The Alexandra Babies' Home was established in around 1909. It housed up to 36 children aged under five years of age. Most were state wards. Many children were transferred to the Ballarat Orphanage when they were four. In 1964, it was known as the Alexandra Toddlers' Home. It closed in 1974.
The Alexandra Babies' Home in Ballarat East was on the same site as the Ballarat Town and City Mission Rescue and Children's Home.
The Babies' Home accommodated boys and girls under 5 years of age. The Home had a capacity of 36 children, and most of the children were state wards. The Home also acted as a 'feeder home' to the Ballarat Orphanage, with children being transferred there once they reached the age of four.
A new single storey building for the Babies' Home at 187 Scott Parade was completed in 1909. Originally, babies were accommodated at the Ballarat Female Refuge at 183 Scott Parade. There is some confusion about the date when the Babies' Home was established as a separate institution from the Refuge. It would seem that both buildings (still extant today) housed babies and toddlers at different times.
At first the Home was run by a committee of management. In 1921 the Ballarat Town and City Mission took over management of the Home.
In 1964, the name changed to Alexandra Toddlers' Home.
The institution closed in 1974.
In 2010, the building was being used as bed and breakfast accommodation known as 'Alexandra House'.
In 2021, the Victorian government has agreed to be a funder of last resort for this institution. This means that although the institution is now defunct, it is participating in the National Redress Scheme, and the government has agreed to pay the institution's share of costs of providing redress to a person (as long as the government is found to be equally responsible for the abuse a person experienced).
Sources used to compile this entry: 'Former Female Refuge Complex [Victorian Heritage Register (VHR) Number H1893]', in Victorian Heritage Database, Heritage Victoria, http://vhd.heritage.vic.gov.au/places/heritage/6065; Golding, Frank, Orphanages in Ballarat – brief historical notes (draft), 2009; James Jenkinson Consulting, Guide to out-of-home care services 1940-2000 - Volume One: Agency Descriptions, Department of Human Services, Unpublished, November 2001, https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/sites/default/files/DHS.3004.011.0367.pdf; Wickham, Dorothy Glennys, Beyond the Wall: Ballarat Female Refuge, A Study in Moral Authority, A thesis submitted in total fulfillment of the requirements of the degree Masters of Philosophy, Australian Catholic University, 2003, http://researchbank.acu.edu.au/theses/69/.
Prepared by: Cate O'Neill
Created: 1 May 2009, Last modified: 7 December 2021