More Victorian families will have access to the critical support they need during and after the birth of their child thanks to the expansion of an intensive family and early parenting support program.
Visiting Anglicare Victoria’s office in Morwell today, Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced the Andrews Labor Government will invest $19 million in the Cradle to Kinder program.
The extra funding means the program will grow from an existing eight sites to statewide coverage and the Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder programs will also expand from two locations to 10.
More than 600 additional families will be able to access the early intervention and prevention program service each year.
The program is an ante and post natal support service for vulnerable young mothers – aged 25 and under – and their families, commencing in pregnancy and continuing until the child reaches four years of age.
Parents are supported to build their capabilities to provide for their child’s health, safety and development, as well as developing their own self-reliance through links to education, vocational training and employment.
Evidence shows that early support services – such as home visits, tailored to a family’s circumstances – can significantly improve parenting and a child’s long-term health, development and success at school.
Anglicare Victoria will receive $311,181 to expand its Cradle to Kinder program in partnership with Quantum Support Services and Queen Elizabeth Centre, from Inner Gippsland for the first time to cover the Bass Coast and South Gippsland.
The Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency will receive $4.1 million to expand its Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder programs including $622,000 for a new Aboriginal Cradle to Kinder program in Inner Gippsland.
It is expected this expansion of services across Gippsland will see 48 more families assisted.
The Labor Government’s $168 million Roadmap for Reform was introduced to shift the children and family services system from crisis response to prevention and early intervention.
This included $33.9 million to support the development of a new early years’ service for vulnerable families. Expanding Cradle to Kinder is the Labor Government’s first step in developing the new service.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos
“The early intervention provided by Cradle to Kinder has proven its effectiveness at supporting vulnerable families who may have required child protection intervention.”
“We’re making sure new parents have the help they need to support their children’s learning and development.”
Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing
“Early years’ initiatives are so important for children, that’s why we’re expanding programs, such as Cradle to Kinder, across the state.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020