Free parenting and pregnancy education in Canterbury

Parents with their babies at a parenting class. Source: Plunket.First time parents are being encouraged to sign up for Plunket’s free Pregnancy and Parenting Education as soon as their pregnancy is confirmed.

Plunket will be delivering free District Health Board-funded pregnancy and parenting education Canterbury-wide from Tuesday 1st March 2016.

Changes to the Ministry of Health specifications for providing free pregnancy and parenting education meant that Canterbury DHB last year invited organisations to submit proposals to deliver new services.

Plunket was awarded the contract for Canterbury to develop a range of course delivery options to meet the diverse needs of expectant parents. In line with the Ministry of Health specifications, they will be particularly focused on reaching first time parents, those living in remote areas, Maori, Pacific, Asian parents, parents under 24 years, and those with limited comprehension of the English language.

The new contract also places more emphasis on how parents can keep healthy during pregnancy and more support through to six weeks after the baby is born.

The Plunket contract replaces free services offered through the DHB Hospital and other organisations.

Building on the current involvement of Plunket in parent education

Canterbury and West Coast DHB General Manager for Planning and Funding Carolyn Gullery, says Plunket’s involvement means consistent services delivered close to home for new parents and parents-to-be. “Plunket has been involved with supporting new parents and their babies for years, and this contract extends on that,” Ms Gullery says.

Plunket will continue to improve access to education for parents through the use of technology to provide online education programmes for more remote areas, which will help increase access to pregnancy and parenting education, she says.

Plunket Southern Operations Manager Sonya Marshall, says Plunket is looking forward to offering families free parenting education at an earlier stage in their parenting journey. “We will offer parents the same high quality education about pregnancy and birth, and also how to look after and build a relationship with their newborn,” Ms Marshall says. “It will also give families the chance to meet Plunket people and find out what services they can access, whether that’s playgroups or PlunketLine.”

Anyone who has already booked with one of the maternity hospital classes will have their details forwarded to Plunket, so women do not need to book again. Plunket will advise parents-to-be about the location of classes or how they might access information about pregnancy and parenting.

Contact Plunket on 0800 291 658 for more information or to book a class.

Published on Friday, February 26th, 2016, under Uncategorised
Page last updated: 17/06/2016

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