Day Stay programsLocations:
The O’Connell Family Centre (OFC) is an Early Parenting Centre (EPC) which supports parents with strategies for achieving their parenting goals in areas such as sleep and settling, child behaviour, and parent and child health and well-being.
OFCs Day Stay Program is a six hour early parenting program and runs every Monday between 8.30am-3pm.
The Day Stay Program:
- Every Monday, four-eight families are admitted to the Day Stay Program
- The centre is a communal setting with shared bathrooms. dining and play spaces
- All families are allocated a child’s room that they will use for the day
- The program is a mix of group and individual support sessions to enable parents to work towards their identified goal/s for the day
- The program supports parents with strategies for achieving their parenting goals in areas such as sleep and settling, child behaviour, and parent and child health and wellbeing
- The Day Stay Program will assess your family’s needs, and develop a care plan that responds to the needs, goals and preferences of the family
- Each staff member cares for two or three families per day stay
- While you are staying with us, you will be responsible for caring for your child/children. Staff will guide, support and provide individualised care while acknowledging that you are the expert when it comes to caring for your child
- All Mercy Health facilities are smoke, alcohol and drug-free
- Families will be supported to transition out of the program with links to maternal and child health services and other and community services.
We offer the following related services for families:
Find us at:
6 Mont Albert Road, Canterbury, VIC
Canterbury Victoria 3126
For more information on getting here, visit O’Connell Family Centre .
On-site signage and indicators
Look for the Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre signs on-site.
How can people get access?
All entrances are locked after hours. Please ring the doorbell at the main entry and a staff member will open the door for you.
The Day Stay Program runs from 8.30am–3pm.
Reception is open Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm.
What to do before
After we receive your referral, an assessment and intake staff member will call you to discuss your referral and ask you some further questions.
You will be sent an email with the date for your day stay and more information about what to expect on the day. You will also be sent some forms in the post that you need to fill in and bring with you on the day.
Before you come in
Before you attend our Day Stay Program, it is important that all family members are well enough to participate in the program. Please notify us if your family members are unwell in the seven days prior to admission. This helps us prevent the spread of infections in the centre. If you, or a member of your family, become unwell on the day of the program please let us know. If you are unable to attend, your booking will be rescheduled
Please inform us if you or your child has an allergy to food or any other substance before you come to OFC. If you or your child needs an allergy management plan or an EpiPen, please bring it with you. OFC has a nut minimisation policy, so we ask that you do not bring any nut products to for the safety of everyone in our care.
What to bring
What you will need to bring
- Food for you and your child for the day (no food is provided at day stay)
- Your Medicare card
- Cot Sheets and linen for your child’s sleeping needs – anything your baby normally sleeps with, for example, wraps, blanket or sleeping bag. Please do not bring any weighted blankets or weighted sleeping bags.
- Play mat for the floor
- Child’s sipper cup if required
- Clothing and toiletries you may need throughout the day
- Disposable nappies, wipes and nappy bags (cloth nappies cannot be used at OFC)
- Personal items to help comfort your child such as a dummy or special toy
- Breast milk and breast pump if required
- Formula and bottles if required
- Pram or stroller
- Anything else you might need for a day away from home
What to expect on the day
The Day Stay Program runs every Monday from 8.30am–3pm.
There is no cost for the Day Stay Program.
Throughout your experience at the Day Stay Program, you may meet a range of specialists. Care is provided by a team of health professionals, including:
- maternal and child health nurses
- registered nurses and midwives
- enrolled nurses
- early childhood nurses.
What questions should you ask
When you are arrive, you will be asked to sign some documents, including privacy and public hospital admission forms. Staff will discuss what each form means for you. Each staff member will care for two or three families.
You will be responsible for the care of your children while participating in the program. Our staff will guide, support and provide individualised strategies, with an understanding that you are the expert when it comes to your own child.
You will be given a written summary of the day to take home.
After discharge from your Day Stay Program you will be referred back to your community supports like your Maternal and Child Health Nurse or GP for ongoing care.
Who to call if you have concerns afterwards
Please call your Maternal and Child Health Nurse, GP or your other community health professionals for support after discharge.
For health professionals
Early Parenting Centres (EPCs) strive to support happy, healthy, safe and thriving babies and toddlers by promoting the parent-child relationship, and equipping parents with strategies to achieve their parenting goals.
These goals are often in areas such as sleep and settling, child behaviour, and parent and child health and wellbeing. EPCs recognise that the health and wellbeing of the primary caregiver, and whole family is vital to children’s development and outcomes. EPCs provide specialist support for Victorian families with children aged up to 4 years.
Referrals to O’Connell Family Centre can be from a health professional or the family can self-refer and complete the referral from themselves.
How to prepare the patient
All families who have been referred to us will receive a phone call from the Assessment and Intake Team who will conduct a risk assessment screening.
Early Parenting Centres provide a short-term intervention service for families and as such, we are unable to provide ongoing support after discharge. Families are referred back to their community providers once discharged.
What/when you should refer to us
The Day Stay Program will benefit families who have challenges with:
- becoming a parent
- feeding issues
- sleep and settling
- managing multiple births, e.g. twins or triplets
- toddler behaviour
- child development and behaviour
- mental health wellbeing.
What/when you should not refer to us
We are not a crisis service or an inpatient psychiatric parent infant unit. Clients may wait one to three months from the day we receive the referral until participating in the program.
For the wellbeing of other participants, all families must be healthy when they attend our programs.
6 Mont Albert Road, Canterbury, VIC
Canterbury Victoria 3126
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