New babies and young children: support
Australian Breastfeeding Association – Breastfeeding helpline
If you’re breastfeeding and need help, trained volunteer counsellors can give you reassurance, information and advice about breastfeeding and overcoming common difficulties with breastfeeding. Phone the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 1800 686 268 (1800 MUM 2 MUM), 7 days a week, 24 hours.
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 for residents of the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia. Phone 1800 022 222.
This is a confidential telephone counselling service offering free professional counselling and support for parents and carers. Phone 1300 301 300, 7 days a week, 8 am-10 pm.
Child care and early childhood education
There are 5 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 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 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 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 government, community-based organisations or the private sector.
Search the Starting Blocks website to find preschools near you.
Children with developmental delay or disability
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a national scheme to support people with permanent and significant disability.
If your child has a developmental delay or significant and permanent disability, the NDIS helps 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.
General parenting services and information
Infoxchange Service Seeker is a directory of community services in Australia. Search for ‘parenting’ to find parenting support and other services in your area.
Our guide to parent and family services has links to national, state and territory parent support and family support services, resources and organisations – for parents and families of all kinds.
Your mental health, wellbeing and relationships
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, 9 am-5 pm
- Family Relationships Online on 1800 050 321, Monday-Friday, 8 am-8 pm and Saturday, 10 am-4 pm.
If there are problems in your relationships like family violence, contact:
- the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 (1800RESPECT), 7 days a week, 24 hours
- a sexual assault referral centre.