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A Family Strengthening Program

Our Family Strengthening program supports vulnerable families and the positive development of children and young people. It reflects a best practice approach to delivering quality outcomes for children, young people and their families. It would create a flexible, responsive and integrated outreach service with a focus on prevention and early intervention.

The City of Whittlesea has a high proportion of families experiencing and at risk of social isolation, family violence, financial pressure, food insecurity and mental health issues. We want to prevent and address this vulnerability through a tested, innovative, best practice model of support.

Investment sought

  • $500,000 per year over four years for a program to strengthen families through responsive outreach.

Youth Mental Health Support

The City of Whittlesea urgently needs a headspace centre to support our rapidly growing population of young people. Our significant need for youth mental health services was clearly identified in the Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Care Network (EMPHN) Needs assessment (2016).

The City of Hume is a similar size and profile to the City of Whittlesea and has easy access to two headspace centres, neither of which are readily accessible to our local young people.

Connecting Families Through Play

Connecting Families Through Play program supports vulnerable families and the positive development of children. It reflects a best practice approach to delivering quality outcomes for children and their families.

This program would assist vulnerable families with young children (birth to eight years) through new play-based groups. Funding would be provided to the groups and provide opportunities for parents to meet in a safe and supportive environment to develop social networks, strengthen their parenting skills and build links with other early years services and their community.

This program has been developed by Whittlesea Early Years Partnership and Whittlesea Community Futures.

Investment sought

  • We seek $272,000 over two years to employ a part-time coordinator and establish program funding to set up 10 play-based groups per year.

Universal access to 15 hours of Kindergarten

The Federal Government urgently needs to ensure that every child in Australia has universal access to 15 hours of kindergarten per week in the year before they are due to start primary school. Early childhood education is critical for all children - it transcends disadvantage and gives children a greater chance of success in life.

Investment sought

  • Federal Government funding of five hours of kindergarten per week for every child.
    We seek a long term commitment from the Federal Government to fund five hours of four year old kindergarten per week for every child in the year before they start primary school. This will mean that each child has universal access to attend a total of 15 hours of kindergarten every week during this period.
  • $100 million will otherwise be cut from Victorian kindergartens.
    If the National Partnership Agreement ends Victorian kindergartens will miss out on annual funding of $100 million from the Federal Government and result in every kindergarten child losing the equivalent of one day of funded kindergarten per week.