Supporting children’s development in Frankston North
Supported Playgroups and Maternal Child Health services are supporting children in Frankston North to grow up healthy and happy.
Through undertaking consultations with the Frankston North community, a sitewide priority is working toward ensuring that families feel supported in their child’s development. Having regular supported playgroups and the Maternal Child Health service on site at the primary schools in Frankston North helps to address this priority.
The supported playgroups at Frankston North are facilitated by Frankston City Council and operate at Aldercourt and Mahogany Rise weekly, with one-on-one in-home support also optional for eligible families. One weekly session is available and open to families with pre-school children, another session is focused on supporting young parents under the age of 25, and there is also a dedicated babies session.
Having regular and targeted supported playgroups on site offers families the opportunity to build trusted connections with each other and with early childhood practitioners. Attending a supported playgroup allows parents to explore and receive advice on children’s development in a trusted and relaxed environment and, where required, receive support to access early intervention services. Supported playgroups also maximise children’s exposure to positive, stimulating learning environments.
The Maternal Child Health Service (MCH), also delivered by Frankston City Council is based at Mahogany Rise. Having MCH delivered on site means that parents and carers may attend appointments before school or kindergarten drop offs or pickups. Anyone in the community can also arrange to have their children immunised at the monthly immunisations that are also held on site.
The Our Place team has also arranged for MCH nurses to deliver monthly informal information sessions to further support parents in their parenting journeys. These sessions are open to the whole community and focus on topics such as infant massage, toddler behaviour, sleeping and settling babies. There are also a range of other parenting workshops held regularly at both schools to provide parents with the chance to talk about raising kids, dealing with feelings, managing behaviours and self-care.
Aligning with the Our Place Approach
The combination of supported playgroups, MCH and Our Place on site also allows warm referrals to occur. Warm referrals are integral to the Our Place approach as they ensure that each professional assisting a family warmly introduces a service or practitioner to a family prior to making a referral.
Warm referrals often entail Our Place talking with a family about a service, providing them information about when the service is available and explaining who the facilitator or practitioner is. It also involves taking families over to meet the facilitator or practitioner and meeting parents and carers before the appointment or session and walking them over. Warm referrals can assist families to feel more confident in accessing on site services and also allows families to learn about the service they are being referred to, all of which often increase uptake and engagement with services.
Families having access to supported playgroups and MCH on site also aligns with the Our Place element of High-Quality Early Learning, Health, and Development, which supports early learning from birth as well as playgroups, child health and parenting support on site. Click here to learn more about our evidence based elements.