New babies and young children: support in the Northern Territory
Australian Breastfeeding Association
If you’re breastfeeding and need help, trained volunteer counsellors can give you reassurance, information and advice about breastfeeding and how to overcome common breastfeeding difficulties. Phone the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 686 268 (1800 MUM 2 MUM), 7 days, 24 hours. You can also connect with your local ABA group.
Child Health Service
The Child Health Service provides information, support and advice in the first 5 years of your child’s life. You can find baby and child health clinics at community care centres and remote health centres throughout the Northern Territory. Visit NT Government – Baby and child clinics to find your nearest clinic.
Ellen Barron Family Centre
The Ellen Barron Centre is in Queensland, at the Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane, but it offers services to families from the Northern Territory. It’s a residential centre that helps parents build practical skills and confidence. Families of children aged 0-3 years can be referred to the Centre. Contact the Centre on (07) 3139 6500.
This is a free 24-hour telephone health information and advice service. Phone 1800 022 222 to speak to a registered nurse, 7 days, 24 hours.
This is a confidential telephone counselling service offering free professional counselling and support for parents and carers. Phone 1300 301 300, 7 days, 8 am-10 pm.
Child care in the Northern Territory
There are 5 main options for child care and early education in Australia:
- Home-based care – this is when a friend, relative, babysitter or nanny cares for your child in your own home.
- Centre-based care – this includes long day care, occasional care, preschools and kindergartens.
- Family day care – this is when an approved educator cares for your child in the educator’s home.
- Business-related creches – this is informal child care offered in businesses like gyms or shopping centres.
- Outside school hours care – this is centre-based child care for primary school-age children before and/or after school, on student-free days and during the school holidays.
Playgroups in the Northern Territory
Playgroups are a great way for young children to practise getting along with others and try new ways to play. They’re good for parents too, with plenty of support and social contact in a relaxed, welcoming environment.
For more information or to find a playgroup near you, phone Playgroup NT on 1800 171 882, Monday-Thursday, 9 am-2 pm.
Preschool in the Northern Territory
Preschool is generally for children who turn 4 in the year before starting school. Some states and territories offer preschool for 3-year-olds.
Preschool programs help children learn and develop through play. They also help children get ready for the transition to school.
Some preschools are located in public schools. Others are run by local governments, community-based organisations or the private sector.
Use the Starting Blocks service finder to find preschools near you.
Children with disability, autism or other additional needs: support in the Northern Territory
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a national scheme to support people with disability.
If your child has a disability, developmental delay or developmental concerns, the NDIS can help you and your child get services and support in your community. Start by phoning the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) on 1800 800 110, Monday-Friday, 8 am-8 pm.
Your mental health, wellbeing and relationships: support in the Northern Territory
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed or you’re struggling with your mental health or relationships, getting professional support is a very good idea. You could start by talking to your GP.
Here are more ways to get support for mental health and wellbeing:
- Call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 for mental health support.
- Check Head to Health to find online programs, forums and information on specific mental health topics.
For relationships support, call:
- Relationships Australia – Northern Territory on 1300 458 600, Monday-Friday, 8.30 am-5 pm; and Thursday, 8.30 am-7 pm
- Family Relationships Online on 1800 050 321, Monday-Friday, 8 am-8 pm; and Saturday, 10 am-4 pm (except national public holidays).
If there are problems in your relationships like family violence, contact:
- an NT sexual assault referral centre
- the National Domestic Family and Sexual Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 (1800RESPECT), 7 days, 24 hours.
General parenting services and information in the Northern Territory
Infoxchange Service Seeker is a directory of community services in Australia. Search for ‘parenting’ to find parenting support and other services in your area.
Northern Territory Government services and other links for families
This is the website of the NT Government. The website has information about the Northern Territory and NT Government initiatives, as well as links to Government departments.
NT Government – Department of Education
This Department is responsible for child care, education and training in the Northern Territory. The website has a directory of NT schools and information about education and training in the Northern Territory.
NT Government – Department of Health
This Department looks after health services in the Northern Territory. The NT Government website has health alerts and information on hospitals and other health services in the Northern Territory.
Our guide to parent and family services has links to national, state and territory services and support for parents and families of all kinds. We also have information about services and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families, multicultural families, LGBTIQ+ families and families with disability.