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Enhanced Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Service

The Enhanced Maternal and Child Health (EMCH) Service is an extension of the Universal MCH service. The EMCH service assists eligible families to manage risk factors impacting child development and supports parents/carers to connect with their community and provides a more intensive level of support to eligible families, in the form of targeted actions and interventions. Families can access up to 20 hours of support for children up to 3 years of age with provisions made for rural and remote areas to receive additional hours. This is in addition to the hours children receive in the Universal MCH program.


Free for Victorian children and their parents/carers who need support beyond the Universal MCH program and who meet key eligibility requirements, including: 

  • Child’s age – vulnerable families with a child under three will be prioritised.

Experiencing two or more risk factors including:

  • mother/parent is less than 20 years of age
  • infant/child is identified as being of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and is not actively attending the Universal MCH program
  • family is socially isolated (housing, cultural group, transport, unemployment)
  • parent expresses and/or demonstrates poor attachment towards their infant/child
  • mental health issue currently impacting parenting capacity
  • substance use related issues currently impacting parenting capacity
  • family violence currently impacting safety, parenting and infant/child development
  • current intervention from child protection
  • infant/child born with congenital abnormalities
  • infant/child with complex growth, health and developmental issues
  • concern on the part of the assessing nurse, or
  • families who are not currently engaged with the Universal MCH program.

What you can get

The Enhanced MCH service provides advice, support and help with any concerns including:

  • early parenting
  • child development
  • mental health
  • family violence 
  • referrals to local support and health agencies
  • feeding
  • sleep and settling
  • behavioural concerns

The Enhanced MCH Service works in partnership with the health, education, welfare and disability sectors to provide coordinated, collaborative and connected multidisciplinary integrated service delivery.

How to access

If you are working with a family who is experiencing two or more of the above risk factors and believe they require specialised support beyond the Universal MCH service, contact the local council and ask about the referral process into the Enhanced MCH service.

To make sure a family receives appropriate support it is important to share all relevant information on referral including:

  • families’ concerns related to parenting and/or child’s development
  • current level of need and risk for the child/family
  • current professional involvement with the family including child protection
  • parents/carers insight and understanding of the referral
  • program capability as part of the referral.


More information about Enhanced MCH Services.

The Maternal and Child Health Line and Maternal and Child Heath App are also available for families to provide additional support related to their child's growth and development.