NIDCAP training it is not done by individuals alone—its real focus is upon changing the systems in which we work.
The Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre in Grace Centre for Newborn Care (GCNC) began its journey in 1998, and since then multiple staff members have trained to become NIDCAP Certified Professionals.
As a NIDCAP training centre we offer local and national training for healthcare professionals utilising the NIDCAP framework and leading the way in Australia in the promotion of neurodevelopmentally supportive practices. Our ultimate goal is that the training centre will improve the experiences of neonates and their families through the provision of structured neurodevelopmental care education and support.
NIDCAP training it is not done by individuals alone—its real focus is upon changing the systems in which we work. It requires commitment from an entire unit to undertake training including department heads and all members of the multi-disciplinary team.
NIDCAP training consists of the following components:
- Comprehensive training for staff in infant behavioural observation
- Theoretical model and applications of the NIDCAP approach
- Direct observation in the NICU
- Site consultation and guidance with key leadership of the unit
- Quality Improvement and change management
If your unit is interested in learning more about NIDCAP training please contact us.
Follow us on social media @NIDCAPAustralia on Instagram and Facebook.
The Newborn Individualised Developmental Care and Assessment Program (NIDCAP), originated in 1984 by Heidelise Als, PhD (Harvard, Boston USA), and is the only comprehensive, family centred, evidence-based approach to newborn developmental care.
NIDCAP focuses on adapting the newborn intensive care nursery (NICU) to the unique neurodevelopmental strengths and goals of each newborn cared for in this setting. These adaptations encompass the physical environment and its components, as well as the care and treatment provided for the infant and their family.
There is increasing evidence that early life stress is harmful to the developing central nervous system and brain. As an infant’s brain is growing faster than at any other time in life, their brain can be impacted by stress and environmental exposure in the NICU with immediate and longer term consequences. By understanding that every caregiving experience matters, NIDCAP training can help professionals to create a hospital experience that is less stressful and more supportive for the infant and family.
The NIDCAP framework
Staff can choose to undertake a single component of training (FINE 1) or complete more in-depth training on the path to specialisation.
Family and Infant Neurodevelopmental Education program (FINE) Level 1
Level 1 is an educational pathway in family centred developmental care that is suitable for all disciplines in any neonatal centre. The program focuses on raising awareness of the theory and evidence that supports developmentally supportive care.
The program runs for 1.5 days (Day one: 8am-4pm, Day two: 8am-1pm) and is held at Cumberland Hospital or the Institute of Psychiatry (NSWIOP) in Parramatta.
The program is offered three times a year and is open to any health care professional working in the neonatal setting.
FINE Level 1: External program facilitation
The Level 1 program can be facilitated off site for local health services wishing to run the program in their local setting. A minimum of 25 participants are required to run the program and there are additional costs to offer this model of training. Contact us via the enquiry button if you are interested in receiving additional information regarding this training option.
A minimum of 25 participants are required to run the program.
- Where: The Institute of Psychiatry (NSWIOP), 5 Fleet Street, North Parramatta. Free parking is available onsite.
- Cost: $385 pp and includee resources, meals, certificate documenting 15 CPD hours.
- See the program
- Ready to register?
Coming by public transport?
- The closest railway stations to NSWISOP are Westmead (20 mins walk) and Parramatta (30 mins walk).
- There is a free Parramatta Shuttle Bus service (route #900) with services every 10mins, Monday to Friday between 7am and 6.30pm. Alight at Parramatta Leagues Club, O’Connell Street for NSWIOP, then it's a 5 minute walk.
- Use the Trip Planner.
Here are a few suggestions close to NSWIOP.
- Wesley Lodge Motel, Westmead, Ph: 02 9635 1233
- Crowne Plaza, Parramatta, Ph: 02 9689 3333
- Novotel, Parramatta, Ph: 02 9630 4999
- Quest Apartments, Rosehill, Ph: 02 9687 7711
- Parramatta City Motel, Parramatta, Ph: 02 9635 7266
- Meriton serviced apartments, Parramatta, Ph:
Family and Infant Neurodevelopmental Education Program (FINE) Level 2
The Level 2 program builds upon the skills acquired in the foundational course and completion of Level 1 is a pre-requisite. This component of the program is largely self-directed focusing on the development of practical skills to improve clinical practice to improve confidence in partnering with health professionals and parents.
