Latrobe Valley Parenting Support

Minister’s Statement

I rise to inform the house of the Andrews Labor government’s commitment to providing additional early parenting support to families in the Latrobe Valley. As part of a $9.9 million Supporting Families of the Latrobe Valley package, our government is providing parents with young children access to a series of parenting seminars delivered through the evidence-based Triple P — Positive Parenting Program. To kick off the initiatives this week international parenting expert and founder of the Triple P program, Professor Matt Sanders, held three free seminars this week in Sale, Morwell and Warragul, and each were very well attended. They focused on easy-to-follow skills and strategies to build children’s resilience, help develop their social and emotional skills and provide parents with strategies to promote positive behaviour.

There is no doubt that raising a family can be challenging, and often parents report sleep and settling a newborn as one of their biggest challenges in those first few months. Through this package the local maternal and child health nurses will also receive training from Monash University to implement the What Were We Thinking! sleep and settling program. This will be embedded into maternal and child health first-time parents groups and available outside normal business hours. It will provide first-time parents with tips and strategies to help their babies sleep and settle in those critical first few months. Finally, there will be further support for families to access supported playgroups, which helps them build their parenting skills while meeting other parents. Supported playgroups are run by trained facilitators, who are able to provide advice and information to parents.

We know that the early years are the most critical ones for the formative development of early learning skills for children. More parenting seminars will be held in July and August throughout Latrobe City and Baw Baw and Wellington shires. I would encourage all families in the Latrobe Valley to participate in these new initiatives to learn new ways to respond positively to parenting challenges and support their children’s early childhood development.