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Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

The PHN has partnered with Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library to provide relevant health information to those registered in the first year of the program.

What is Dolly Parton's Imagination Library?

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free books to children from birth to age five in participating communities within the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

Inspired by her father’s inability to read and write Dolly started her Imagination Library in 1995 for the children within her home county. Further information about the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Australia can be found here. Tamworth Regional Council provide additional information.

Each month we share useful local community health services, health fact sheets and parenting resources. See below for this month’s highlighted resource.

January 2024 - First Nation bubs and healthy ears

Maintain health ears for our young bubs is important, First Nation bubs are at a higher risk of developing an ear disease such as otitis media.

Otitis media is an ear disease that can cause hearing loss, which can cause development delays, connecting with culture and language

Otitis Media can result from a cold, allergy or respiratory virus or bacteria. If there is a build-up of fluid behind the ear, in the middle ear, this may cause earache, swelling and redness

Regular check up with your Doctor, nurse or Aboriginal health practitioner can help prevent ear disease.


Symptoms of ear disease might include:

  • signs of a cold (coughing, sore throat, runny nose)
  • rubbing or pulling at the ear
  • pain in the ear
  • fever
  • runny fluid or pus in the ear
  • being unable to hear properly
  • not eating
  • diarrhoea or vomiting.

Care for Kids' Ears | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

For parents and carers | Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

February 2024 - Its Playtime!

Do you need help entertaining your little one or just need another adult to talk too?

There are a variety of playgroups happening in your area for free or gold coin donation.

There are so many benefits to attending a playgroup for both parents and children including:

  • Introducing your children to activities you may not do at home.
  • Develop social skills.
  • Build Confidence
  • Encourage physical activity.
  • Supporting imagination and creativity
  • Parents can share knowledge and experiences in a supportive environment.

Some playgroups offer educational resources to help assist parents and their babies,

For first time mums HNELHD Community Health run a Mothers Group by invitation only. If you are a first-time mother and have not received this information, please phone the hospital community health centre and ask about this group.

Common places playgroups are run include:

  • Local churches
  • Library’s
  • Community Centres
  • Family Support Services
  • PCYC

Parent groups and playgroups can be found here: Parent groups and playgroups | NSW Government

Tamworth LGA Specific playgroups include:

Tamworth Toy Library- 6762 6692 They also have a comprehensive list of playgroups for Tamworth and surrounds.

Tamworth Family Support and Services

1800 073 388

Coledale Community Centre:


March 2024 - Sleeping like a baby?

Life with a baby not sleeping day after day is exhausting because when baby doesn’t sleep, no one sleeps. Sleep is essential for rest, rejuvenation and brain growth. Without sleep children can’t grow to their full potential and parents can miss wonderful moments as they become simply too exhausted.

Common reasons for Babies not to sleep include:

  • Parents missing tired signs
  • Over stimulated and overtired babies resist sleep
  • Lack of opportunity for sleep
  • Hunger or feeling uncomfortable

Is your baby sleeping enough?

There is no definite ‘right’ number of hours per day your baby should sleep. The best way to determine how much sleep is enough is using average sleep hours as a guide and asking yourself the below questions.

  • Is he happy, alert and nicely active most of the time?
  • Is he healthy and does she feed well?
  • Does she wake up refreshed after a nap or in the morning?
  • Does she settle for naps/nights and wake up at regular times, without you waking her up?

Average Sleep time recommended:

6 months and 1 year old- 2 naps on average give 4 hours of daytime rest. Night time is 10 hours on average. 6 hours non-stop on average.

For a process so essential and natural, sleeping is something a lot of babies just aren’t very good at and often need their parents help to learn how to go to sleep and stay asleep.

If your baby isn’t sleeping you’re probably beginning to feel pretty desperate. You want to know Why won’t my baby sleep? and, most importantly, how can I get my baby to sleep? Parenting is challenging and if sleep is a problem in your house there are supports out there.

