The Andrews Labor Government is helping more first-time Melbourne electorate parents get the ongoing support they need by connecting them with other parents and services in their community.

Playgroup Victoria will work with Maternal and Child Health (MCH) nurses in the Melbourne electorate to connect new parents to local community playgroups, giving them access to ongoing social support and building links within their communities.

Jenny Mikakos, Minister for Early Childhood Education and Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, today announced City of Melbourne was one of eight local government areas chosen to run this important initiative.

Through the 2017/18 Victorian Budget, the Labor Government is providing $200,000 for Playgroup Victoria to build stronger connections between MCH nurse-run first-time parent groups and community playgroups.

Playgroups provide opportunities for children to learn through play and parents to spend time with their children while meeting other parents in their community and supporting each other.

Victorian families already have better access to playgroups through the Labor Government’s $50,000 Great Start Community Playgroup Fund.

The Labor Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan is delivering better services to parents with young children, as well as improved early intervention for kids who need extra support.

The Reform Plan includes $81.1 million to expand the availability of supported playgroups across Victoria and boost MCH and parenting support.

The Plan recognises the importance of providing families with strong support in early childhood, so children are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“We know being a new parent can have its challenges, which is why connecting them to playgroups is so beneficial.”

 “This is about providing new parents in Melbourne with social support and ensuring they get the help they need while their children are in those vital early years.”

“Parents are their child’s first educators, so it’s vital that bond is nurtured to set the foundation for a great start to life.”

Quotes attributable to Playgroup Victoria CEO Danny Schwarz

“This is a great project to help new parents realise the benefits of playgroups and we look forward to continuing to work with the Government to support more families.