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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

December 11, 2015

Plunket to provide free parenting and pregnancy education

First time West Coast parents are being encouraged to sign up for Plunket's free Pregnancy and Parenting Education as soon as their pregnancy is confirmed.

From 1 January 2016 Plunket will be delivering free district health board-funded pregnancy and parenting education on the West Coast.

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

Plunket has won the contract for the West Coast 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 and other organisations.

Canterbury and West Coast DHB General Manager Planning & 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.

"We're looking forward to offering families free parenting education at an earlier stage in their parenting journey," Plunket Southern Operations Manager Sonya Gale says. "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. 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 booked to begin a class early next year will be contacted by Plunket after the DHB transfers their details to the new provider.  Plunket will advise parents to be about the location of classes or how they might access information about pregnancy and parenting.

For more information or to book a class with Plunket, ring 0800 291 658.


Lee Harris,
Senior Communications Advisor
West Coast District Health Board
t: +64 27 836 1528

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