Tamworth Specific Services

Local child and family health nurse
Tamworth Community Health

Sleep Effect- private sleep and settle services (Local to Tamworth)

National Services

Your local GP

To contact a Tresillian child and family health nurse, visit Tresillian FREE online advice service at Tresillian Live Advice , available between 5pm and 11pm (EST) Monday to Friday or call the Tresillian Parent's Help Line on 1300 2PARENT (1300 272 736) open seven days a week


April 2024 - Healthy eating for your baby

Healthy eating is essential for your child's good health, growth and development. Healthy eating in childhood means they will have less chance of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. It will also mean they feel better, look better and enjoy life more.

A nutrient-rich diet is important for healthy development in babies and toddlers. Nutrients play an important role in brain development, eyesight and the growth of your child.

Breastmilk or formula has all the nutrients that babies need until they are about 6 months old. From around the age of 6 months, babies and toddlers need different nutrients such as fibre, vitamins and minerals that are found in a range of foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, meat and meat alternatives.

When unhealthy food choices (foods that are high in salt, fat or sugar) replace nutrient-rich foods, it can lead to long-term health consequences like obesity, tooth decay and iron deficiency.

A healthy diet with the right nutrition also plays a vital role in maintaining a healthy weight in babies and toddlers. Eating patterns established in childhood continue into adulthood, so the more healthy choices children are offered, the better.

Be guided by your baby – all children are different and progress at their own pace. Read the fact sheet below for more information!

Babys First Food HNE Kids

Where to get help

  • Dietitians Association of Australia Tel. 1800 812 942
  • Tamworth Community Health-Maternal and child health nurse 02 6767 8100
  • Your doctor
May 2024 - Immunisation for kids Its Time!

6 weeks, 4 months, 6 months. 12 months, 18 months and 4 years

We know you want the very best for your child’s health. Consider the facts, so you can make an informed decision about vaccination.

  • 95.7 % of two-year-old children in Tamworth are vaccinated – this figure needs to be as high as possible
  • Immunisation saves lives
  • Vaccines strengthen your child’s immune system
  • All childhood diseases we vaccinate against can cause serious illness, including death
  • All vaccines available in Australia have been thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness and are continually monitored
  • Skipping or delaying vaccinations puts your child and those around you at risk of contracting serious diseases
  • Immunisation is a safe and effective way of giving protection against diseases such as whooping cough and measles.

Useful Links:

NSW Immunisation Schedule - Save The Date To Vaccinate

Tamworth Immunisation Clinics


There is a Save the Date to Vaccinate App

Download now at Or on the App store.

June 2024 - Parenthood and mental health

Many women struggle with high expectations of motherhood. The first year of life with a new baby is a constant and demanding job that can involve sleepless nights, spells of crying and times of not knowing what to do.

Are you wondering if all these feelings you are having are ‘normal’?

Having some trouble adjusting to the changes is natural. However, when general ups and downs develop into something more serious, and last for two weeks or more, it’s time to get help.

As many as one in in five new mums and one in ten new dads will experience perinatal anxiety or depression.

Early warning signs include:

Persistent low mood/mood swings

  • Exhaustion
  • Guilt about not coping or not loving your baby enough
  • Resistance to see friends and family
  • Increased anxiety/nervousness
  • Drastic changes in appetite
  • Low sex drive

Family support can help, or you can talk to a local mental health professional

  • Tamworth Community Mental Health
    02 6767 7910
  • Beyond Blue, Pregnancy, Birth and Baby - 1800 882 436
  • Mental Health Access Line - 1800 011 511
August 2024 - Healthy Beginnings HNE for Kids

Healthy Beginnings for HNE Kids is an initiative where mothers with newborns can receive regular information matched with the child’s age to support feeding and child development.

