New parents in regional Victoria will have better access to the support family’s need, with the Andrews Labor Government delivering on its election commitment to triple the number of Early Parenting Centres around the state.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards today visited Lightning Reef Early Learning Centre to announce Bendigo, Ballarat and Geelong would become home to a new Early Parenting Centre, to give parents peace of mind that they’re doing a great job caring for their precious newborn.

The new facilities will become the first of their kind in regional Victoria, making sure parents can get the support they need, no matter where they live.

Bringing a newborn home for the first time is one of the most precious moments for any parent – but for many families, it can be a stressful and challenging time.

That’s why the Victorian Budget 2019/20 provides $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.

The Labor Government is building seven new Early Parenting Centres across the state and upgrading two facilities to meet the needs of the modern parent.

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 vulnerable families, which will see 7,000 more families better supported.

The extra home visits will make a big difference for families, giving sleep-deprived mums and dads the assurance and advice they need when nothing seems to be working.

Early Parenting Centres will also be upgraded at Footscray’s Tweddle Child and Family Health Service and Noble Park’s Queen Elizabeth Centre, while new facilities will be built at Casey, Frankston, Wyndham and Whittlesea.

“This will make a world of difference for local families who are doing the best they can to give their newborns the best start in life.”

“Being a parent is hard work. That’s why we’re making sure they’re getting the support they need, when they need it most.”

Posted by:Maree Edwards MP