COVID-19 impacts on Maternal and Child Health Service delivery in 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our health services and health workforces in Victoria, including Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services. This means that MCH Services do not always have capacity to deliver the full range of MCH services and consultations. MCH support may also be delivered in different ways.
Before you attend
You will need to complete the City of Stonnington Screening tool 48 hours prior to entering any MCH service.
Complete the COVID-19 screening form
Supporting vulnerable children and families
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, some MCH services may need to prioritise essential services. Based on workforce availability, this may mean that services are temporarily prioritised for:
- infants, children and families
- Aboriginal infants, children and families
- children and families with extra needs or concerns (e.g. families on the Enhanced Maternal and Child Health Program, or those with COVID-19).
All vulnerable children and families are still eligible for MCH appointments across Victoria.
Delivering MCH services in different ways
Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, MCH services may provide services through alternative modes of delivery including telephone or online consultations and short face-to-face consultations.
Please contact your local MCH service for information on change of service delivery. The 24-hour Maternal and Child Health Line continues to be open on 13 22 29.
MCH services and group work
MCH services and groups are part of essential health service delivery for all parents, children and families to access regardless of their vaccination status.
Parents and caregivers, first time parents or other MCH groups should be reassured that appropriate screening and safety measures are in place. At times, some MCH group services may be delivered online.
COVID-19 impacts to face-to-face MCH consultations
Prior to attending any face-to-face consultation, MCH Services will ask questions to assess if you are at risk of COVID-19, have tested positive to COVID-19, or if you are a household or household-like contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Individuals or families that are assessed at risk of COVID-19, have tested positive to COVID-19, or are a household or household-like contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, will be offered tele- or web-based options to access services in the first instance. These consultations will be limited to only essential family members (e.g. the mother/primary carer and infant/child).
Face masks and MCH consultations
In line with advice from the Chief Health Officer, during face-to-face consultations MCH nurses may be required to wear personal protective equipment (including face masks and eye protection) to limit the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
You may also be asked to wear a face mask during your face-to-face MCH consultation whether that is at a MCH centre or in your own home if a MCH nurse is visiting.
Children under two years should never wear a face mask due to choking and strangulation risks.
From Monday 15 November 2021 face-to-face appointments for all infants and children will commence at our Maternal and Child Health Services.
If you have not received an SMS from our MCH team with a link to the COVID-10 screening questions, please complete the form below before attending your appointment.
Some parents or families may have concerns about missing their next appointment because of changed MCH service delivery arrangements.
Families are encouraged to access alternative support by:
- Contacting their regular MCH service if they have significant concerns and need their MCH service to proceed.
- Calling the Maternal and Child Health Line on 13 22 29. The Line is staffed 24 hours by qualified MCH Nurses and provides confidential support and advice about the care and health of your child (from birth to school age).
- Contacting their regular general practitioner or other health professional.
- Visiting a SuperCare pharmacy which provides 24-hour access to healthcare advice and pharmacy services, including a free, on-site nursing service from 6 pm to 10 pm daily.
- Contacting an optometrist for vision testing.
The Victorian Government is providing additional funding to Victorian MCH services so that families who need it can reschedule missed or delayed appointments. It is anticipated that options for catch-up appointments will be made available by Victorian MCH services, commencing the middle of 2022.
How MCH can help parents, families and carers
MCH provides information, guidance and support on the following topics:
- child health and development
- parent-child relationships
- maternal and family health
- breastfeeding and infant feeding advice
- local support services
- safety and injury prevention
- new parent group sessions.
First-time parent groups
First-time parent group (FTPG) sessions:
- provide health promotion and prevention
- build parenting capacity
- offer parenting support
- enhance social engagement and community connections
- support active engagement and inclusive practice of fathers and carers.
Contact your local MCH centre for details.
Preschool dental service
Our preschool dental service is for children up to six years of age and is provided by Star Health. It provides:
- dental screening for preschool children who live or attend childcare or preschool in Stonnington
- dental education for parents and carers of preschool children living or attending childcare or preschool in Stonnington.
For more information call 9520 3177 or visit Star Health's website.
Breastfeeding support service
A support service for breastfeeding mothers is available on Monday mornings by appointment at 22 McArthur Street, Malvern.
To book, please call 8290 3336.
For more information about Stonnington's playgroups visit Playgroups and Neighbourhood Houses.
Child health and development assessments at key ages and stages
Health and development assessments are available with a nurse at:
The My Health, Learning and Development book (the green book) is given to the parents of every newborn child in Victoria. It includes information about services that support families, your child’s growth and health record, appointments and immunisation records.
