Raylene Harradine and Maree Edwards at announcement.

More Aboriginal children and their parents in Bendigo will have access to culturally responsive services and care thanks to a funding boost for a new early years centre.

The Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-Operative will receive $800,000 through the state government’s Regional Health Infrastructure Fund.

The $200 million fund – the largest of its kind in Victorian history – will rebuild rural and regional hospitals to ensure all Victorians can access the high quality care and facilities they need, no matter where they live.

The funding boost for Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative will go towards building the second stage of the service’s $1.7 million state-of-the-art early years centre.

The centre will give BDAC the modern and efficient facilities they need to expand services to local Aboriginal families, from pregnancy to school age.

This will include facilities to cater for 22 three-year-old kinder places and 66 four-year-old kinder places.

BDAC provides holistic health and wellbeing services to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families living in the Dja Dja Wurrung traditional area, including its Aboriginal Early Years’ Service, youth programs, health promotion programs and supports for children in out-of-home care, or at risk of homelessness or family violence.

The new early years centre will boost access to these holistic and integrated services that improve the health, wellbeing and safety of Aboriginal children, focussing on prevention and early intervention.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said Aboriginal people know what works best for Aboriginal people.

“The Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-Operative is leading the way in ensuring care and services are culturally safe and responsive to the needs of Aboriginal people,” she said.

“We’re putting patients first and revamping our rural and regional health services so more patients rural Victoria can be treated sooner, closer to home.”