Support for families

A person painting a childs face at the Wurun Chidl and Family Place opening

Service disruptions due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation 

The following services are suspended

  • Supported Playgroups
  • Bookaburra Program
  • Early Years Holiday Program
  • Community Playgrounds

The following services will be modified

These services will be available using non-face to face methods:

  • Pre-school Field Officer Program
  • Best Start
  • Upper Yarra Partnership Program
  • Linking Families
  • Supported Playgroups (Smalltalk)

We offer a range of support for children and families across Yarra Ranges with the aim to strengthen parenting, engagement, community connections and social interactions for families with children 0-12 years.

We provide a wide range of services, programs and referral pathways to specialist service providers to help children reach their full potential.

For further information about services and programs for families and children within Yarra Ranges please contact the Family and Children's Service team: 1300 368 333,, or follow us on Facebook at Yarra Ranges Families.

Preschool Field officers

Our Preschool Field officers are specialist preschool teachers who provide support to families and preschool teachers. Our officers aim to encourage the inclusion of children with additional needs into state funded 4 year old preschool programs.

Preschool Field officers can:

  • Receive referrals from parents and preschool teachers

  • Consult and assist in the development of strategies and programs appropriate to your child's needs

  • Refer to specialist services, if required

  • Assist preschool staff to include children with additional needs into their programs

  • Provide ongoing support, resources and training for staff in government funded preschools

Supported Playgroups

We run free weekly Supported Playgroups in local communities across Yarra Ranges.

Support Playgroups provide eligible families with children 0-5 years, with play and fun social experiences.  

Qualified Facilitators implement the Victorian Government’s successful “small talk program” which builds new and everyday ways to support children’s language and learning.

For more information about eligibility and to find a Supported Playgroup or Community Playgroup near you, contact the Early Years team by email at or by phone on 1300 368 333.

Linking Families Service

Linking Families Service can support families with information about:

  • Child development
  • Health and behaviour
  • Accessing early years services
  • Accessing fee subsidies
  • Referrals to family support services

For further information please contact the Linking Families Officer by phone on 1300 368 333 or email

Yarra Ranges Best Start

The Best Start program provides a range of initiatives involving family and children’s service partnerships. Best Start aims to improve long term health, learning and development outcomes for children 0-8 years.

The current focus of Best Start is on increasing participating rates for  maternal and child health and preschools. A range of strategies will provide support especially for families raising children in challenging circumstances.

For more information about Best Start contact the Early Years Team by phone on 1300 368 333 or by email at

View an overview of Early Years Services.

Programs and Events

We provide a range of programs and events to children, families and early childhood professionals across Yarra Ranges.
These may include:
School holiday activities
Community events & celebrations such as Children’s Week, National Playgroup Week and NAIDOC Week.
Parent and educator information sessions
Maternal and Child Health parenting programs

View our events page for a full list of programs for children and families.

Have a question? Contact the Early Years Team at or 1300 368 333.