored that will provide new education opportunities for students under 25 years who may pregnant or parenting and returning to complete their studies as a new parent. This could include access to VCAL either online or at NBC, as well as supported pathways  from Learn Local to advanced training.

 “We have also welcomed Allison Rose, who is a youth worker for young parents,” Helen said. “Allison is supporting the young parents’ program and will be part of future education programs.”

The centre is on the Northern Bay College campus in Goldsworthy Road. For more information phone 5224-9791.

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