Thrive by Five welcomes Premier Daniel Andrews’ announcement that a re-rlected Andrews Labour Government will commit $69 Million to Maternal and Child Health Services
9 November 2022: Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative has welcomed Premier Daniel Andrews announcement that a re-elected Andrews Labour Government will commit $69 million to maternal and child health services, new early parenting centres, additional support for Indigenous and multicultural communities and support for new fathers.
The delivery of support services for new parents is central to Thrive by Five’s campaign to transform our current early learning and childcare system into a comprehensive, high-quality, universally accessible, and affordable early learning system.
The announcement includes commitments to increase the number of hours maternal and child health (MCH) nurses spend with parents of newborns and build or upgrade 10 Early Parenting Centres across Victoria to help with things like sleep and settling, child behaviour and health and wellbeing for children and parents .
The announcement also includes commitments to invest in multicultural story times across Victoria, helping local councils set up reading sessions for children at local libraries in languages such as Hindi, Italian, Greek and Arabic which are designed to strengthen children’s connection to their heritage and culture, and to the creation of more fathers’ groups across the state.
Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said, “Thrive by Five welcomes Premier Daniel Andrews announcement that a re-elected Andrews Labour Government will invest to expand maternal and child health services. Thrive by Five encourages all political candidates and parties to match or improve on this commitment which can help deliver a more comprehensive, high-quality, universally accessible, and affordable early learning system”.
“This commitment will help new parents across Victoria secure the support they need during those crucial first few months of their baby’s life. Expanding access to MCH services will not only provide additional support and flexibility to parents, but it will ease the pressure on family budgets in the midst of skyrocketing cost-of-living.”
“The first five years of a child’s life is critical for their brain development and their wellbeing. We know 90 per cent of a child’s brain will develop by the time they turn five. It is therefore pivotal that services for young children and their families are well resourced, co-ordinated and complementary in those important early years.”
“The Victorian Government has been at the forefront in building national momentum for early learning reform, including its historic bi-partisan announcement with the NSW Government in July 2022 expanding access to play-based learning across their respective states. Now is the time for all states and territories to work together with the Federal Government to develop a high-quality, universally accessible and affordable early learning system for all Australian children,” Mr Weatherill said.
Further information on Thrive by Five and its campaign can be found here.