More Werribee families facing disadvantage from across the state will be eligible for extra parenting help and advice thanks to an Andrews Labor Government boost for supported playgroups.

Tim Pallas MP today announced Werribee families will benefit from a $22.1 million expansion of the Supported Playgroups program, which helps mums and dads improve their skills and gain more confidence in looking after their children.

A widening of the eligibility criteria will result in more Werribee families being able to access the service, such as those experiencing family violence, breakdown or social isolation.

This additional funding will mean about 416 families will be able to access a local supported playgroup in Werribee.

Currently, the playgroups operate in less than half of Victoria’s local government areas, but the expansion means they will soon be available across the entire state.

The program is about improving learning outcomes for families that need additional support, by fostering quality parent-child connections and making the most of the home learning environment.

Playgroups are convened by trained facilitators, who provide specialist training advice as well as referrals to additional services.

It forms part of the Labor Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, which is focused on delivering better services to parents with young children, as well as early intervention for kids who need extra support.

The Plan recognises the importance of providing families with strong support in early childhood, so children get the best possible start in life.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos

“Supported playgroups are just one way we’re helping parents build their confidence and skills, meet other parents and create a positive home learning environment.”

Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas

“Supported playgroups have already helped many local families in Werribee and other communities in my electorate – it’s wonderful to know mums and dads across Victoria will now be able to access this service.”