Maree Edwards (right) at the announcement.

THE state government will create an Early Parenting Centre in Bendigo as one of 10 centres to be established across the state.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said new parents would have better access to the support families need, during a visit to Lightning Reef Early Learning Centre on Tuesday.

The new facilities will become the first of their kind in regional Victoria, ensuring parents can get support no matter where they live.

Ms Edwards said bringing a newborn home for the first time is one of the most precious
moments for any parent – but for many families, it can be a stressful and challenging time.

“This will make a world of difference for
local families who are
doing the best they can to give their newborns the best start in life. Being a parent is hard work. That’s why we’re making sure they’re getting the support they need, when they need it most.”

The state budget, to be handed down on Monday, includes more than
$135 million for the new and upgraded Early Parenting Centres, which will also assist parents with  sleeping and feeding, as well as provide extra care for babies with additional needs.

The budget includes $7.2m to expand the
24-hour Maternal and Child Health Line parents can call to speak with
experts about sleep and settling issues, and a further $17m to boost maternal and child health home visits for vulnerable families, which will see 7000 more families better supported.