Landmark Footscray Centre of Early Parenting Excellence gets the green light

Landmark Footscray Centre of Early Parenting Excellence gets the green light

By Kerrie Gottliebsen

Bringing a newborn home for the first time is one of the most precious moments for any parent – but for many families, it can also be extremely stressful.

Today Premier Daniel Andrews announced that a re-elected Labor Government will commit $9 million for a landmark Centre of Early Parenting Excellence at Tweddle in Melbourne’s west which is great news in a region where 40 babies are born every day.

Labor Candidate for Footscray Katie Hall and mother of a new baby was thrilled with the announcement. “There are so many expectations on new parents these days. It’s why we’ll make sure parents in Footscray get the support they need, in the moments they need it most.”

Labor’s investment will underpin the sustainability of the 98-year-old Footscray based public hospital and Early Parenting Centre (EPC) offering residential support.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos knows too well of how precious and scary those first few months can be. “A reassuring voice in the middle of the night – when your baby just won’t sleep – will make a real difference.” She said

The urgently needed upgrades will see an increase in residential capacity by over 40%.

Tweddle board chair Dr Nicole Milburn said the announcement was vital for the future of Tweddle and for every struggling mum, dad, baby and toddler not only in Melbourne’s West but across the state.

She said that the Labor Party commitment to capital works to deliver a purpose built facility was needed to keep pace with Victoria’s booming birth rate and replace aging and deteriorating facilities.

“Vulnerable parents have relied on Tweddle since 1920 to provide urgent support and education. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to develop a world-class facility in Footscray that changes the trajectory of parent-infant relationships in the critical first 1000 days when the vital brain architecture is developed in babies that they rely upon for the rest of their lives” she said

The investment will refurbish Tweddle Child and Family Health Services and deliver a range of critical services, including day stays, longer residential stays and more support at home. The centre will support around 690 families a year.

Dr Milburn noted how important the decision was to so many people.  “Tweddle would like to thank the Premier Daniel Andrews, the Hon. Jenny Mikakos MLC, Minister for Families and Children and Labor candidate for Footscray Katie Hall.

“Tweddle would also like to acknowledge the work of Lead West’s CEO Craig Rowley and the supporting 6 Councils of Melbourne’s West from which 40% of Tweddle referrals originate”

The important advocacy for families with babies and young families in Melbourne’s West, also known as Generation West, has seen many people work together for this outcome” she said

Tweddle CEO Ms Jacquie O’Brien and Tweddle Board member Carla De Campo agreed that the news meant planning for the future of Tweddle and the thousands of families Tweddle supports could proceed with a re-elected Labor Government.

photo L-R Tweddle Board member Carla De Campo, Labor Candidate for Footscray Katie Hall, Tweddle Chair Dr Nicole Milburn & Tweddle CEO Jacquie O’Brien


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