Following extensive community consultation, Council voted to continue support for high-quality children’s services, including childcare, kindergarten, playgroups and toy libraries, in its new Children’s Services Policy, Every Child, Our Future, endorsed on 4 September.
Mayor Dick Gross said the new Every Child, Our Future: Children’s Services Policy has a focus on ensuring all current and future children in Port Phillip have access to quality services that help them learn, develop and reach their full potential, regardless of their family circumstances.
“Port Phillip has a proud history of social justice and the new children’s services policy ensures the continuation of high-quality services to support our youngest citizens and their families. Through this policy, Council will address inequities in the current system,” Cr Gross said.
Key features of the new policy include:
- Greater support to the children and families that will benefit the most and are least likely to access services by investing in assertive outreach, providing targeted grants to reduce financial barriers to access, and supporting families and services for positive outcomes for these children.
- Taking a strong role in monitoring community needs, the services available to meet these needs and planning for the future, and supporting children and families to access services that meet their needs regardless of provider-type.
- Continuing providing support for volunteer-led, community-managed services that provide childcare, toy libraries, playgroups and kindergarten through transparent funding and provision of facilities.
- Advocating to other levels of government to increase investment and ensure all children have access to high quality and accessible children’s services.
“We know the first 1000 days of a child’s life are the most important and Every Child, Our Future: Children’s Services Policy ensures every child in Port Phillip has access to the early education services they need to give them the best start in life,” Cr Gross said.