Labor government commits $6 million to deliver multicultural storytimes across Victoria

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The Victorian Labor government has today committed extra funding to support new parents and multicultural communities if re-elected at the upcoming state elections in November.

In a press release today, the Andrews Labor Government confirmed that if re-elected it will ensure all new parents get the support they need in the crucial first months of a new baby’s life.

Victorian Labor will invest $69 million to help parents when their babies are born – including more access to free Maternal and Child Health (MCH) services, new Early Parenting Centres and additional support for multicultural and Indigenous communities.

To make those early weeks and months easier, Victorian Labor will also:

  • Boost the number of hours MCH nurses spend with families;
  • Increase free consultations to eight hours’ worth of appointments;
  • Invest $4 million for free appointments with midwives and nurses who are trained to provide lactation consultations, to help women through the challenges of latching and establishing milk supply. 

Every new parent expects to be sleep deprived, but sometimes significant sleep problems can really affect the mental health and wellbeing of families.

Parents shouldn’t go through this alone, so Victorian Labor have supported them by investing $148 million to build or upgrade 10 Early Parenting Centres to help with things like sleep and settling, child behaviour and health and wellbeing for children and parents.

A re-elected Labor Government will build on this record, investing an extra $15 million in a new Early Parenting Centre in Northcote, meeting growing demand from local families.

“Pregnancy, childbirth and parenting affect us in all kinds of ways. This centre will provide vital support for parents in and around Northcote as they grow their families – a place of care during the early stages of their babies’ lives,” Member for Northcote Kat Theophanous said.

Member for Northcote, Kat Theophanous (in red), at Clifton Street Childcare Centre in Northcote, with Premier Daniel Andrews and his wife, Catherine.

They will also help create the first dedicated Early Parenting Centre – investing $3.9 million for a centre in Frankston that’s completely dedicated to Aboriginal families and children.

And so that every young Victorian can experience storytime in their mother tongue, Victorian Labor deliver multicultural story times across Victoria – strengthening kids’ connection to their heritage and culture.

Victorian Labor will invest $6 million to deliver multicultural storytimes across Victoria, enabling councils and community groups to set up reading sessions at up to 60 locations in places like libraries, community centres and language schools for kids up to five in languages like Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Italian and Greek.

Additionally, a re-elected Labor Government will invest $2 million in grants for the creation of more fathers groups across the state.

The funding will be distributed through local councils via a grants process and will focus on creating new after-hours dads groups and to support existing dads groups.

“Every family is different, but what is universal is how a new baby will completely change your life. We’ll help parents feel supported and connected in those early weeks and months,” Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.

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