Please bring the green book with you to every MCH visit.
Family Information form
Before attending your first child health and developmental assessment please complete the Family Information form. The information collected will help us tailor services to you and your child so that your Maternal and Child Health Nurse can spend more time with you and your child at your home and on subsequent visits.
Please note that information collected in the Family Information form will be used by the Maternal and Child Health Service only.
Complete family information
Universal Maternal Health Service (UMCH)
The UMCH program consists of 10 Key Age and Stage (KAS) consultations with a Maternal and Child Health Nurse. The KAS consultations are a schedule of contacts for all children and their families from birth to school age.
They include an initial home visit, and consultations at:
- two, four and eight weeks
- four, eight, 12 and 18 months
- two, and three and a half years of age.
MCH Services is a free health service available to all families within the Stonnington municipality with children from birth to school age. This service is staffed by registered nurses with midwifery and maternal and child health nursing qualifications. Our service is easy to access, family focused and committed to providing the highest quality of service. An interpreter service is available and confidentiality is maintained at all times.
To make an appointment, please call our MCH Services central booking officer on 8290 3336.
For other information visit the Department of Health website or BetterHealthChannel.
Enhanced Maternal and Child Health service (EMCH)
The EMCH program responds assertively to the needs of children and families at risk of poor outcomes, in particular where there are multiple risk factors. This service is provided in addition to the components offered through the UMCH program.
Three and a half year assessments
Stonnington Maternal and Child Health Services offers three and half year assessments at your child care centre for parents who are unable to attend a Maternal and Child Health Centre.
Parents are welcome to come along to the assessment. When this is not possible, other family members or caregivers (e.g. childcare staff) can be present. We will contact you by telephone or email to discuss any issues which may arise.
Please bring your child’s My Health Learning and Development Record (green book) on the day of assessment.
Book an assessment
We offer developmental assessments for children between three and a half, and four years. The assessment covers:
- fine and gross motor skills
- social and emotional development
- language development
- vision screening
- discussion on behaviour, nutrition, play, immunisation, parenting and any concerns.
To make an appointment, please call 8290 3336, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
The MCH app provides time-saving features such as:
- personalised notifications
- important contact numbers (e.g. MCH Line)
- evidence-based responses to common child health, wellbeing, safety learning and development questions.
It provides information for parents about KAS consultations and reliable information on parenting topics.
The MCH app includes an interactive child growth tracker, enabling families to monitor their baby’s growth progress.
In addition, the app’s content continues to be translated into community languages to promote access for culturally and linguistically diverse families. The app is available in Arabic, Chinese (Simplified), Dari, Khmer, Persian, Punjabi, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Download the MCH app on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store.
The MCH Line is a 24-hour telephone service supporting Victorian families with health and parenting concerns for children from birth to school age. It is staffed by MCH nurses and links families to the UMCH and EMCH programs. It also offers assisted referrals to a range of health and family support services, including emergency services.
Call the MCH Line at 13 22 29.
The City of Stonnington Maternal and Child Health Service is now offering sleep and settling support to families with children aged up to 2 years.
Tailored educational sessions and support on sleep strategies, settling techniques, sleep cycles and more are available for the following developmental age groups:
- newborns from birth to 3 months
- babies from 6 to 8 months
- toddlers from 18 months to 2 years.
If you require additional support, a one-on-one in-home visit may be offered following a sleep assessment by the Sleep and Settling Maternal and Child Health Nurse.
Speak to your Maternal and Child Health Nurse or call MCH Admin on 8290 3336.
Join our Facebook group for more information and session details.
Stonnington Maternal and Child Health Centres
Appointments can be made between 9 am and 3:30 pm.
Central Park MCH Centre
116 Burke Road, Malvern East 3145
McArthur Street MCH Centre
22 McArthur Street, Malvern 3144
Phoenix Park MCH Centre
25 Quentin Road, Malvern East 3145
|Grosvenor Street MCH Centre
||53 Grosvenor Street, South Yarra 3141
Toorak Park MCH Centre
1/7 Evergreen Mews, Armadale 3143
Princes Gardens MCH Centre has now relocated to Grosvenor Street MCH Centre.
Please call 8290 3336 for further information.
The City of Stonnington Outreach program is available to families in Stonnington for children attending childcare centres or who are unable to attend a Maternal and Child Health Centre. The service provides ongoing care to improve the health, wellbeing and safety of families and the learning and development of children. Our staff are registered nurses, with additional qualifications in midwifery and child, family and community health.
If your child is due for their key age and stage visit and you would like it completed at their child care centre please complete the below consent form.
Complete the consent form