• Frequently Asked Questions


    How much will it cost?
    Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre is a registered public hospital and you will be admitted as a public patient. There are some fees associated with nappy disposal and visitor meals. Credit card facilities are not available. 


    Is the Centre a Sleep School?
    Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre is not a sleep school. Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre is an early parenting centre and families will be provided with a variety of parenting information and strategies on a range of issues that impact on the capacity to parent young children. These issues include those affecting parents’ mental wellbeing and child issues. Sleep issues for the child is not managed in isolation as many factors can impact on a child’s sleep.


    Parenting group education during admission Both the Day Stay and the Residential programs have parent education groups facilitated by staff. The group sessions cover many aspects of parenting and family wellbeing and all families are encouraged to attend. 


    Do I get my own room? 
    Each residential family is able to have the use of two bedrooms, one adult room with a double bed, some have an extra single bed in them also, and a separate room for your child. Some bathrooms are shared. Bed linen and towels are supplied, but if your baby or child has a skin condition, we recommend using your own linen and towels. 

    Sleeping arrangments:

    Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre follows the SIDS and Kids recommendations for safe infant sleeping. All infants sleep on their backs and in their own separate cot. Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre does not practise co-sleeping. This safe sleeping practice also applies to twins. 

    5.Do you use controlled crying?

    Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre does not use controlled crying.

    We use responsive strategies based on the child’s cues that the caregiver is comfortable with.  

    6.What facilities do you have?
    The dining, lounge and play areas are shared with the other families. Our outdoor play area has low climbing equipment, a sand pit and some bikes. High chairs are available for all children. You can use our laundry facilities (washing machine, dryer and clothes line); we supply washing powder.

    There is a public phone available to clients. Mobile phones can be used. We do not have internet facilities.
    7.Where do I park?
    There is free parking onsite. Enter carpark via Parlington Street.
    8.Can I smoke?
    Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre is a totally smoke free facility, in the buildings and on the grounds.
    9.Do I need a referral?
    You will require a letter from a doctor if you or any admitted family member is on medication. All medications must be listed on the letter
    10.Can we go out?
    Yes, families can leave the centre. Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre is in Canterbury. Camberwell Junction is a 20 minute walk away and walking tracks are close by. Parents are responsible for their children at all times.

    Will I be able to go out to work? 
    In order to get the most out of an admission to an Early Parenting Centre it is preferable that you arrange for time off from your place of work. It is important that a main carer is available to participate in all aspects of the program. 


    Can my child go to Child Care during my admission? 
    To ensure you achieve your identified goals for your admission it is important both you and your child participate fully in the program. 


    What happens if I have to go out to an appointment? 
    If you are unable to rebook your appointment then you are required to take your child with you to your appointment to minimise the distress of your child in an unfamiliar environment.   

    14.What food is available?
    All meals are provided for admitted clients, but you are welcome to bring snacks.

    If you or your child have special dietary requirements or allergies you will need to inform staff so that your dietary needs are met.

    Additional meals for visitors are available at a small charge.

    Peanut products are not available or permitted onsite in case of severe allergic reactions. Please note that some packaged biscuits may contain traces of nuts.
    15.Can I drink alcohol?
    Alcohol is not permitted during your stay at Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre.

    What if a family member is unwell?
    If a family member is unwell up to seven days before admission, please call us on 03 8416 7600 any weekday, 9am-5pm.

    If you are unwell on the weekend before your admission, you can ring on the day of your admission between 9.00-9.30am.

    If a family member becomes unwell while staying at Mercy Health O'Connell Family Centre, the family will be discharged and offered another admission date if this is required.


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