Maternal and Child Health

A caterpillar with numbers to indicates age.

The Maternal Child Health Service is designed to give parents support, advice and information about Child and Family health issues and monitor growth, health, development and behaviour in children. The service provides a comprehensive and focused approach to the promotion of physical, emotional and social health and wellbeing of families in the Mansfield community.

Enhanced home visiting is also available for parents and children with special needs or other issues.

Maternal Child Health Nurses hold qualifications in general Nursing, Midwifery and Maternal and Child Health and Community Health.

There is no cost for these services and they are available to anyone with a child 0-6 years.

The Centre is situated at 10 Davies Street, Mansfield.

For further information and to book an appointment, phone the Maternal and Child Health Nurse on (03) 5775 8537, open Monday - Friday 8.30am - 4.30pm.

The service provides information, support, advice and referral on:

  • child health and development
  • breastfeeding
  • nutrition
  • play and learning
  • maternal/paternal health and wellbeing
  • accident and injury prevention (including safe sleeping)
  • home safety
  • immunisation
  • local support services and resources


Key ages and stages visits

Nurses involve parents in assessing the development and wellbeing of their child using the Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) screening tool. At these visits nurses discuss the health and development of the child, physical and emotional effects on the family, parent health and wellbeing and any concerns families may have.

There are 10 key ages and stages consultations that coincide with the child’s milestones from birth to 3.5 years:


Additional Services

We also offer additional support for parents, including:

  • new parent groups and transition into playgroups
  • breastfeeding support clinics
  • sleep and settling telephone support
  • information sessions on a range of topics

Where families require additional support, a home visiting program by a Maternal and Child Health Nurse is available. The nurse provides families with extra support and guidance in their own home environment. To refer, contact a nurse in one of our centres.


New parent groups and playgroups

Our nurses deliver a 7 week program for new parents offering parenting information on health, wellbeing and family matters and the opportunity to make friendships with local families. Partners are also invited to attend. Your Maternal and Child Health Nurse will organise your invitation.

Near the end of the program, parents are supported to transition into community playgroups. The playgroups provide parents and caregivers with the opportunity to meet new people, gain support and exchange parenting ideas. Find out more about playgroups.


Week 1:    Adapting to parenthood

Week 2:    Sleep settling

Week 3:   Physical health and recovery after birth

Week 4:   Childhood illness

Week 5:     Play and development

Week 6:    Infant massage

Week 7:    Introduction to solids


Behaviour Tips

18 months

At 18 months children are learning by exploring the world around them. Toddlers come in all shapes and sizes, but toddler development at around 18 months typically has a few things in common. Here’s what your toddler might be doing and how you can help.

Fussy eating 

It is common in this age group to become fussy with food.

Tooth brushing

Tooth brushing is an important night time routine which can be difficult with increasing independence.

Living with toddlers

Toddlers are learning about their world and parents can help their learning by understanding their needs.

Parents can teach children about how the social world operates through teaching acceptable behaviours.

Preverbal children demonstrate their emotions physically, here are some tip sheets about tantrums, hitting and biting.

2 years

Toddlers come in all shapes and sizes, but toddler development at 2-3 years typically has a few things in common. Here’s what your toddler might be doing, how you can help.


Working on the positives can build good behaviour. 

Toilet training

Independence means learning lots of good things too, like toilet training!

Managing emotions

A large task of the next few years is to learn to manage emotions it takes practice!


Parents often worry about the many habits that children have at this age and when it's a problem.

Sibling rivalry

Often at this age, the family is growing. Here's how to help your child cope with a new family member.

Night issues

As little brains learn more and become more imaginative, some night issues can arise.

Anxiety in children

Sometimes the world is a bit too much to manage, here's some information on recognising anxiety in children and ways to help.

Tantrums, hitting and biting

Preverbal children demonstrate their emotions physically.

Sleep and Settling 

3.5 years

Learning to negotiate and control emotions is a big task of this age. Here are some tool kits to help parents to manage this learning.

Preschool toolkits


Feeling confidant socially is a learnt skill that some find easier than others.

School readiness

Getting ready for school and the ability to manage in a big playground by themselves requires some skills of resilience.

Sibling rivalry

Often at this age, the family is growing. Here's how to help your child cope with a new family member.


Working on the positives can build good behaviour.

Toilet training

Independence means learning lots of good things too, like toilet training!

Sleep and Settling 

Information for dads

Significant evidence suggests that when fathers take a positive and active role in the nurturing of their children, this benefits the wellbeing and development of the child, the family unit and the broader community. Here are some resources to support dads with the important role of parenting.

