Labor Invests in Tweddle's Redevelopment for Struggling Families

Labor Invests in Tweddle’s Redevelopment for Struggling Families


Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos and Member For Footscray Katie Hall today visited Tweddle Child and Family Health Service to announce a 9 million redevelopment investment – one of two Early Parenting Centres set for a major upgrade, while seven more will be built from scratch.

Premier Daniel Andrews emphasised the importance of investing in the future of Tweddle and Early Parenting Centres across the State “As a parent, I know how scary those first few months can be. We’re giving new parents the support they need – every step of the way – so they can cherish what should be the most special time of their lives.”

Most parents come to Tweddle suffering exhaustion due to their baby or child’s unsettled behaviour and poor sleeping patterns.  Sleep and Settling is the number one risk factor nominated by parents at intake/admission, followed by acute early parenting difficulties and mental illness.

Member for Footscray Katie Hall has long been a strong advocate for increased funding for Tweddle and families not only in Footscray but across Melbourne’s West. “Tweddle has provided support to families across the booming western suburbs for 99 years” she said “This funding will ensure they are able to help families for another 99 years and beyond.”

Tweddle Director of Clinical Services/Nursing said that the redevelopment will help ease the waiting list which are usually around 3 months. “In the past year, there were over 46,000 visits to Tweddle’s website. These are parents desperate for information about their baby or toddler’s sleep, behaviour, feeding and attachment.”

“The first three years of a baby’s life have an enormous impact on how they will learn and grow throughout their lifetime, with more than one million new neural connections forming every second, so sleep is vital.”

While at Tweddle, families are empowered with a toolkit of evidence based resources and parenting and relationship skills they can use for life – provided by a team of highly educated and specialised early parenting clinicians.

“Being chronically sleep deprived impacts on the ability of mums and dads to develop secure early attachment with their babies, make decisions, return to work, drive safety and look after their own health” Ms Evans said

Parents come to Tweddle to increase their confidence in how to deal with sleep concerns. When admitted to Tweddle’s residential program, parents make friends, can speak with a psychologist and get around the clock support from a specialist, multidisciplinary team.

The Parenting Research Centre research suggests that nearly half of Australian parents with babies and nearly a third of parents of toddlers and pre-school aged children report problems with their children’s sleep. Moreover, their research of 2600 Victorian parents showed that two in every five had experienced symptoms of depression, anxiety or substance addiction since having children.

The Victorian Budget 2019/20 will provide $135.1 million for the new and upgraded Early Parenting Centres, which will ensure parents are supported when it comes to sleeping, feeding and extra care for babies and toddlers with additional needs.

Minister for Health Jenny Mikakos said the early parenting funding packages supported parents in need. “There are so many expectations on new parents these days. It’s why we’re making sure they’re getting the support they need, in the moments they need it most.”

Early Parenting Centres will be upgraded at Victoria’s three Early Parenting Centres, while new facilities will be built in the growing areas of Casey, Frankston, Wyndham, Whittlesea, Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo.


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