Barwon Child, Youth & Family (BCYF) Early Years’ Service has shared in an additional $19 million made available across the State for the expansion on an intensive family and early parenting support program. The Cradle to Kinder program will be available in the Barwon area for the first time and is expected to be fully operational by June this year.
Mr Sandy Morrison, the CEO of BCYF said that the new funding of $766K per annum will allow BCYF’s Early Years Team to assist 32 young mothers to build their capability to support their child’s health, safety and development. It will also focus on building their own self-reliance through links to education, vocational training and employment.
The program will target vulnerable young mothers aged 25 and under who have multiple issues and complex needs. 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.
In making the announcement yesterday, Minister Jenny Mikakos MP reinforced the State Labor Government’s commitment to shift the children and family services system from crisis response to prevention and early intervention, something that BCYF has been actively undertaking and demonstrating.
“Early years’ initiatives are so important for children, that’s why we’re expanding programs, such as Cradle to Kinder, across the State. We’re making sure new parents have the help they need to support their children’s learning and development” the Minister said.
Mr Morrison added that “the Cradle to Kinder program aligns well with BCYF’s strategic direction and we are delighted to be part of the expansion of this early intervention service for our local community”.