The program is recommended for health professionals directly involved with the care of neonates. The program is facilitated over a 12 week period it consists of two 8 hour workshops at the commencement and completion of the program. Participants are required to complete self-directed learning each week of between 2-3 hours.
FINE Level 2 External program facilitation
The FINE Level 2 program can be facilitated off site for local health services wishing to run the program in their local setting. A minimum of 8 participants are required to run the program and there are additional costs to offer this model of training. Contact us via the enquiry button if you are interested in receiving additional information regarding this training option.
- When: Dates for 2018 are coming.
- Where: Education Centre, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Cnr Hawkesbury Road and Hainsworth Street, Westmead NSW, 2145
- Cost: $1,250 pp includes GST, resources, meals, one-on-one mentoring, and certificate documenting 60 CPD hours.
Australian Rural Scholarship program
To support learning in the non-metropolitan setting for health care professionals employed in the neonatal clinical area we are pleased to offer a Rural Scholarship Program.
Two Rural Scholarship positions will be offered for each FINE Level 1 program. The rural scholarship consists of covering the cost for the program registration.
Applicants must meet the following conditions:
- Must be an Australian resident
- Demonstrated employment as a health care professional in a neonatal unit
- Live >100km from identified metropolitan centre in their state (i.e. Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin)
Submit a scholarship form with your FINE Level 1 program registration.
Link to Scholarship form
Like more information about NFI and NIDCAP?
Neurodevelopmental experts from the GCNC area available to consult with units regarding individualised developmental care initiatives. Our staff can help you to evaluate your clinical area and develop a plan for improvement.
We have a number of resources available to help track progress for your unit including:
- NIDCAP Nursery Assessment and Certification Program (NNACP) Nurses Assessment Score Sheets
- Infant Stressor Scale
- Site Assessment: Parent participation (FINE 2 Program Tool)
- Site Assessment: Light and sound (FINE 2 Program Tool)
- Site Assessment: Pain and Stress Management (FINE 2 Program Tool)
- Site Assessment: Kangaroo Care (FINE 2 Program Tool)
- Site Assessment: Caregiving (FINE 2 Program Tool)
- Site Assessment: Feeding (FINE 2 Program Tool)
- Comfort check assessment (FINE 2 Program Tool)
- Evaluation of Intervention Tool
- Kangaroo Care: Parent Questionnaire (FINE 2 Program Tool)
- Self-Assessment: Kangaroo Care (FINE 2 Program Tool)
If you are interested in engaging with our team please complete the webform. Please note, there is a fee for consultative services.
These resources have been developed to support clinicians and parents in the care of neonates please refer to the disclaimer prior to printing the documents.
The use of these documents outside The Children's Hospital at Westmead (CHW), or its reproduction in whole or in part, is subject to acknowledgement that it is the property of CHW. CHW has done everything practicable to make this document accurate, current and in accordance with accepted legislation and standards at the date of publication. CHW is not responsible for consequences arising from the use of this document outside CHW. A current version of this document is only available electronically from the Hospital. If this document is printed, it is only valid to the date of printing.
- Positive Touch Practice Guideline
- Five Step Dialogue Fact Sheet
- How to Make a Nest Fact Sheet
- Caring for your baby in the neonatal setting
The NIDCAP team
Dr Alison Loughran-Fowlds
Alison is currently employed as a Senior Staff Specialist Neonatologist in the Grace Centre for Newborn Care at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, Australia. She was awarded her PhD through the University of NSW in 2011.
Alison holds a Senior Clinical Lecturer position at the University of Sydney. She is the Head of the Grace Development Clinic and the Co-director of the Australasian NIDCAP Training Centre. Her interests include following the neurodevelopmental outcomes of infants who have undergone major cardiac and general surgery, and leadership in health.
Professor Kaye Spence
Board members TOR
- Nadine Griffiths, Clinical Nurse Consultant, NIDCAP Certified Professional, NIDCAP Trainer in Training
- Kaye Spence, Clinical Nurse Consultant, NIDCAP Certified Professional
- Kristen James Nunez, Nurse Practitioner, NIDCAP Certified Professional
- Dr Kim Psaila, NIDCAP Certified Professional, APIB Professional in Training
- Bick Pong, Clinical Nurse Specialist, NIDCAP Certified Professional