Isla, Owen and Connor love spending time with their grandmother, Jacquie O’Brien.

A new program will help equip Ms O’Brien with even more skills needed to take care of the youngsters.

Tweddle, a child and family health service of which Ms O’Brien is chief executive, is running free information sessions for grandparents across the west.

They will explore the ways caring for children have developed in recent years, aiming to teach nans and pops about modern grandparenting.

The Grandparents Matter sessions recognise that being a grandparent is a complex role.

Facilitator Kerrie Buchanan says there’s an increasing need for grandparents to get together and discuss ways in which caring for children have changed.

Ms Buchanan said that with parents returning to work sooner after the birth of children, grandparents were more likely to care for grandchildren.

“We do birthing differently, sleep and settling differently, and know more about children’s brain development,” she said.

The program will cover nutrition and behaviour, as well as the ways in which grandparents can support their own children with parenting.

A session in Melton was held this week, with others scheduled for Altona, Footscray, St Albans and Werribee.

They will be at Altona library, Wednesday, September 16, 1.30-3.30pm; Pacific Werribee library, Thursday, September 17, 10-11.45am; St Albans library, Wednesday, October 7, 11am-1pm; and Footscray library, Friday, October 16, 1.30-3.30pm.

 By Neslim Djemal