Congratulations you’re a dad

Blogs and websites


  • Men at Birth edited by David Vernon
  • The Dad Factor by Richard Fletcher
  • What Happens Now by Nick Carr


Men's health resources

Breastfeeding information for fathers

Family violence support and services

Kinship Carers               

Kinship care is provided by a family member, close friend or other significant person in a child or young person’s life, when they cannot live with their natural parents. It is the fastest growing form of care for these children and young people. In Victoria, over 60 per cent of children and young people in out-of-home care are placed with a kinship carer.

Kinship Carers Victoria believes that kinship care is the most effective form of out-of-home care, and offers children and young people the best outcomes. It ensures that they stay with people who are familiar to them, reducing the level of trauma they experience. Importantly, it provides great opportunity for ongoing family connections to be maintained.

If you are interested in joining our Kinship Carer’s Network Group who meet monthly at Milleara Integrated Learning and Development Centre please speak to your Maternal and Child Health Nurse. Read more or download a copy of the Kinship Carer's Manual.

Sleep and settling information for families

The first three months is often referred to as the fourth trimester as babies adapt to living outside the womb. We recognise that it takes time for parents and babies to adjust to this change.Top

Understanding sleep, sleep options, sleep environment

Safe sleeping, safe wrapping and tummy time

Safe sleeping for twins

Colic crying and unsettled babies

Newborns interaction with parents

Babies 4 weeks - 3 months

This age is a time of rapid growth for babies. They often need plenty of support from parents during this time of development. Between 1-2 months of age most babies might cry and fuss more – this is a normal part of development and will pass in time. Every baby is different, but crying and fussing usually peaks around 6-8 weeks and starts to settle at around 12-16 weeks.

Sleep settling, about normal sleep and some settling strategies

Settling, tired signs, soothing and settling to sleep

How much sleep is enough sleep for babies?

Sleep, settling and temperament

Sleeping in the early weeks of life: feed, play, sleep routines

Babies 3-6 months

From 3-6 months of age, babies begin to convey their needs more clearly. Their feed, play and sleep patterns become more settled and tired signs more obvious. Sleep times continue to vary, but patterns of sleep do emerge. Generally, infants are capable of longer sleeps and usually have 2-3 sleeps a day. Predictable routines associated with sleep create security for children and are an important part of the settling process.

Understanding sleep

When to stop wrapping your baby

What to do when my baby is rolling

Feed: play: sleep routines, sleep needs and tired signs

Independent sleep

Solving sleep problems


Babies around eight months

From around eight months some parents are happy to wake with their child at night, others may be interested in learning strategies to support their children to sleep for longer periods of time. This is a personal and individual choice for each family.

How baby's development can affect sleep

Sleep and settling strategies for babies around eight months of age

Changing your baby's sleep routine

Dummy independence

From around eight months, most babies can learn to manage their own dummies during the night. This is called dummy independence

Amber beads

If you choose to use amber beads/jewellery - ensure they are removed before your baby is put down to sleep

Head banging/rocking


Toddlers 1-3 years

Toddlers benefit from a predictable and positive bedtime routine. Aim to make the hour before bed a “wind down” screen free time. Enjoy some quiet time together with a cuddle, story book or song. Complete last drink of milk for the day and clean teeth before bed.

Development: what to expect

Sleep association

Sleep and settling strategies for toddlers

Transitioning from a cot to a bed

Getting children to learn how to stay in bed

Supporting children to sleep away from home 0-4 years


Public and Private Early Parenting Centres

Visit The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne or the Better Health website.

For further information

Maternal and Child Health Line

This telephone advice service is available throughout Victoria for the cost of a local call 24 hours a day and is staffed by Maternal and Child Health nurses. Call 13 22 29.

An interpreter service is available. The service is also available to deaf callers who have access to a telephone typewriter (TTY).

Maternal and Child Health app

The Maternal and Child Health app provides reliable information that Victorian families can use every day. See information relevant to your child's age and development, useful contacts, and ask the 'Virtual Maternal and Child Health Nurse' questions - with reliable, evidence-based replies you can trust.

Download the Maternal and Child Health App from the app store.

Other useful support organisations

The Maternal and Child Health team recommends the following websites for more support and information:


Customer Satisfaction

We are committed to providing the best possible service to families.

Sometimes despite the very best of efforts there may be an issue about service delivery that needs to be discussed. Parents are encouraged to discuss issues with your Maternal and Child Health nurse or call the Maternal and Child Health Coordinator on 5775 8557.


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Last Updated: Friday, 9 July, 2021 - 15:12