Healthy Beginnings for HNEKids is a partnership between Hunter New England Child and Family Health Services and Population Health. Mothers who have recently had a baby receive text messages over their child's early years. The messages focus on feeding and child development, providing information and advice matched to the age and stage of the child. The tailored messages support families and are designed to include web links to further information or contact details for support or referral services.

This program was developed by a team of health professionals in partnership with external organisations and local families. The goal of this initiative is to improve outcomes for children and support their parents/carers and families along the way.

Looking for Health Advice?

Patientinfo is a health information portal. Local health professionals select the information included. This information is reliable, locally relevant, easy to understand and free of advertising.

Patientinfo aims to help people understand and manage their health conditions. It does not replace care provided by doctors and other health professionals.

September 2024 - Feeding Your Baby

Feeding your Baby

Feeding your newborn is the best way to bond with them in their early days. NSW Health & Hunter New England Local Health District have created various resources on breastfeeding as well as formula feeding your baby.

Local breastfeeding resources can be found here.

Local breastfeeding services can be found here.

A factsheet on Information for Parents on artificially feeding and preparing infant formula can be found here

October 2024 - Supporting your Crying Baby

Crying is a normal part of your baby’s development and is normal for all babies from all cultural backgrounds.

Crying is an important way your baby can let you know that something is upsetting them and that they need you. When babies cry they may be:

  • hungry or thirsty
  • too hot or too cold
  • unwell or in pain
  • over-tired or overstimulated
  • uncomfortable
  • anxious of being alone
  • scared or startled, needing to be settled by holding
  • close and cuddling

HNE Kids have developed a useful factsheet on what to try if your baby is crying, which can be accessed here.

November 2024 - First Aid for Children

Do you know first aid? If you have a child in your care and your answer was 'no' then now is the time to learn.

Children often find themselves victim to several common injuries or medical emergencies and are relying on you to know what to do if they are hurt.

First aid training gives you the power as a parent or carer to protect your family and loved ones. It will also likely make the incidence of a first aid emergency less stressful as you will be more prepared. HNE have developed a useful factsheet on first aid, which can be accessed here

CPR Training for Parents Learn how to perform CPR on a baby through a FREE online program at: CPR | Resuscitation | Kids Health (

Knowledge and skills you learn in this program today, may SAVE a LIFE tomorrow.
Remember, ANY attempt at CPR is better than no attempt.

December 2024 - Domestic and Family Violence

Domestic and Family Violence includes more than being physically hurt or verbally abused.

Domestic and family violence can include:

  • isolating you from your friends and family
  • controlling your finances
  • monitoring your social media and phone
  • not allowing you to go to work or school
  • telling you what you can and can’t wear
  • threatening children and pets
  • turning your kids against you

This type of domestic and family violence is called coercive control and is now a criminal offence in NSW. If this is happening to you, even if there are some happy moments, you don’t deserve this treatment.

Getting out of an abusive relationship can be complex, even more so when children are involved. With careful planning and support, you can make a safe exit from the situation.

What can I do?

  • Talk to your GP or Nurse.
  • Access specialist DFV support. You can call 1800 WDVCAS to link for support.
  • Create a safety plan for you and your children

Violent sights, sounds and experiences can take many forms and will shape how your child sees the world and develops socially and emotionally. Little eyes and ears don’t miss much and will soak up everything that is around them.

Children exposed to violence can feel strong emotions such as fear, confusion, guilt, anger, frustration, and worry. Children can bounce back from experiencing domestic and family violence, it is important you talk to children about what they see and hear.

What children need to hear

  • The violence is not okay
  • It’s not your fault
  • It must be scary for you
  • I will listen to you
  • You can tell me how you feel; it is important
  • I’m sorry you had to see/hear it
  • I will help you to stay safe
  • There is nothing you could have done to prevent/change it
  • We can talk about what to do to keep you safe if it happens again
  • You are an individual and can choose not to fight or hurt people
  • Talking about this might be hard for you, and that’s normal

You can find out more information, and bouncing_back_website.pdf (

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