New parents and their babies will receive even more support under an expansion of the Maternal Child Health Service.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today announced that 37,000 families will now be able to rely on expanded Enhanced Maternal and Child Health services until their child turns three.
Announced as part of the Victorian Budget 2017/18, the $81.1 million package will provide extra support for new parents, including those with babies born prematurely, twins and triplets, or families facing particular disadvantage.
“We know the early years can shape a child’s entire life – that’s why extending our Maternal Child Health support is so critical for first time parents.” Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews
Previously, this intensive support cut out after just one year, leaving many parents without much-needed advice as they prepared their children for kinder.
As well as providing information on feeding and sleeping, our Maternal Child Health nurses also give vital advice on a child’s development and help ensure our kids get the best start in life.
The funding will also expand supported playgroups across the state, connecting new parents to share their experiences and help each other.
“This is about giving more families the vital support they need to raise healthy, happy kids and to make sure they’re ready for kinder and ready for school.” Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
For the first time, those at risk of family violence will receive additional outreach visits by Maternal Child Health nurses.
As part of the package, Maternal Child Health nurses will also get training in the latest techniques and practices to support families, including those struggling with trauma.
The Maternal and Child Health Line will get additional funding to respond to parents’ concerns over the phone.
The funding follows the Andrews Labor Government’s historic $133 million investment in last year’s Budget. It is a key part of the Education State early childhood reforms and supports the Roadmap for Reform: Strong Families, Safe Children.