Tuesday, 10 October 2017

The Andrews Labor Government is giving all families with young children in the Latrobe Valley region access to comprehensive parenting support and advice, as part of a major investment.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos and Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today visited Morwell Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Centre to announce a range of initiatives as part of the $9.9 million Supporting Families of the Latrobe Valley investment package.

Early parenting sessions and support will be available for all families with children aged 0-4 with advice on a range of topics such as sleep and settling, breastfeeding, supporting children’s wellbeing and development, health, mental health and nutrition.

Eligible families will also have access to an additional 10 hours of enhanced maternal and child health services – a more intensive level of assistance available to families facing particular disadvantage and multiple risk factors.

The funding will create new jobs to support these services for locals in Latrobe City, Baw Baw Shire and Wellington Shire over the next three years.

Flexible Latrobe Community Connect Packages will also be introduced to help struggling families engage in their community – like paying for registration and uniform fees to a sporting club. The funding can also be used to improve access to services like MCH, parenting support programs and school engagement.

The new funding will build on work with the local Aboriginal community to operate a gathering place in Morwell to operate community led services, and will help advance Aboriginal self-determination.

These initiatives support the landmark $202 million Early Childhood Reform Plan that recognises the importance of giving families support in early childhood so kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

They also support the Labor Government’s $168 million Roadmap for Reform which is shifting the children and family services system from crisis response to prevention and early intervention.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“We’re making sure more families in the Latrobe Valley can access the vital support they need to raise healthy, happy kids and ensure they’re ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.”

“This is about providing new parents with crucial information from the moment their child is born – on a range of topics – to ensure they’re getting the help they need in those vital early years.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“We are continuing our investment to help kids and parents across the Latrobe Valley to thrive – these additional resources will enable more local families to focus on the things that matter to them.”