New parents will have better access to the support they need, with the Andrews Government delivering on its election commitment to build a new Early Parenting Centre in Ballarat.
Labor Member for Wendouree, Juliana Addison, announced Ballarat would become home to one of the Government’s new Early Parenting Centres, to give parents assistance and advice caring for their precious newborn.
The Victorian Budget 2019/20 provides $135.1 million for 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.
Ms Addison said she was delighted one of the new Early Parenting Centres would be based in Ballarat.
“This new centre here in Ballarat 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,” Ms Addison said.
“Being a parent is hard work. That’s why we’re making sure Ballarat parents get the support they need, when they need it most,” she said.
“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 and that’s why Ballarat’s Early Parenting Centre will be so valuable for our community,” Ms Addison said.
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.