New Victorian parents will have better access to the support families need, with the Andrews Labor Government delivering on its election commitment to triple the number of Early Parenting Centres around the state.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos today visited the Tweddle Child and Family Health Service – one of two Early Parenting Centres set for a major upgrade, while seven more will be built from scratch.
Bringing a newborn home for the first time is one of the most precious moments for any parent – but for many families, it can also be a stressful and challenging time.
That's why the Victorian Budget 2019/20 will provide $135.1 million for the new and upgraded Early Parenting Centres, which will ensure parents are supported when it comes to sleeping, feeding and extra care for babies with additional needs.
Early Parenting Centres will be upgraded at Footscray and Noble Park's Queen Elizabeth Centre, while new facilities will be built in the growing areas of Casey, Frankston, Wyndham and Whittlesea.
Regional Victorian families will benefit from the first Early Parenting Centres to be built in the regions, with new centres coming to Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.
Sleep and settling is one of the biggest challenges facing new parents, with around one in two parents reporting problems with their child's sleep. This can lead to post-natal depression, isolation and stress for parents, and impact a child's behavioural, mental and physical development.
And because the most stressful time for sleep deprived parents is often the middle of the night, the Budget includes $7.2 million to expand the 24-hour Maternal and Child Health Line parents can call to speak with experts about sleep and settling issues.
The Budget also provides $17 million to boost Maternal and Child Health home visits for families who need it most, which will see 7,000 more families better supported. The extra home visits will make a big difference for families, giving sleep-deprived parents the assurance and advice they need when nothing seems to be working.
Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
"As a parent, I know how scary those first few months can be. We're giving new parents the support they need – every step of the way – so they can cherish what should be the most special time of their lives."
"We promised we'd give new mums and dads the expert help they need so they have the peace of mind that they're doing a great job – and that's exactly what we're delivering."
Quote attributable to Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos
"There are so many expectations on new parents these days. It's why we're making sure they're getting the support they need, in the moments they need it most."