More help for new parents in Victoria

More new mums and dads and their babies will get the best possible start to life with seven new early parenting centres to be built across Victoria, and further two existing sites expanded.

On 21 May 2019, Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos announced the Victorian Budget 2019/20 would deliver a $213.6 million comprehensive package of support for new parents, delivering better access to expert advice and care.

This includes $123 million investment to build early parenting centres in Frankston, Casey, Wyndham and Whittlesea – some of Australia’s fasting growing communities. In Regional Victoria, centres will be established in Ballarat, Bendigo and Geelong.

Meanwhile, Tweddle Child and Family Health Service in Footscray and the Queen Elizabeth Centre in Noble Park will get a much-needed refurbishment and expansion to meet increasing demand.

Early parenting centres play a crucial role proving specialist advice and care to parents who experience more serious and persistent difficulties. The centres provide day-stays and longer residential stay programs to improve health, wellbeing and developmental outcomes for babies and toddlers. The new centres will help more than 5000 extra families every year.

We know many sleep deprived parents are awake at all hours settling their newborns. That is why we are investing $7.2 million to revamp a 24-hour maternal and child health phone line with specialists in sleep and settling issues. About one in five calls to the line relate to sleep.

The $213.6 million package also includes:

  • $7.2 million to revamp a 24-hour maternal and child health phone line with specialists in sleep and settling issues
  • $21.9 million baby-bundle
  • $26.9 million for first time parent groups
  • $17.1 million for home-based sleep support for up to 7,000 vulnerable families who need more intensive support
  • $4 million for free professional fitting of child restrains in vehicles and safety checks, and
  • $1.4 million for newborn first aid training for first time parents.

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