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 centres
These centres have child and family health nurses who can check your baby’s health. If you have any concerns about your baby, your young child, yourself or your family, these nurses can help. To find your nearest centre, contact Healthdirect Australia on 1800 022 222.
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.
Ngala Parenting Line
This is a free telephone support service for parents and carers of children aged 0-18 years who live in Western Australia. In Perth, phone (08) 9368 9368, and in regional Western Australia, phone 1800 111 546, 7 days a week, 8 am-8 pm.
Women’s Information Service
This is a free and confidential information and referral service for women. You can speak to a trained volunteer about health issues, finances, legal matters, counselling, domestic violence or anything else that’s worrying you. Phone 1800 199 174, Monday-Friday, 9 am-4 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 WA on 1800 171 882, Monday-Friday, 9 am-4.30 pm.
Preschool or kindergarten
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.
In Western Australia, preschool is called kindergarten. Some kindergartens are located in public schools, and others are run by local government, community-based organisations or the private sector. You can read more about enrolling in kindergarten in Western Australia.
Search the Starting Blocks website to find kindergartens 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 – Western Australia on 1300 364 277, 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, call:
- Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 007 339, 7 days a week, 24 hours
- National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 (1800RESPECT), 7 days a week, 24 hours
- Sexual Assault Resource Centre on 1800 199 888, 7 days a week, 24 hours.